God’s Not Dead: An Interview with Shane Harper
by Josh Griffin
I got a chance to ask some questions to Shane Harper this week about his new movie, God’s Not Dead. He plays a principle character in the upcoming film and even wrote and recorded a song for the soundtrack called, “Hold You Up”. God’s Not Dead will be released in theaters March 21st, 2014.
>>> Tell us about yourself, where did you grow up, high school life, church involvement? And some of the youth workers reading this might recognize you from some of your previous TV or film work. Tell us about it!
My name is Shane Harper. I was born in La Jolla, California and spent the first few years of my life living in Oceanside, until my family and I moved to Irvine in Orange County when I was 5 years old. I lived there for 12 years until we relocated to Los Angeles in the summer of 2010. I was home-schooled my entire life. I didn’t ever want to try public or private school; though the experience did seem fascinating to me. When I wasn’t doing school work I was either at Karate, dance class, playing my guitar, or working on a new musical with my local theatre group. I was born into the Christian faith; It’s all I ever knew. My theology was tested as I became a teenager, and especially as I became involved in the entertainment industry. I was very involved in my youth group as a young tween at Worship generation with Pastor Joey Buran, and I led worship there. When I was
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13 I was at a dance competition in Riverside and I was offered agency representation by an L.A. talent agent who was judging there. You could say that was the very start of a long journey that has now lasted nearly 8 years.
>>> Why did you say yes to God’s Not Dead?
I thought the whole story was intriguing, not just because it had an obviously Christian narrative, but because ever since I was a young teenager I had a fascination with Apologetics and the idea of conversing about the meaning of life. I have been a fan of C.S. Lewis for years. This project seemed like a very exciting challenge.
>>> Love it. Any funny moments on the set? Ad libs that stayed or last minute changes to the film?
Well… this wasn’t very funny at the time but thinking back it does seem a little comical. I didn’t get the final version of the script until about 24 hours before we started shooting. The first 3 days of shooting consisted of all 3 debate scenes which were primarily all monologue for me—almost 2 dozen pages to be exact. I remember sitting in my hotel room freaking out thinking, “how am I going to do this?” I prayed through it and spent hours putting in the work to get it where it needed to be. It all worked out in the end!
>>> Tell us about your personal belief and faith and how this film and journey has affected your life personally…