As I promised in my earlier report from the Nashville premiere of “Chronicles of Narnia,” I’d like to pass along snippets of conversations I had with various contemporary Christian music artists who attended the event. Durring the long, long trip home (after two days stranded in the Nashville airport), I came up with a better idea: I am going to hand out the first-ever “Golden Wardrobe Awards” to those who made the biggest impressions on me that evening. And the winners are:
Most Entertaining Interview of the Evening: Ben Cissell of the rock band Audio Adrenaline
Ben kept me in stitches the entire time we talked. My favorite quote: “I loved it. I’m a slacker drummer, so I had never read the book. The only thing I knew about the story was what ‘The Simpsons’ parodied. I had no idea what was coming next (in the movie), and it just blew me away. I may have to go back and read the book now, or at least the Cliff Notes. Yeah, hopefully this movie will inspire people like me to go read books once in awhile.”
The Nicest, Most Talented Rookies Award: Alathea, a pop/bluegrass band
I had never heard of Rockettown’s new girl group, but I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Cristi Johnson and Mandee Radford, who managed to show up at the screening despite being stranded on the road with a flat tire for several hours as they traveled from their homes in east Tennessee. What did they do while stranded on the road? They finished reading “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” in preparation for watching the movie. What did they enjoy about their visit to Narnia? Mandee said, “I think the beautiful thing about this film is that I looked around and there were kids as young as four years old as well as adults of all ages and they were all enjoying this movie. That hardly ever happens anymore.”
Best Idea for a “Narnia” Sequel: Mike Narowki, the voice of Larry the Cucumber from “Veggietales”
When asked how the Christian video series “Veggietales” would do its own version of “Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Mike replied, “We would probably do something like the ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Salad bar.’”
Random Acts of Kindness When You Think No One Is Looking Award: Christian music star Jeremy Camp
As I waited to get in to the movie, I stood in line behind the Dove Award Winner. I don’t want to embarrass anyone involved in a specific little incident prior to the event, but let’s just say I am now convinced that this singer is as down-to-earth and completely non-ego driven offstage as he is onstage.
The Artists Behaving Badly Award: (I’m not naming names, tempting though it is.)
Well… I could name several CCM artists who obviously didn’t know there was someone from the media around them as they pushed, shoved, whined, or shouted on their cell phones as they worked their way down the red carpet, but I won’t. No one’s perfect, but some of these singers need to learn that actions can speak much louder than a Top 40 radio hit any day.
The I’m Going to Say I Knew Him When Award: Child actor Luke Benward
A Sixth grader and busy actor, Luke was all smiles and more than willing than most to talk to reporters about “Narnia” and his movie career. Luke was in the family movie “Because of Winn Dixie” and has another movie coming out (“How to Eat Fried Worms”) next summer. He might even be starring in the Walden Media adaptation of “A Bridge to Terabithia.” What character in Narnia did he think he was like? “Peter, because my favorite part of the movie is when Peter fought in the battle scenes!”