Behind the scenes of new movie 'I’m in love with a Church Girl'

NEW YORK, October 16, 2013 — So what do a hip-hop recording artist, a former Disney actress,  a couple Christian pop singers, several silver screen Hollywood veterans and, a reformed felon have in common?

A new film hitting theatres this Friday October, 18: “I’m in love with a Church Girl” starring rapper and actor Jeff “Ja Rule” Atkins” Adrian Bailon from Disney’s the Cheetah Girls franchise, actor and media personality Stephen Baldwin, actor Michael Madsen, and former HBO Sopranos star Vincent Pastore.

The compelling storyline of a former drug dealer who meets a “church girl” and embarks on a journey of reform and spiritual soul-searching is the true-life story of the film’s writer and co-executive producer Galley Molina. Molina, who wrote the script for the film and novel of the same title, penned it while serving five years in a federal lock-up on drug-related charges. 

The film’s plot chronicles the main character, Miles Montego (Ja Rule, The Fast and The Furious) as he tries to let go of his criminal past while falling in love with Vanessa (BailonX-Factor and The Talk. During this riveting, faith filled transformation Montego is pursued by a DEA agent portrayed by Jason McDaniel’s Stephen Baldwin. 

Others in the film include Grammy-winner Toby Mac, rapper actor, and evangelist T-Bone, and Michael Madsen from Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs.

In an exclusive interview with The Washington Times Communities, co-executive producers and cast members shared some behind the scenes stories about the film during their national bus tour to promote the film at New York City’s Hillsong Church.

After playing an extended trailer for the film, the team stuck around for the Sunday service where Ja Rule personified the film’s mission and made a personal decision to be born-again emphasizing his new Christian faith. 

“I’m thrilled about ‘JA’ getting saved!” said Baldwin, a fellow Christian entertainer. 

Hillsong is no stranger to celebrity parishioners as evidenced by Justin Beiber’s recent tweet of his Sunday visit and Instagram photo with Hillsong’s pastor Carl Lentz

Molina shared the inside info that the film initially faced challenges with Hollywood casting agents who were concerned about connecting their actor-clients with a film that had a faith-based storyline. This obstacle was quickly overcome once Molina and Houghton leveraged their entertainment industry rolodex and got the script directly into the hands of the talent they were looking for. 

The result is a diverse, star-studded cast of successful entertainment professionals and film actors, with a musical score produced by Grammy-winning composers who have created the soundtracks for films like “The Dark Knight” and “The Lion King”. 

U.S. and international distribution for the film is through Universal-Vivendi, and Sony Pictures who recently distributed block-buster films “Red Dawn” and Olympus Has Fallen.”

“I’m in love with a Church Girl hits theaters nation-wide this Friday and cast members will be on hand at the Times Square AMC Theatre to greet fans at the box-office premiere. This heart-felt and riveting drama is poised to be best film of the year for, action, drama, and faith-based filmgoers alike.


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Rich Valdes

Rich Valdes is a former official in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's Administration, an award-winning marketing director, and manager who has led staff and projects for various colleges, state policy initiatives, celebrity entertainers, faith based organizations, and non-profit charities. Rich has run small businesses, created strategic messaging campaigns to increase college student enrollment revenue, and produced high-profile public relations events to raise awareness for various brands.

As a frequent  TV, radio, and print media contributor, Rich's commentary on social issues and popular culture have been featured on Hot 97 FM, CNN Headline News, Telemundo, Univision, HHR and Fox/My9. When not  debating, politics, education, and culture, Rich is a single dad, school board member, and Young Benefactor at VH1 Save The Music Foundation.  Rich attended New York University and is pursuing a Master’s degree at Lincoln University while raising his two young daughters and caring for his elderly father in the New York City suburb of Bergen County, New Jersey. 

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