Billy: The Early Years — the interview’s up!

My interview with Armie Hammer, who plays the young Billy Graham in Billy: The Early Years — and almost played Batman in the Justice League movie — is now up at CT Movies.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his film column, which won multiple awards from the Evangelical Press Association, the Canadian Church Press and the Fellowship of Christian Newspapers, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005).

  • Macanuck

    You know, one day when someone trots out that “I have my spiritual beliefs” trope, you oughta just interupt: “blah, blah deeply personal, blah blah. You’re just making it up, aren’t you? You don’t really believe in anything, but you need to say something here.”

    That’d wake em up. And probably get the publicist up in arms, and probably get you kicked out of any more interviews. But it’d be fun.

  • s-p

    Hi Peter, I just saw your review at CT and clicked to here. I always wondered what became of you. Good to see you are still in circulation. Nice interview, BTW.
    s-p, from the “converts” list.

  • Peter T Chattaway

    Thanks, s-p.

    Macanuck, you may be interested in this bit from an interview that Billy writer-producer Bill McKay did with Christians in Cinema:

    Bill: Christian Slater’s mother was our casting director. Mary Jo Slater has been around for many years, and so we hired her. Our objective was to hire talent, not Christians.

    Most Christian films that I see, while sweet, have mediocre execution. We knew we had a powerful story, we were writing for a secular audience, believing Christians would respond to it, but if the talent didn’t measure up to the standards of Hollywood, then it’s all over for the message.

    So we went to a professional casting agency and cast in LA, Chicago, New York, London, all over the place looking for talent. We did not settle until we found the people that could make this story believable. Once we did, we made our decisions based on the skill sets.

    The surprise was that young Billy turned out to be a Christian. Young Ruth turned out to be a Christian. Young Templeton turned out to be a Christian. We hired a Broadway star to play Mordecai Ham, and he turned out to be a Christian. So we set a very high standard in terms of the selection process, and God just blessed us with them after the fact.

    If it’s true, as McKay seems to say, that Hammer is a Christian himself, then yeah, it’s interesting that Hammer would be so vague on the subject while speaking to a Christian publication. Not inexplicable, but certainly interesting.