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Film community is Baptist's mission field



Philip Seacy, son of New Orleans Seminary professor Tim Searcy, says his acting career will serve as a greater platform from which to be a witness.

NEW ORLEANS (BP) — What’s a seminary professor’s son doing in a nationally televised movie with Golden Globe nominee Nikki Blonsky of the box-office blockbuster, Hairspray For Philip Searcy, it’s living as a witness for God.

“Living out your faith in the real world is what following Christ is all about,” said Searcy, son of New Orleans Seminary professor Tim Searcy and a recent University of Mobile graduate.

Fresh out of college with a double major in theater and psychology, Searcy landed a principal role in the Lifetime Original Movie Queen Sized alongside Blonsky and veteran actress Annie Potts, known best for the television sitcom Designing Women.

The television film, which made its premiere Jan. 12, features Blonsky as Maggie Baker, an overweight teenager who refuses to give in to pranksters who nominate her for homecoming queen. Searcy plays a high school athlete and the boyfriend of Baker’s best friend, Casey.

Searcy landed the role after working stand-in for Meet the Spartans actor Sean McQuire during the time-consuming light and camera angle setups on set. Cast also as an extra in the 20th Century Fox film that released in January, Searcy’s experience opened the door for the part in Queen Sized.

Relating to William Wilberforce’s struggle as depicted in the recent film Amazing Grace, Searcy said he wondered about a career in an industry that is often hostile to Christianity. Wilberforce considered exchanging a political career for the ministry until friends encouraged him to do both, eventually leading 19th-century England to abandon its slave trade.

“I want to do both,” Searcy said. “I want to live my life for Christ but I want to do it in such a way that I can change the world around me.”

While steering an entire industry may be a monumental task, Searcy said change comes in small steps and he hopes other Christians will join him.

Searcy said the film community responds to personality and that Christians who live out their faith can effectively communicate the gospel.

“Don’t be afraid to be who you are and meet these people where they are” is Searcy’s advice to other Christian actors.