NASHVILLE (WordNews.org) March 28, 2012 — Jon Erwin gets downright excited when you ask about “God stories” that surround the filming of October Baby.
The film, directed by brothers Jon and Andy Erwin, deals with an abortion survivor searching for her birth mother. It opened March 23.
October Baby had the third highest per-screen average ($4,352) behind The Hunger Games ($36,871) and 21 Jump Street ($6,559)
The movie closed at No. 8 in the nation for its opening weekend competing against The Hunger Games—one of the most successful Hollywood blockbuster openings ever—in more than 10 times as many theaters. October Baby opened to a modest 390 theaters.
And it is the No. 1 ranked limited-release movie.
Jon Erwin told WordNews.org that God did a lot of things behind the scenes to get to this point.
Like the casting of Shari Rigby (pictured) as the birth mother.
Erwin knew Rigby from a previous role she had in a Casting Crowns video. She looked like Hannah, the main character searching for her birth mother, played by Rachel Hendrix.
“Her screen time is short but [it’s] an incredible role,” Erwin said.
When Erwin sent Rigby the script, he received a call back.
“She called us back weeping,” he said.
“How could you have known my story?” she asked.
Erwin was taken aback.
“She began to tell us her story. That she had had an abortion almost 20 years prior as she was working in a law firm,” he said. “She didn’t tell her husband. About seven years into her marriage, she broke down and told him because she was carrying this secret.”
Her story parallels the story in the film, he said.
“It was a crazy moment for me. It’s vary much like when Mel Gibson cast Jim Caviezel in the Passion of the Christ. He [Gibson] said, ‘Would you play this role?’ and Jim said, ‘Oh my goodness. My initials are JC and I’m 33 years old.’ And Mel Gibson said, ‘You’re breaking me up.’ It was very much like that.”
While Rigby’s scenes are short, the filming was intense, Erwin said.
“She wasn’t acting. It was very, very real for her. Very, very emotional on the set when we filmed her scenes,” he said. “We only did it twice, the scene where she kind of melts down by the door. The makeup artist went in to console her for 15 minutes after each take. We all kind of left. So it was very real for her and very motivating and healing for her.”
Something happened next that took a life of its own. Read more Thursday.