Why Kelsey Grammer Joined the Cast of the Jesus Revolution: ‘An Answer to Prayer’

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Evangelist Greg Laurie has watched God take his life’s story and make it one of the biggest faith-based box office successes this year. And the Harvest Church pastor recently shared what led actor Kelsey Grammer to play a role in that adaptation called “Jesus Revolution.”

Grammer is a successful actor probably best known to audiences as Frasier Crane, the character he portrayed on the television series Frasier and Cheers for 20 years.

While appearing on “Eric Metaxas on TBN”, Laurie revealed the emotional reason behind why Grammer decided to join the cast of the film. 

“We were on set shooting the film,” Laurie started to explain. “You know, you have a lot of time where you wait for the next scene to be set up. And I said, ‘Kelsey, why did you take this role? You’re a very successful actor, you have a great career, and yet you take the role of a struggling pastor. What prompted you to do that?'”

He said Grammer “teared up” before he answered. 

“He said, ‘Well, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to do something that was meaningful…I was with some friends. We were meditating and talking about this, and I just opened myself up and I said, I want to do something that can help people and impact people’s lives,'” Laurie said. 

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He continued, “He said ‘The next day, the script for Jesus Revolution came to me…I read it and I said this is it.’ Then I said to Kelsey, ‘Well, Kelsey, I think this was an answer to your prayer.’ He says, ‘I agree.'”

Grammer played the role of Chuck Smith, a pastor over Calvary Chapel in the late 1960s and 70s. In real life and in the film, Smith welcomed hippies to his small church and that invitation helped to spark one of the greatest spiritual awakenings in American history – the Jesus Movement. 

Grammer’s compelling performance as Smith is made all the more believable because, as Grammer told USA Today earlier this year, Jesus has made a difference in his life.

The 68-year-old was raised in the cult known as “Christian Science” but was touched by the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and ’70s. 

Now the outspoken conservative says he will not apologize for his faith. 
“I’ve had hiccups. I’ve had some tragic times. I have wrestled with those and worked my way through them: sometimes rejecting faith, sometimes rejecting God even, in a period of being pretty angry about it, like, ‘Where were you?’ That kind of thing,” he explained. “But I have come to terms with it and have found great peace in my faith and in Jesus. It’s not cavalier – Jesus made a difference in my life. That’s not anything I’ll apologize for.”

As CBN News has reported, Jesus Revolution was released by Lionsgate and earned more than $52 million in theaters. It opened at the box office at the number 3 spot and remained in the top 10 for several weeks.

It is now one of the most popular films on Netflix. 

Earlier this month, it premiered as the No.4 film on the streaming site and reached the number one spot on Amazon Prime. 

Laurie believes hundreds of people are making decisions for Christ because of seeing this film. 

“The timing of ‘Jesus Revolution’ is incredible,” he recently shared. “I believe God’s hand has been on it from the beginning. The Jesus Movement was the last great American spiritual awakening. Some historians have said it was the greatest revival of all time. Our prayer continues to be that this film will prompt Christians everywhere to say, ‘Do it again, Lord!’ And He is!”

Laurie continued, “We held a baptism earlier this year at the same site where ‘Jesus Revolution’ was filmed. 20,000 people showed up and stood in a line a half-mile long to be baptized. 4,500 people were baptized that day, making it the largest mass baptism in American history.”

“Of the many I personally baptized, their point of reference was how the ‘Jesus Revolution’ film impacted them, and now they wanted to follow Christ and be baptized in the same spot where we had these events during the Jesus Movement and where part of the film was made. It was a classic example of ‘life imitating art.'”

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