Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 03/01/23
Dream rider. Rose Reid wrote her first script when she was 14 and helped produce short a film based on it when she was 16. She’s been hooked on making movies ever since. These days she’s gaining traction as an actress and is probably best known for her lead role in the excellent 202i romantic comedy Finding You. She’s currently starring in the rodeo-centered miniseries A Thousand Tomorrows based on the Karen Kingsbury novel and currently streaming on Pure Flix.
JWK: So, you wrote your first movie script when you were only 14 and helped produced a film based on it when you were 16. Wow! You have this movie-making stuff in your blood, don’t you?
Rose Reid: It’s definitely not something I was born with. I know that there are plenty of people who probably are but this was a learned art for me. That short film that I shot definitely had plenty of flaws. So, I hope I’ve come a long way since then – but, yes, I kind’ve always knew that I wanted to do. I wanted to be in storytelling in some form or fashion and it just ended up being film.
JWK: I saw you in Finding You where you shared screen time with Vanessa Redgrave. So, you definitely have come a long way. What was that experience like?
RR: Omigosh! Finding You was one of my favorite films that I ever shot. I can’t say enough good things about that project, about the cast, about the crew, about everyone who worked on it. Everyone was incredible. Vanessa Redgrave was magical. I talk a lot about how she knew more than any actor that I ever encountered. She just has been in the game for so long and she’s seen so many things. It was such a blessing to be able to work with her, learn from her and have her as a little bit of mentor for a while.
JWK: I also know that you love horses. You’re involved with charities with names like My Lovely Horse Rescue and others. I’m wondering what draws you to horses and if that played a role in your accepting this part in A Thousand Tomorrows.
RR: Absolutely. My mom and I both are big western equestrians. We both grew up riding. My mom grew up rodeoing. I grew up doing about the same and barrel racing and that kind of thing. I still own horses. I have three of my own. My mom has her own herd. We still love it. We trail ride as much as we possibly can. I don’t compete anymore but it’s still definitely close to my heart.
I used to work at a kids’ camp that had a horse program and it was so wonderful to be able to minister to these kids through the use of horses and animals. I just found that they were able to connect so deeply with them. Horses are actually very empathetic creatures. They are able to sense distress. They’re able to sense fear and anger and all of these emotions. They can be very therapeutic animals so I’m very interested in making sure that these horses are treated well. That’s why I donate to a lot of these charities who help ensure that these horses are taken care of but also help young kids and help them work with horses so that maybe they can use that as a form of therapy.
JWK: Did that in any way lead to your role in A Thousand Tomorrows?
RR: Absolutely. I was really interested in the project the second that I saw that barrel racing was a part of it and that there would be lots of animals on set. Part of the reason I booked the job was because I sent in a reel of me riding and, basically, showing “Hey, you’re not gonna have to teach someone how to ride here! I can show up and do this!” I was so excited to be a part of the project. I loved working with the animals. I thought that our stunt team, the stunt coordinator and all of our animal handlers/horse handlers were all amazing. I was just thrilled to work with them.
JWK: Tell me about your character Ali and what you’d like us to know about her.
RR: Ali is such a beautiful character. I really fell in love with her when I started reading the first episode and when I started reading Karen Kingsbury’s novel because she is this complicated, mysterious character at first who you find out is dealing with a very serious illness. She’s having to walk this line between understanding that sobering knowledge of the illness and that sobering knowledge of what it’s going to mean for her but also trying to enjoy life and live life to the best of her ability.
I thought, when I was reading it, that this is how so many people walk through life – with the knowledge that they are dealing with something that is going to change how they interact with people, how they interact with events in their life but they’re trying their best not to let it affect them. They’re trying their best to just keep marching forward and have that strength, have that bravery, to just keep taking the next step…I love that about Ali. She has such a strength that I think so many people are looking for and praying for. When I got the role it was something that I really prayed about because I wanted to make sure I accurately portrayed that strength and accurately portrayed that faith and hope.
