ministry and evangelism and an inspirational way to get the message out.”

Getting out the message is exactly why Bethea wanted to do this movie.

Erin Bathea

Erin Bethea

“In this film, there’s such a great message about ‘community’ – about how important it is to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth and who will challenge you and lift you up and encourage you. We all need friends who will confront us and be honest with us.

“Today, too many people live in isolation. God intends for us to grow and be uplifted and encouraged and learn from each other. We need our Christian friends.”

But there are those who would say that this movie is not a good career move for Bethea. For example, Pat Boone back in the 1960s took on several gritty movie roles that offended some of his Christian fans. Shouldn’t Bathea be taking on something a little more risky? Bad girl roles?

Erin Bathea

Erin Bethea

“Well, in ‘Fireproof,’ I was the angry, bitter, cheating wife who had given up in a struggling marriage! Is that ‘bad girl’ enough for you? I usually get cast as the mean girl – so in this new film, this is actually my first time playing somebody who is really sweet and genuine and lovely!”

Speaking of “genuine,” what about that rumor in ‘Fireproof’ that she didn’t actually get to kiss Kirk Cameron? That every time the script called for Bethea and him to embrace, they brought in his real wife for the close-up. Is there any truth to that?

Erin and Kirk Cameron

Erin and Kirk Cameron

“There is,” she admits. “Actually, there’s only one kiss in the film and it’s right toward the end – a sort of epic moment for the two characters. Kirk has a policy about not kissing any actresses out of respect to his wife. So, it turned out it was a wonderful coincidence that Chelsea, his beautiful wife, was my exact same height and size

– so she made a perfect double in that romantic silhouette scene as they kissed.

No, that's not Erin kissing Kirk Cameron!

No, that’s not Erin kissing Kirk Cameron!

“I think it’s actually nice when you’re watching the movie to know that you’re watching an actual married couple – who are madly in love with each other – kiss each other on the screen. It gives you a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling.”

With that in mind, what advice does she offer all those other preachers’ daughters out there who are trying to feel good about themselves?

“I would definitely say they need to know it only gets better,” says Bethea. “I have found that as I get older, my father is is my first and foremost source of advice. He’s so encouraging and he’s so supportive. Hopefully all of the PKs [preacher’s kids] out there have parents who are the same as mine. It’s really a blessing to have parents who have been called to serve hurting people.

“Over the years, that has given me a deep respect for my parents that I didn’t have when I was a teenager. Today, I’m really inspired by how hard they work.

“I marvel at the sacrifices they make to help hurting people.

“My parents are the sort of person I want to be.”

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