'Grace Unplugged' Film Explores the Perils of Fame

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A new movie opens Friday called "Grace Unplugged." It's about a young worship leader who dreams of becoming a big star outside the Church walls. But will the price of fame prove to be too high?

Eighteen-year-old Grace Trey grew up singing in church where the worship leader is her father, a former famous pop star who gave up the wild life when he became a Christian. 

But despite her father's objections, Grace is determined to taste the kind of stardom she's always dreamed of and runs off to Hollywood without her parents' blessing. 
A.J. Michalka, who plays the role of Grace, said she believes the crisis of faith that her character struggles with is the real crux of the movie.
"I think it's decision making. I think she gets so excited about what this industry could be, for her, that she kind of will do anything, at a certain point, and she doesn't make a bunch of horrible decisions, but she kind of gets a little close to going a little too far," Michalka said.
"Grace Unplugged" is Michalka's first big major film debut as a major character.
"Yeah, I'm really excited. I mean, this is kind of the first thing I've done as a lead that's been, you know, really pushed heavily, and it's just a blessing for me because I didn't ever think this film would get this much excitement," Michalka said.
Actor James Denton plays Grace's protective father, Johnny. He's best known as the guy who took his shirt off on "Desperate Housewives."  He talked with CBN News about how he landed this new role as a minister.
"My first job was as a minister of music in a Methodist Church, right out of college. I worked in Christian radio for a while, and so they might have known I had that background, I don't know, that I would have had a propensity towards a project like this. When I heard about it, I was really attracted to it because I grew up in the church," Denton said.
Actor Kevin Pollak plays Mossy, Grace's "worldy" music agent.
"I thought the journey between the father and daughter was exceptionally well-written, and the character of Mossy was someone who was offering genuine opportunities and wasn't demonized because he was in show business, which I thought was important to empower Grace's decision in the end," Pollak said.
Some say the timing of this movie is interesting in light of singers like Miley Cyrus, known for having Christian roots, but now shocking audiences with racy and provocative performances.

Director Brad Silverman said in the movie, just like many people in real life, Grace must decide what kind of performer she's going to be.
"So, yeah, I think Grace is a character that is really lured by fame, lured by the world, and success, and making a name for herself. And in her specific story she really has a change of heart. And, you know, comes to find out that living for family and for God is, is a much more fulfilling way to live for Grace," Silverman said.
"Grace Unplugged" opens in theaters Oct. 4. 

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Wendy Griffith

Wendy Griffith

CBN News Anchor/Reporter

Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for the The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, she co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. Follow Wendy on Twitter @WendygCBN and "like" her at Facebook.com/WendyGriffithCBN.