In a few days box office numbers will reveal if the religious overtones in “Because of Grácia” are graced with crossover secular success.
“It’s going to be in theaters Sept. 15 in Minneapolis. It will be showing at the Maple Grove AMC; Andover Cinema; Carmike Oakdale Theater,” said Chris Massoglia, the Minnesota native co-starring with former “American Idol” contestant Moriah Peters.
“This story surrounds what happens because of this girl [who] changes her high school class. It’s about God’s grace and how it really changes your life,” said Massoglia (the g is silent).
He plays the insecure Chase Morgan (a name that could’ve been less 1 Percenter in tone, and more accurate if it had been Chaste) to Peters’ confident, verbose Grácia, who becomes a dominant figure in this small town.
The movie features Massoglia’s second screen kiss. In real life, this hunk awaits his first kiss. Massoglia recently wrote about his unusual kissing conundrum for the GoodGuySwag website at goodguyswag.com/first-kiss/.
His current movie project has the working title of “Lumber Baron” and is being shot in Wisconsin.
“We’re halfway done filming — we did the summer scenes and now we’re waiting for the snow to do the winter scenes,” he said.
Q: It’s a story about abortion?
A: There [are] pro-life themes in it, issues surrounding teen pregnancy. But it’s not centered around that. It’s mainly centered around relationships and what it’s like to be a young person in high school today.
Q: Based on what this movie is about and the fact that we are doing this interview at a church, you’re never going to be in a movie with any nudity?
A: No. Well, I don’t think so. I’m trying to think; was there nudity in the “Passion of Christ”? No, I’m just kidding. No, you won’t. I have certain roles that I won’t do. I have my little list of what I call non-negotiables. Just things that I don’t feel comfortable doing.
Q: How long is the list?
A: It’s about 10 items.
Q: Do you have them memorized?
A: Not quite. No nudity, no sex. I don’t like playing psychopaths, just something about getting in that mentality, of like wanting to kill someone. I don’t like that. Some people can do it. I just can’t do that.
Q: Does “Because of Grácia” feature your first screen kiss?
A: This was my second on-screen kiss. I’ve never had, like, my first real kiss. I just wrote an article on this. I am hoping that my third kiss will be my real first one.
Q: You’ve never had a girlfriend?
A: I just started dating someone last month. Pray for me [and his hands assumed a prayerful pose].
Q: So no kissing? And I am in complete support of delaying kissing and keeping relationships chaste for as long as possible, because kissing leads to other things.
A: No kissing yet. She wants to wait until she’s engaged.
Q: How is this film different from your other projects?
A: It’s a really family faith friendly film. I’ve never done a film where I actually play a Christian. That was totally different for me because I am Christian but all my other roles I’ve never had to incorporate faith, really. That was really fun. It’s a different mentality. It was also pretty low budget. We filmed it in 30 days, the shortest shoot I’ve ever gotten through. We shot “Because of Grácia” in Louisiana; actually my second movie I shot in Louisiana. They give really good tax breaks there.
Q: You pick movies based on your values?
A: I don’t know if I would go that far. I pick certain roles not to do based on my values. I’m pretty open to projects as long as they are not something I am uncomfortable with; I’m fine with different films.
Q: Do you watch movies or read scripts that conflict with your values?
A: I do sometimes. I don’t watch movies with nudity, I try not to, like I saw “Logan” and there’s one part where there’s a boob flashed. You can tell it’s coming, so don’t look.
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count.