Miracles from Heaven tells the astonishingly true story of Christy’s (Jennifer Garner) little girl Annabel (Kylie Rogers), who is cured from a rare stomach disorder following a frightening accident.
Also staring in the movie based on the book by Christy Beam are Martin Henderson as Christy’s husband Kevin and Queen Latifah as Angela. Angela is a random stranger Christy and Annabel meet on their journey, who becomes a spiritual guide and close friend.
The inspirational movie opens on Wednesday, March 16th 2016.
When you’re playing a person who is real but not famous, what do you look for in representing them?
Jennifer: That’s a great question. The first time I sat and talked with Christy, our conversation ranged from what’s your favorite hymn to how do you take your coffee, to what do you call your kids and what do you say to your girlfriends on the phone?
Kind of a cheat sheet giving me mannerisms that were real to her, all the way to really deep, spiritual questions and questions about what she went through with Anna, what she was thinking at specific moments, how she dealt with it, what’s her propensity towards tears, how stoic is she?
We definitely took advantage of them being real, because Martin and I would text them or call them while we were shooting and say, ‘Would you ever say this to someone?’
The role of Annabel would be daunting for any actor who has been in the business 20 years, and you’re so good in it. Was there a time where you just had to step away, or were you always aware that you were acting and it’s okay?
Kylie: I’ve done some other really emotional films. I can never get used to crying like that, but it’s not that hard. It’s hard when you’ve been crying a lot.
Did talking with the real Annabel help you?
Kylie: Yeah, it really helped because she really was going through a lot. Whenever Jen and I would get together with the real family we’d always study (them).
They are so nice, positive and happy, it’s weird to think that she was in such a horrible position at that point in her life.
Jennifer, watching this movie I kept thinking how incredibly brave you were because as a parent yourself of three kids, how did you distance yourself emotionally?
Jennifer: You don’t distance yourself emotionally, you dive in. There’s no way to do this halfway.
I think people assume that you’re a mother so you put your children in the place of these kids in your mind, and that I never do. It’s something I couldn’t do and thank god. I think my overwhelming feeling during this movie was thinking that this is not my real life. I was always aware that I was playing in a movie.
Was it emotionally exhausting? Yes, but it was for Martin and me, not just me because I had kids. Just as a human to imagine a child in that much pain and in that much peril, you can’t help but feel it.
What did the director, Patricia Riggen’s tell you she wanted from you for the role of Angela?
Queen Latifah: I think she did a great job preparing me, having a conversation with her about why me and what she wanted for me to bring to this role.
She really impressed upon me the humor, the light, how deep and tough the situation is that [Christy and Annabel are] going through, and how important Angela is to really changing that situation for them, if only for a short time, bringing that energy, those good vibes and the light to the family. That sounded fun to me.
I love a story where tiny miracles happen, I wouldn’t even call them tiny, and the fact that I get to play this character who is part of the miracles [was great]. Where did this lady come from? Who is she and how did she just come in here and jump into these people’s lives and do this?
I thought it was cool, because ultimately it’s based on a true story, so this really happened, someone really did this, and I thought that was dope.
Have there been any unexplained miracles in your life?
Queen Latifah: I’ve had many unexplained miracles. When I wake up by myself in the morning without someone calling me or the alarm clock, that is a miracle!
Miracles from Heaven Soundbytes
- Jennifer was asked what she hoped the audience would take away from this film?
- Martin Henderson who plays the husband was also asked what he hoped the audience would take away.
- Kylie was asked what it was like working with Jennifer?
- Queen Latifah was asked if she had met the real Angela yet?
Click below to listen to their responses…