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LaDainian Tomlinson on New Christian Film, "God Bless the Broken Road"

Pro Football Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson is taking a shot at acting. His debut comes via the new Christian movie, God Bless the Broken Road, in which Tomlinson plays a pastor.

This man of faith and former NFL running back is joined on screen in this PG-rated family drama by Lindsay Pulsipher (The Hatfields & McCoys), Kim Delaney (Army Wives, NYPD Blue), Andrew W. Walker (Date with Love, Steel Toes), Robin Givens (Riverdale, God's Not Dead 2), Jordin Sparks (American Idol, Sparkle), and Madeline Carroll (I Can Only Imagine).

Check out what Tomlinson had to say about making the movie (which opened in theaters on Sept. 7, 2018) and who inspired his performance as Pastor Williams...

LT, what story does God Bless the Broken Road tell?

It's the story of a young mother's struggle with her faith after losing her husband in Afghanistan. She is learning to raise their young daughter in his absence while dealing with grief and financial struggles. She feels helpless and alone. With the help of her friends, her church and pastor, and the innocent but wise perspective of her daughter, she learns to trust in God's plan for her life once again.

Who do you play in the film?

I play Pastor Williams in a Kentucky town when we receive devastating news that one of our church member's husband has died in the war in Afghanistan. She falls on hard times trying to raise her daughter and as her faith starts to waiver I [as the pastor of a church] am called to help her stand strong in her faith.

My hope is the film brings inspiration to audiences especially those who are dealing with difficulties or questioning how they will get through them.

Why is this film relevant today?

This is a real-life story that happens to real-life people every day. Somewhere there are people who are struggling, feeling hopeless, or who have lost a loved one, struggling with their finances. You have single parents or those who need a community to help support them like in the church. This film is a reminder that you can make it with the help of God, faith and others. So often we find that our lives are like a broken road and we need our faith to get us through.

How were you able to relate to this character or prepare for the role?

I was raised as a Christian in a single-parent home by my mom. She was a pastor. Because of her influence in my life and how I grew up, it gave me some background to play this role because not only was I around my mom, who was a pastor, but other pastors in the church. I was able to draw on those experiences I had as a child and growing up. I made sure my character was kind, loving, comforting, and welcoming, which are qualities my mom exemplified.

Also, being an NFL athlete then working with the NFL has given me some experience to prepare. When you walk into a studio or walk on set with all these cameras that are pointed toward you, there's a certain sense of comfort you have to feel. If I didn't have those experiences, I don't know if I would have been prepared for this role.

The filmmakers are partnering with the Disabled American Veterans with the "Bless A Vet Campaign" (#blessavet). Tell us about the program?

Because of the film's topic, those involved knew they wanted to do something to give back… A portion of the proceeds go to the DAV.

We realize these guys who fight for our country and our freedom are true heroes. Similar to athletes they work as a team, but we, athletes, are not fighting for our lives like they are.

Also, if audiences go to www.BlessAVet.com, they can contribute so that disabled vets can have an evening out to see the film and a restaurant gift card.

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