It was my privilege last month to attend a Hollywood screening of For Greater Glory, with a talented cast including Andy Garcia, Eduardo Verastegui, Ruben Blades, Eva Longoria and the young Mauricio Kuri. The film, which opens in theatres on June 1, was screened before an audience of broadcast and print journalists; then the following day, we were given the opportunity to interview actors Andy Garcia, Eduardo Verastegui and 14-year-old Mauricio Kuri, and director Dean Wright.
My full review of For Greater Glory will be published soon; for now, suffice it to say I loved it! More than a historical film, more than a war film, more than a personal drama, For Greater Glory is an inspirational saga about the fight for religious liberty in Mexico—a story which has been largely ignored in the history books.
My story tonight, though, is about the stalwart faith and determination of its star, Eduardo Verastegui.
There is no question about Verastegui’s faith. “I am from Mexico,” he begins his story, “so I am Catholic.” He confessed, though, that for many years his faith wasn’t a major part of his life. In his personal life and in his career as a successful soap opera star, Eduardo admits, he just went along with the culture.
At some point, after studying English with a devout Catholic voice coach, he realized that he was part of the problem; and he vowed to act only in films which helped to edify and build up the body of Christ. He became a staunch defender of the unborn, opening a crisis pregnancy center in Los Angeles.
Verastegui vowed that he would no longer participate in any creative project which did not inspire and encourage viewers to grow in their faith or to become better persons. He refused roles in films which conflicted with his beliefs; and with Leo Severino and Alejandro Monteverde, he co-founded the production company Metanoia (the Greek word for ‘repentance’) and produced the pro-life film “Bella”. He wanted people to leave the theatre having been entertained, but also with a spark in their hearts.
For Greater Glory provides that spark. It’ll be in your local theatre on June 1; don’t miss it!