Actor Quinton Aaron’s portrayal of NFL football player Michael Oher earned him international recognition and catapulted his acting career. He just wrapped filming on the reboot of the End Times thriller “Left Behind.” TheBlaze interviewed Aaron on the film’s set last week to learn more about his life experience, Christian faith and his views on Hollywood.
In “Left Behind,” a film about those left on Earth after the Biblical rapture, Aaron plays Simon, a producer for journalist Buck Williams (one of the film’s main characters, played by Chad Michael Murray) and a co-passenger on an airplane during the global phenomenon.
Considering that Aaron is most known for his uplifting role in the “The Blind Side” and taking into account his upcoming role in “Left Behind” — one that will largely be seen as a positive career move among conservative Christians — TheBlaze asked if there’s a method to the types of roles Aaron chooses.
Positivity, he said, is key.
“I do believe in sending positive messages,” he said. ” I am a Christian, so I do believe in a lot of positive messages. I do believe in this.”
While most of his roles haven’t been action-packed and have dealt, instead, with some serious real-life issues, Aaron told TheBlaze he’s also hoping to film some action movies in the future as well.
As for “Left Behind,” a movie that he said he believes wholeheartedly in, Aaron spoke openly about what he hopes will happen when viewers see the movie next year.
“For this film, I believe it’s more of a reality check, you know?” he told TheBlaze. “Hopefully getting their life in order, because I do think it’s a definite possibility for our future and when it happens I would like to be in that number of people who don’t get left behind.”
If you’re familiar with the original “Left Behind” book series or the three films produced a decade ago starring actor Kirk Cameron, then you know what Aaron is talking about. In those plot lines, the people who didn’t embrace Jesus Christ were “left behind” during the rapture, with believers mysteriously vanishing and the disappearances causing mass panic.
The new movie is a re-boot of those previous projects, and will showcase the plight of those who did not ascend to heaven during the rapture. The issues they face are anything but palatable. This, of course, is the wake-up call Aaron referred to openly in his conversation with TheBlaze, as many Christians believe that these events will eventually come to pass.
It’s no surprise that Aaron, who towers over almost everyone around him at 6 feet 8 inches, believes in the message that “Left Behind” is trying to send. He’s been a Christian throughout his life and told TheBlaze he’s all about letting actions speak louder than words — something he contends all believers should do.
“I grew up in the church. I was raised in the church,” Aaron said. “I do believe in showing more-so than having to say. I feel like if I live the Christian life, then the people should be able to see it in my everyday actions.”
And he carries this ideology into his acting career, saying he has faith that God will ensure he takes the right opportunities. Unlike other performers, Aaron said that he refuses to “go outside” of his character to get a gig.
“If I have to degrade myself or do something that I’m not willing to do as a Christian to get something, I’m just not willing to do it,” he said. “Another opportunity will come.”
The entertainment industry isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, either, Aaron said. While he clearly loves his career, he said many aspiring actors assume that it’s all glitz and glamor, but the reality is starkly different. People have to be ready to work hard to get what they want in the acting world.
And he should know.
Aaron said his mother sacrificed to make his dream a reality and that he worked hard to reach his goals. He remembers how overwhelming the fame that came along with his starring role in “The Blind Side” was — especially the increase in money and opportunity.
“It was a little overwhelming. It was a whole new world where all this money and opportunity to experience a life I’ve never lived before,” Aaron explained. “I had to adapt.”
Despite the temptations and the challenges that came along with success, he said his faith in God wasn’t rocked and that he hasn’t wavered.
“I always believed that the only reason I was there was because of God,” he said. “I never forget why I have the things that I have and I never forget where I came from … it just took getting used to.”
Aaron will star in the new film, set to release next year, alongside actors Nicolas Cage and Murray, among other familiar names. You can stay up to date with the film’s highlights on its official Facebook page, and stay tuned for additional stories about TheBlaze’s time on the set.