by Edwin L. Carpenter, Editor - The Dove Foundation
Kirk Cameron, whose career now spans a couple of decades, recently chatted with
us about the DVD release of “Fireproof”, the independent film made by a church
which stormed its way into the box office with a take of 33 million dollars,
after being produced for five hundred thousand.
Kirk is known to be a bit of a jokester and, in
fact, one of the DVD features of Fireproof reveals that the tables were
turned and a few pranks were played on him. His sense of humor was on display
when he greeted me with, “Mr. Ed, hey, this is Kirk Cameron!” He wanted to know
right away how many people call me “Mr. Ed.” I told him only a few so he had
joined an exclusive club. “Hey, thank you for letting me in on that club,” he
We began by asking Kirk if he was surprised by
the magnitude of the film’s success. “We were all surprised that the movie did
as well as it did. No one expected it to start out in the top ten and stay there
and finish as the number one independent movie of the year. We knew that it was
a great script. I knew that it was a story that would resonate and strike a
chord in the hearts of people all over the country because it was about
marriage. It’s about hope, it’s about faith; it’s about commitment. People are
hungry for that today.”
“We’ve gotten thousands of e-mails from people,
saying how their lives have been changed. They were on the brink of a
divorce—they called off the divorce hearings and have saved their marriages.”
spoke with enthusiasm about his role. “It was fun to prepare for it,” he said.
“I think every little boy at one point or another wants to be a fireman when he
grows up, and so to be able to hang out with these firefighters, see what they
go through and watch their training—it was a real treat. I’ve got lots of
respect for firefighters and I had to put on fifteen pounds of muscle just to
kind of look the part and to be able to do all the things that we needed to do.
I followed firefighters around and learned how to handle the hoses and put out
fires and climb ladders and all that kind of stuff.”
“How did you prepare yourself to have the
mental set to take on this role as a fire captain?” we asked.
“As an actor you need to not only go over the
lines and know what you’re saying but you’ve got to know, really, who you are.
You’re playing a different character. There’s a lot of preparation that you do
before you walk onto the stage. You have to know who the person is, the
background of the person, and their relationships—who their friends are, who
their family is, all that kind of stuff.”
We asked Kirk what have been the most rewarding
aspects of the film for him.
“I think the reason everyone’s wanted to do all
of these interviews is because of the box office success. It made thirty three
million dollars at the box office. Now of course the DVDs are just getting
started—they’re coming out on Tueseday (January 27) and I’m sure that will be a
big success also. To those of us who made the movie the thing that’s most
significant is the success of the movie’s ability to really help people in their
Love-Dare book (featured in the film) is a real book. It’s not just a plot
device in the movie. It’s a real book that you can get and go through that forty
day challenge with your own spouse. It’s already hit the New York Times
bestseller list. It’s available at the bookstore. I’ve got a copy myself. It’s
just a great tool to help you really get your marriage on track, rescue a dying
marriage and make it flourish.”
“Can you name a couple of your favorite
scenes?” we asked Kirk.
“There are funny scenes in there like the hot
sauce scene which was lots of fun to do. Some of the more challenging scenes
which I enjoyed-- because they were challenging-- were the fighting scenes at
the beginning of the movie. It was a real challenge to work that kind of anger
into a scene. Unfortunately it’s all too real in many people’s marriages. At the
end of the movie the character that I play (Captain Caleb Holt) ends up meeting
with his wife in the fire station and he kisses her. That was actually my own
wife. My wife came in and we did that scene and we shot it in a silhouette so
nobody would be able to tell the difference. So when I was kissing that girl I
was actually kissing my own wife which was lots of fun!”
Kirk mentioned that although it’s always a
challenge to make a movie, many things in making this film just seemed to fall
into place. He mentioned the budget of five hundred thousand dollars was a
challenge because things are so expensive, even the camera and film. A low
budget movie is usually two or three million dollars according to Kirk and so
the budget they had was a microscopic in comparison.
“All the odds are stacked against it with an
all-volunteer cast, it being produced in a tiny town by a church, people who
have relatively little experience in making movies. And it did so well. We
really think the blessing of God was upon the project because of what it was
about, and that it was really honoring to marriage.”
Kirk teaches the Bible on various Christian
programs and he said it was great to be able to work on projects which “you can
really believe in and put your heart into.”
In closing, we commented on the fact that
Caleb’s victory in the movie does not come easily. It is not all neatly tied up
in a package. The character has to show tremendous perseverance.
“He sure did,” Kirk agreed. “And that’s really
how it is in real life. When you’ve been married for ten years and you’ve been
going downhill for the last five it takes more than a week to pull it back up.
It takes commitment and that takes time. “
The DVD will include special features, a
“making of” feature, bloopers, pranks, and other goodies. Mostly, it will
contain a fantastic movie on marriage which features a very committed and
sincere actor in Mr. Kirk Cameron.
Read Dove's Review of "Fireproof"