Phil Russell is an actor, singer, and police officer. He made his acting debut as an extra in A League of Their Own. For the past ten years he’s focused on faith-based projects and this year he has five films releasing – Acts of God, The Song, I Am Potential, Hope Bridge, and Produce.
When did you first develop an interest in acting?
My interest in acting developed very early. Like many preacher’s kids, I found myself in church theatrical and musical productions at an early age. I was fortunate to grow up in a growing mega-church that had a pool of fantastic talent and instructors to from which to learn and develop as an actor.
What was your first film role?
While in college I began acting in commercials and, like many actors, trying to break into film & television, I tried to pick up film roles as an extra. My very first theatrical film role was as an extra in A League of Their Own. Of course, there were thousands of us extras sitting in the stands, but it was still a fun way to learn and gain a perspective of how a major motion picture is produced.
What faith-based films/tv shows have you been involved in?
The majority of projects I have been associated with as an actor in the last 10 years have been primarily faith-based. I’ve been honored to play small roles in several independent features and TV series such as the Easter Experience, Not A Fan, H2O, and Acts of God which begins airing on TBN May 6.
In addition to Acts of God, in the last two years I was honored to have small parts in several faith-based projects: The Song, I Am Potential, Hope Bridge, andProduce.
And, I was very honored to have been asked by Producer/Actor Joe Boyd of Rebel Pilgrim to assist in promoting their faith-friendly film A Strange Brand of Happy as a Co-Executive Producer.
What does it feel like to have five movies releasing this year?
It is very exciting! I love seeing the surge of faith-based films hitting the market and I am very grateful that God has opened doors and allowed me the privilege of having some small parts in several of these projects.
What has been your favorite film role?
My favorite part was playing Rory in Acts of God. Rory is a US soldier in the War in Afghanistan and is best friends with one of the main characters in the film. Playing a US soldier is an absolute honor, and the majority of my scenes were battle scenes with gunfights and explosions, so, of course, we had a great time filming it!
What would be your dream role?
Superman. Ha ha. Seriously, I’m not sure I have a “dream role” but as an artist, we all have a dream – a desire – to be a part of something that is impacting. And as a Christian artist, my desire is to be a part of projects that enhance the gospel. I guess my “dream role” would be any role that is part of something that reaches the hearts and minds of people for Christ.
I love that we are finally starting to see the fruits of so many Christian filmmakers who have labored over the last 10 to 15 years to produce faith-based projects. This wave of faith-based films is exciting for the millions who desire to see family-friendly entertainment, but also for those of us who love playing a part in those productions. The Bible talks about being the “hands and feet” of the body of Christ, and I have been privileged to play some small parts in some projects that I pray help spread the gospel.