CFDb Interviews Rusty Whitener ~ Actor/Writer
= > When and how did you acting career begin?
I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York City when I was in my early twenties and worked as a professional stage actor for a couple years. But I did not act in film until I got an agent in Nashville in 2010 and, on the strength of some good headshots and some good auditions, I got two quick roles in two movies, “Alone Yet Not Alone” and “Decision.” My work in “Alone” ended up on the cutting room floor, but my role in “Decision” was a lead role as Natalie Grant’s dad. “Decision” was the GMC-TV “Movie of the Week” and that role led to a good chunk of acting work for me.
= > Do you have a favorite acting experience you can share with us and why?
I liked working opposite Bill Cobbs in “Lukewarm.” He’s such a pro, and that was special, but he and I had some great times playing with each other’s psyche. I was playing a hard-shell non-Christian and he was playing a warm Christian believer. Bill is a great guy, and we had some intriguing discussions about faith off the set. He knew I’d been a pastor for twelve years, and that thoroughly intrigued him.
= > What inspired you to write ‘A Season of Miracles’ the novel?
I simply wanted to write a sentimental Southern fiction work about baseball, kids, and faith. Once I actually got cracking on it, the story took on a life of its own. So I don’t feel I can take credit for seizing any “inspiration.” I guess I just decided to write that type of novel, and set about doing it. God was gracious to me, in allowing me to finish it.
= > When and how did you know this novel should become the film, Season of Miracles?
Actually, I was writing the screenplay the same time I was writing the novel. So, I can’t honestly say one came before the other. I thought it was a movie when I was writing the novel. And I thought the screenplay would flesh out nicely as a novel. I was probably more “hoping” it would be a movie than I was thinking it “should” be a movie. When my screenplay won Second Place at the Movieguide Awards Kairos competition in Beverly Hills, THEN I felt like it “should” be a movie.
= > Will you be in any other upcoming Christians films that you can tell us about?
Yes. I have a small role in “A Matter of Time,” a movie produced by Chuck Howard and Big Film Factory in Nashville, where I play Jason Burkey’s high school basketball coach. And I just finished a lead role in Kyle Prohaska’s (Praise Pictures) new movie “Love Covers All,” shot in Flowery Branch, Georgia, outside of Atlanta. I liked that role a lot and think Prohaska is a very gifted up and coming Director. It was a small cast and crew, but excellent and fun people to work with. All my scenes are with the real lead actor Jared Young, who is amazing. Jason Burkey is in it too, and Michael Joiner, both of whom I greatly respect as actors and people.
= > How can others learn more about you and your work?
To learn more about my Novels (“A Season of Mysteries” is the sequel to “A Season of Miracles”) and my Screenplays and Acting, go to my websites:
I try to live out Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things and Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Check out ALL CFDb Interviews.
If you would like to be interviewed by CFDb, contact us today.