War Room, the new Kendrick Brothers’ film currently shattering expectations at the box office, portrays the ultimate power of prayer in the life of a Christian. T.C. Stallings plays the male lead, Tony, whose life seems to be perfect, but is falling apart under the weight of temptation.
Before T.C. began his early acting career, he pursed a football career in the collegiate and professional ranks. His success as an actor began in 2011 with his role as “TJ” in the faith-blockbuster Courageous. Six more movie roles would follow, along with 2 national commercials with the NFL and Golden Corral. TC has always strived to be successful, but not by way of spiritual compromise.
T.C. Stallings explains that his main mission is to use all of his gifts to share the message of Christ, and to encourage anyone who will listen to do the same. Sonoma Christian Home had the great pleasure of speaking with the War Room actor. SCH Contributor Dawn Gregg reports.
SCH: Your performance in War Room was so moving. What an authentic portrayal of a broken, human man desiring change and healing! How were you able to go there emotionally?
TCS: I had that broken moment in my real life. After living several years as a believer, I learned how to be a Christ-follower. I thought I had been respecting God. But when I was shown that I wasn’t, I was broken.
I remember sitting on my bed in my college dorm room as a sophomore at the University of Louisville, just crying my eyes out. I looked at how I was hurting God and how I was hurting Christianity, making it hard for others to see who Jesus is because of my hypocrisy.
For the camera, I got back to that moment. But the other part of it is I needed some tears of compassion to come out as well. I thought about all the people who don’t know Jesus, those who have not accepted him as Lord and Savior. And Scripture is very clear on this, if someone dies in that state, they are going to Hell. That’s what the Bible says and that makes me sad for people. My character, Tony Jordan, breaks. He gets to the point where he gives up control and allows the Lord to lead.
SCH: It was definitely powerful to watch. During some of the more light-hearted scenes, you were a double dutch pro!
TCS: Oh my gosh! You’re gonna love this! On the Courageous DVD, in the Special Features, the Kendrick Brothers had me doing all sorts of acrobatics and flips and backflips and such, just for fun and they talked to viewers.
Well, in 2012, we are in Mexico City and they reveal to me that they are doing a film on prayer and that they want me to play the male lead. That’s when I first heard about War Room. In 2013, they send me the script and the character I am to play is very athletic. They said that one of the reasons they know the Lord led them to me for this role was because they didn’t know anyone else who could pull off all the athletic stuff.
I cracked up! I had to learn how to jump double dutch. I got the basics down by watching YouTube videos with my family and then had a professional instructor when I got to set. He taught me how to use my acrobatic flipping abilities inside the ropes and helped me polish my skills. I did all my own stunts. Everything you see is me.
SCH: How fun!
TCS: It was a lot of fun. We had a good time.
SCH: War Room also deals a lot with identity issues. Men and women share a lot of the same struggles. When you get down to heart issues, we’re very similar. Do you have any words for those who are struggling with misplaced worship? Your character, Tony, is definitely struggling in this area.
TCS: First of all, I struggle with identity issues. What I have to say applies to men, women, and children. You try to be what you think you want to be, or what you think others want you to be, or what you think will help you blend in or stand out. It might be related to a certain career you want. Whatever terrain you’re on, you’re gonna be tempted to be doing what that terrain requires of you to be comfortable or to get ahead.
That will cause you to never be content with who God created you to be. My advice is follow the Bible. It clearly tells us where we are to find our identity and our purpose. This is actually the heart of my ministry. I’m gonna take you straight to Scripture. Read Psalm 139:16.
After you understand what the word says, even if there’s trouble with bumps and bruises along the way, the Lord has healing for that. You cannot go wrong by pursuing what the God of the Universe made you for.
James 1:5 tells us to ask for guidance. Our guesswork in life is done. Our identity crisis is over. You can’t NOT get excited after reading that He has a God-ordained and God-blessed purpose for your life! Read the Word. Decide if you believe what it says, and if you do, ask God for wisdom. Lord, tell me my purpose, and I am on it!
SCH: In your life, you also spend time working with youth?
TCS: Yes. 6-8th graders. I’m doing Jr. High Ministry on a regular basis.
SCH: What has working with kids taught you?
TCS: Patience. With my own kids, and the kids at church, and the kids I speak with across the country… I’m learning patience. Satan is very patient. He works slowly. He gets in over time. He’ll stay with these kids their whole lives. That has to work on the flip side.
We have to be patient with kids. Oftentimes, we want them to learn a thing right now! Let’s say we wanted a kid to learn ten Scripture verses and they only learned one. Rather than berate them for that, let’s celebrate that and build on that. I’m learning how to pray through my frustrations and impatience.
What God is showing me through these kids is…”Hey, You! You can’t change them. You can’t speed things up. You had better go and pray. This is over your head and outta your hands. This is MY deal. You keep planting seeds. You don’t control the growth any more than a farmer does”
SCH: T.C., before we wrap up, can you tell our readers about any future projects you’re working on?
TCS: Right after War Room wrapped, I got a role in God’s Compass. I play a Doctor, which is cool because I got to do something totally different, character-wise. That film will be out next year. I’m also very excited to tell you that I just signed a publishing contract.
I am in the process of writing a devotional, which is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2016. When you write something for the right reasons, you don’t have to worry about it selling or about it being successful. You can just rest knowing that the Lord purposed it.
Proverbs 16:9 is the verse that came to mind as T.C. bid us farewell: “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”
Don’t miss War Room, available on DVD and BluRay December 22!
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