A scene from "The Song," starring Alan Powell and Ali Faulkner (City on a Hill Studios)
The Song is
a romantic drama inspired by the Song of Solomon with a modern-day setting: today’s
country music scene. Written and directed by Richard Ramsey and releasing
nationwide on September 26 from Samuel Goldwyn Films and City On A Hill Studio,
The Song addresses themes of love, sex, and the meaning of life (it is
The film is about singer-songwriter Jed King, who is
desperately struggling to get away from the ubiquitous specter of his country-music
legend father and finally make a mark of his own. After reluctantly accepting a
little gig at a local vineyard, everything changes for Jed and he falls madly
in love. He marries, and among his grand romantic gestures is writing a hit
love song inspired by his love for his bride. Though Jed was determined to stay
true to God, his wife, and his music, the temptations abounding in the life of
a famous singer-songwriter take their toll, and Jed falls from grace, only to
see the redeeming power of faith and love assert itself in his life.
Alan Powell plays Jed in The Song, and he recently spoke with Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle for
Catholic World Report about the
Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle:
I enjoyed the movie very much, but I have to say that there was a point during
the movie when I did not like you!
Alan Powell: [Laughs] I’ve seen it a couple of times
and there are a few points where I don’t like me! … But, we are humans and we
make mistakes and we do dumb things. And I know that even in my real life there
are many times when if there was a camera rolling on me, whoever was watching
wouldn’t like me. I feel that’s real.
Cooper O’Boyle: I
understand that this is your break-out lead rolewhat did you do to get into
Powell: I think I related to him pretty quicklyhe
is a musician, as am I. To this day I play music and I am in a band called
Anthem Lights, and so there’s that initial connection. And, on top of that, I
am married myself and I have two children now. But at the time [of making the
movie] my wife was pregnant, I had one and there was one on the way. There’s
that deep connection. A lot of that runs into the script and in portraying
Jedhis connection to his wife, and then when he is a stranger to his wife.
He’s on the road a lot. I’ve been there. You know, you’re missing your kid, and
what it does to your kid, being gone so much. And there’s the guilt for that,
which I have personally experienced.
But then day to day, as far as getting into the character
and getting ready for the scenes…there were some dayswell, if you saw the
film, there were a lot of days when it was heavy. … It was a serious day and
Jed was going to go through some really emotional scenes and face some
difficult things. So, there wasn’t a whole lot of laughter those days for me
that morning or at lunch. I’m not good enough of an actor to be joking around
one second and then they say, “Action,” and I’m crying the next. I wish that I
could do that because it would be a lot easier. But, I would show up and tell
everybody that today is a rough day and I’d kind of apologize to everybody. “I
love you, you’re all great, but I’m going to be kind of in my own world for a
while for the sake of the film.” So, it’s a combination of all those things.
Cooper O’Boyle: You’ve already answered this
somewhat, but do you see yourself at all in Jed?
Powell: I remember reading the script and feeling a
lot of connection with Jedboth of us being musicians and being gone a lot. And
honestly, being gone too much at times. And being married and desiring that to
work. That’s what I really like about the struggle that Jed goes through in the
film. I feel like it’s really, really clear that he wants his marriage to work.
[Jed] asked her [his wife] to come on the roadthree timesbefore he falls. I
mean, that’s not an excuse or [saying] that he’s justified in his actions. But
I do like that it wasn’t a quick decision. He was having this struggle, this
temptation, this, “Man, I’m gone too much; I’m away from my wife too much.” He
asked her multiple times to come with him. All this is to sayI’ve felt that.
I’ve wanted that and tried to work everything out in a way to get my family out
there. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just doesn’t.
So, yes, I connect with Jed on a lot of levels. There’s a
lot of me in Jed. It’s a lot of my story.
Cooper O’Boyle: You
mentioned that you are the lead singer for the band Anthem Lights. Does that
have anything to do with you getting involved in The Song?
Powell: Well, it’s what brought me to Nashville,
initially. And I got a film agent here just because I’ve always loved film.
It’s the medium that moves me the most. Then when I was reading for the part I
knew there was a need for a musician, and I was drawing from that. It wasn’t
like they saw me in Anthem Lights and said, “Hey, we think you’d be good for
this.” It’s what had me in Nashville and something that I drew from when
reading for the character.
Cooper O’Boyle: Was
there a time during the filming that stands out for you in some way?
Powell: I think it’s a film that ultimately states
that without God life is meaningless. I think that’s really what the film
overall says, and what Solomon’s experience in Ecclesiastes says. But, it’s
also on another level about prioritizing your marriage above essentially
everything else that is here.
I am very proud that I didn’t have to compromise my
marriage in making a film about prioritizing your marriage. I really applaud
the filmmakers. If you remember, there’s only one scene where I, as Jed, kiss
either my wife or the adulterer girl, and that’s actually my wife doubling in
for that scene.
So that was a fun day. It was like 18 or 19 takes. I kept
messing that up so we had to keep going. … [Laughs]
I don’t want to imply by any means that it’s wrong for
anyone to do it differently. But, again, in a film about prioritizing your
marriagethe fact that I can sit down with my wife and watch the film and feel
that we have not compromised [our marriage] to tell that story works for me.
Cooper O’Boyle: What are your hopes for this
Powell: I hope that people walk away just knowing
that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are in life, how old you are, what
your situation isevery morning when we wake up we wrestle with this statement,
this truth, that without God, life is meaningless. Certainly, that’s what Jed
goes through, what he puts himself through, and he comes up with this
realization. I really like that the film doesn’t even say that…it just kind of
shows it, asks that question, and then forces the viewer to deal with it. …
And, also, for anyone who is married, I think they’re going to take away from
it the beauty of their marriage and the gift of their marriagethat they are to
prioritize it above all else earthly. And if that happens, I feel very proud of
what we’ve been able to do.
Cooper O’Boyle: You
have two feature films in post-production right now.
Powell: I have one called Out of Ashes. Films
are so funny. You never know what’s going to happen with them. It was a fun
story, a great story. So, we’ll see. I’ve seen the first rough, rough cut and
that’s all that exists right now. And who knows what kind of partners they’ll
find and that sort of thing. I’m excited about the story.
another one out called Produce
. I get to work with some of the same crew
I worked with on The Song
it was fun to see everybody again. It’s a great story as well. It’s about a
Down syndrome kid who helps reframe this guy’s life with regard to what’s
important. It’s very cool. It was a pleasure to be a part of. That one is
already doing the festival circuit. I’m not sure if they’ll find distribution
for it or if it will go national or not. So, it’s great to be a part of them
and again, great stories to tell, inspirational stories.