I know it’s hard for many of you that are not believers to get excited as I am about this movie. And for that reason I really want to make it a point to include the interview I had with Greg Kinnear. I’m not entirely sure that Greg Kinnear is a Christian. If he is he’s sort of like me, it’s difficult to just put yourself out there and say yes I’m a Christian and Yes I believe in heaven and yes to those that don’t believe, I just type casted myself so you don’t want to hire me or work with me.
Having faith and putting yourself out there is hard to do and it was actually hard for the Burpo family to tell their story. Nothing about the Heaven is for Real story was easy. I mean, Todd and Sonia almost lost their son. And making the decision to tell the story was scary and it’s hard for that small town to be in the spotlight. So I can understand how it’s also hard for Greg to put himself out there like this. But he did it, and he did it well.
Someone asked Greg Kinnear about how he prepared for the film
He said that he never met Todd before the film so he called him on the phone and they Skyped each other a lot. It was important to Greg that he portrayed that Todd was more than just a pastor. He was a volunteer firefighter, he volunteered at the school, and he was also a pastor and a father. I felt that Greg did a really great job making Todd f eel like a very complex guy. He was drawn in with the family’s dilemma and how they figured out what to do with this shocking information their son was telling them. “I liked the way the story is told in a very human, accessible way….It’s the story of a family who experiences something extraordinary. On think Randall is so good at is creating moments of humor, humanity and decency for this family, while also getting at the larger questions.
We also asked him about working with Connor, How was that, did he help him a lot?
Greg sort of laughed and said I never knew I was going to be the kid whisperer for this movie, but I did work very well with Connor. We also played a lot together. Then he went on to say that he really understood that relationship between Colton and Todd and the innocence of a four year old boy. “It’s important to point out that Colton was then a four year-old kid, so there was no affection, nothing artificial about what he was saying. It was completely innocence……..And while children at that age can have huge imaginations, they also say things that you know they believe with all their heart. So it’s really interesting to play a father trying to sift through what’s real and what’s not in this kind of event.”
In the end, much like Wallace, Kinnear sees the story of Heaven is For Real as being not just about looking towards heaven but also about how to live in the grace of the hear and now. “Whatever your feelings on the afterlife, I think this film captures the beauty that is all around us through the eyes of this little boy and what he is seeing”
Heaven is for Real is in theaters now!