During a press run for I’m In Love With Church Girl, I met with costars Adrienne Bailon and Ja Rule to help promote the movie. Check out my brief interview with former lead singer of both 3LW and The Cheetah Girls below:
How did you come across the film? Were you purposely selected to play your role?
Yes, I feel honored that I was. Actually, Galley Molina who is the writer of the movie. He wrote the screenplay. It’s actually loosely based on his life. When we got ready to do casting he was like, “Yo! I need Adrienne Bailon to play Vanessa Leon. I guess he read an interview where I spoke about the fact that I was raised in church, and how church played a huge role in my life and he was like “She knows what it’s about” so we have to get her the script. So, he like got in touch with a bunch of people that knew me, I heard from every corner like “This guy Galley is trying to get in touch with you”. Finally, he sent me the script. I read it and after I read it, I actually sent it to my mom to read it. We fell in love with the script. We were like “Wow, this is a great great movie with a great message” and for me it was like a passion project. I was like you, “Know what? After all the blessings that God has given me, this is the smallest thing that I can do to give back and get a message out there.”
Are you involved with the film beyond your role? Are you receiving executive producer credits?
No. No, I am not an executive producer on the film. I just play Vanessa Leon. We are doing a bunch of promotional stuff for the film. Which is stuff that we just want to do like — we’re taking over churches. Last week, we did CCC in Brooklyn — which is incredible — AR Bernard’s church. Then, we went to Hill Song and we did two services there. It’s been great, it’s been a really really great run.
What was it like working with Ja Rule?
So much fun. I’ve actually know Ja for years. I’ve known Ja from my 3LW days, when we’d be on the same promo tours. Like, if he was doing Summer Jam — closing the show — 3LW was opening — like the very first people on stage. (Laughs) So, I’ve known him for a long time which I think definitely helps with the chemistry in the movie. We felt really comfortable with one another since we’ve known each other for such a long time, obviously not romantically. That’s always weird but you always get past that, and yeah, we just had a lot of fun on screen. I think a lot of the best playfulness comes from brotherly-sister love, and that’s what we had. It comes across on screen obviously as a great couple, but that’s how it started off and I think that, that worked great on camera.
How different would you say your role is from who you are as a person?
Funny enough: I’m a lot like my character and I’ve actually been in a lot of situations really similar to my character. Like I said, I was raised a church girl. My mother was Superintendent of Children’s Ministries for Assemblies of God. My dad is a worship leader. I spent eight days a week in church. I like, lived in church. I actually lived across the street from the church I grew up in: Primitive Christian Church in the Lower East Side, here in Manhattan. If I wasn’t on time or they wanted me to get early to youth group, people would absolutely cross the street and start ringing my buzzer like “Come down. Come down. We have rehearsals for drama or for the play”. It’s my foundation of everything in my life. Like, it played such a huge role in who I am. I think the fact that I fell in love with the arts really happened in church. My dad came to this country being a Salsa singer but then when he met my mom — funny enough — she was a woman of God and she was like “Come to church. Stop singing in the club and start singing in church” and that’s how my dad became a worship leader. Music was just always a huge part of my life but I learned so much more about it in church. I learned how to harmonize in a choir. My first solo was singing Hezekiah Walker’s “Your Calling My Name”, Timony Figueroa’s part like, that’s where I learned to sing. So for me, church played a huge role. All my friends were in church, all my social activities surrounded around church. I was a missionette, which is a Christian version of the girl scouts, vacation bible school, like I did everything in church. So, in that sense I really relate and at the same time, I think it shows that a church girl doesn’t have to be so square. I think it shows that we know how to have a good time. I think at some point she goes to the club with Miles, which is Ja’s character. It’s always reminded me that no matter where I go or what I do, even if I ‘m not doing the right thing, even if I’m in the midst of something that I shouldn’t be in — The word of God is always with me. That’s something that never departs from your heart. I think those bible verses that I learned in Sunday school stayed with me through and through. I could be in the worst situation or you could be in a strip club and if you need to leave, you can pray. I think that those things that I learned as a child that were instilled in me, that you can get on your knees and pray anywhere or just call out to God. If I’m on an airplane and it’s like it’s going down “Turbulence!” I call out to God. I don’t care. I think those are small elements that I’ve learned that are the foundation of who I am because those were instilled in me by growing up in church. My mom always said, especially now with the movie coming, she said “You’ve come full circle” because obviously growing up a lot of people had stuff to say when I went and I started singing in 3LW. They were like “You’re using your talent for the world”.
I’m in Love With a Church Girl Overview:
Based on true events, I’m In Love With A Church Girl is an Urban faith-based romantic drama coming to theaters October 18.
Cars. Good looks. Mansions. Money. Women.
Miles Montego has it all.
Including a past.
He was king of the streets as a high-level drug trafficker, and although he has tried to move on, the DEA isn’t convinced. Miles is still rolling with his old friends and colleagues, and the feds are certain he has not fully-retired from his criminal past.
When Miles meets Vanessa Leon, a woman who is different than every other woman he’s met, he is drawn to her beauty and her faith. She is a “church girl” in every-sense of the word. Increasingly, he is torn between a life that he knows and a love that he feels.
As Vanessa experiences his lavish lifestyle, mobster-type friends, gun play, and encounters with past women, Vanessa must reconcile her faith in God and her growing love for Miles.
Both are tested to their last ounce of faith and strength in God and each other. God continues to chip away at Miles through struggles from his past, having to live up to his reputation, feelings of unworthiness, the death of his mother, federal charges, his friends being indicted, the strain on his relationship with Vanessa, almost losing her in a near fatal car accident, and finally the spiritual breakdown that brings him on his knees to face God one-on-one.
Visit the official I’m In Love With A Church Girl web site for more information by clicking this link.
Tuesday Phillips (Transcriptionist)
For more Adrienne Bailon, just click here.