JWK: May we mention that the illness she has is cystic fibrosis? Did you do any research in that area?
RR: Absolutely. I did so much research on it. It was something that I wanted to take very seriously. I watched a lot of films to see how films portrayed it. I watched a lot of documentaries. I found multiple channels on YouTube that go through diaries of cystic fibrosis patients that are kind of vlogging their experience and showing what it’s like. I spent weeks going over that and trying to understand what that illness looks like and how these brave patients that are struggling with it deal with that.
In a show it’s very difficult to portray every aspect of something like that. It’s such a deep and heavy diagnosis. It’s difficult to completely depict it and tell every part of that story but I hope that we told it to the best of our ability. I think that we did. I was really concerned about being respectful of that journey. So, that was definitely something I wanted to research before coming onto the project.
JWK: Did you have the opportunity to meet with Karen Kingsbury while filming and, if so, what was that like?
RR: I really wish I could say that I was able to meet her before we started filming. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out timewise but I have met her since and we really hit it off. She’s a wonderful author. I’ve read other books of hers so I was really excited to a be a part of something that she had written.
JWK: I think both Finding You and A Thousand Tomorrows could be described as faith-friendly but not in a heavy-handed way. Is that something you look for in a story in terms of tone?
RR: I’m definitely comfortable with that kind of tone. I think, generally, I find that those stories that are inspirational without really, you know, having a call to the altar moment or drilling it home with Christianity, those are typically my favorites because I think they reach so many more people.
With Finding You, that was something that was very important to me – making sure that we struck that balance of giving people a path of where to go to maybe find this peace, find this hope.
I think that that’s what we did with A Thousand Tomorrows as well. We really had this opportunity to showcase these very difficult lives and very difficult situations that our characters are in but give them a path forward. We’re not trying to, as you said, bash the audience over the head with The Bible. This is a very real, very authentic portrayal of faith in the everyday person’s life.
So, yes, that is very important to me. I do look for projects that are inspirational – maybe not always faith-based but I am very intentional about choosing projects that are inspirational, that are morally sound and make people walk away with a sense of hope and joy rather than a sense of dread.
RR: Absolutely. The Futurist is a science fiction film, as you said. It’s young adult. It’s going to follow the story of Miles who is a young inventor and the descendant of someone who worked closely with Nikola Tesla. It’s a story of redemption. It’s a story of perseverance. I’m really excited for audiences to be able to see it. Writing it was a dream and acting in it was even more exciting. Video effects are going in right now. We’re excited to bring it to audiences very soon.
JWK: Where will people be able to see it? Will it be in theaters?
RR: We are currently exploring the options. We have a lot of possibilities right now. We’re trying to make sure that we make the best choice for the film.
JWK: So, you’re an actress and you’re a writer. Do you have a preference between the two disciplines?
RR: I don’t know that I could ever really choose a preference. It swings back and forth every day. Some days it’s writing. Some days it’s acting. The ultimate goal is definitely to find a world where I’m able to write the projects that I act in. There are also stories that I’ve read that I think absolutely have to be told and they have to be seen on the Silver Screen but it just doesn’t make sense for me to play that character – where I can’t do justice for the character – so I’d love to be able to have a part in writing and producing those and giving some other actress the opportunity to portray that role.
JWK: Where do you see your life and career in ten years?
RR: Hopefully writing and producing my own projects and acting in them as well. That’s definitely my goal but I think it’s going to be really important to me as well to make sure that I am mentoring and helping other young women in this industry. It’s a really hard industry to get started in – especially if you don’t have any of the connections or you weren’t born and raised in LA. That’s going to be really important to me because I want young girls who were like me to know that they do have the capabilities to get here and know that they can succeed. So, hopefully, I’ll be able to write and produce my own projects very soon – well within the next ten years – and, possibly, bring some of those girls in to act in them.
John W. Kennedy is a writer, producer and media development consultant specializing in television and movie projects that uphold positive timeless values, including trust in God.
Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11