Adrienne Bailon
Interview with a Church Girl

It's good girl meets bad boy in the faith-based movie I'm In Love With A Church Girl, starring Jeff "Ja Rule" Atkins and Adrienne Bailon. Produced by Israel Houghton, directed by Steve Race and based on a true story about a young man who tries to get out of the street life and falls in love with... a church girl. GOSPELflava.com had an opportunity to speak with singer/actress Adrienne Bailon about her role in the movie, her church background, and more:

GOSPELflava.com: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. You have a couple of big weeks coming up.

Adrienne Bailon: I do! I'm so excited.

GOSPELflava.com: What's going on?

Adrienne Bailon Adrienne Bailon: I'm gearing up for the release of the movie I'm In Love with a Church Girl, which is in theaters nation-wide starting Oct 18th. I'm really excited about it, we've been doing promotional tours, traveling from church to church, together with Israel Houghton who's executive producer of the film. It's been awesome.

GOSPELflava.com: Tell us about your role in the movie.

Adrienne Bailon: I play the "church girl", Vanessa Leon. I relate so much to the character because I grew up as a church girl, my mom was superintendent of children's ministries, my dad was a worship leader. I like to say I spent 8 days out of the week in church. I loved it. I think that's what gave me my foundation in life, and my faith plays a huge role in my life on a day-to-day basis. GOSPELflava.com: That's great, you basically grew up a Preacher's Kid (PK)!

Adrienne Bailon: Yeah, pretty much!

GOSPELflava.com: Tell us about the plot. We know this is a 'bad boy meets the good girl' story, but what's it REALLY about?

Adrienne Bailon: I think what makes this movie so different is that we seen so many movies, like Grease and a few others, where the good girl falls in love with the bad boy and then she turns bad. I think the great story in this is he actually turns good. There's such a powerful message in this movie because although it's edgy enough for a mainstream film it has such a great underlyin message of faith and hope —that God can use anything or anyone to change your life. Even a girl.

GOSPELflava.com: Even a girl?

Adrienne Bailon: Even a girl! Now, that may have been started some bad thoughts, that were NOT of God at all, but you know, in this film, we see that God can use anything and anyone, and I think Ja Rules's character (Miles Montego) wouldn't have stepped foot in a church if it weren't for a woman.

GOSPELflava.com: That's something I can relate to right there. That's how I got started.

Adrienne Bailon: See? Look at that. GOSPELflava.com: Shifting gears, you've been doing a lot work on the TV side over the past few years (That's So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Lovestruck: The Musical). How is the transition going back onto the big screen?


Check out movie stills and trailer clips from I'm In Love With A Church Girl .
Adrienne Bailon: I actually shot this movie 2 years ago, and it's crazy how God opens doors in different areas because I obviously started out as a singer with 3LW and went into acting with the Cheetah Girls, but it's still something I do. I still audition, but how THIS came about was Galley Molina (who wrote the script based on his own life), when it was time for casting, said "SHE has to be Vanessa, we have to find Adrienne". He basically hunted me down. Once I read the script I fell in love with it, and like I said, I have parents who raised me in church and when I gave the script to my mother she said, "You better to do this movie." I pretty much felt like after all the blessings and opportunities that God has given me, this was a passion project giving back to God for all the things that He's done for me.

GOSPELflava.com: How was it working with Ja Rule?

Adrienne Bailon: Amazing! I've known Ja for a really long time, which made it easier. We have really great chemistry, so the comfort level was there and we had a great time working on this. I think the fact that there was so much positivity —everyday we opened set with a prayer and we'd close set with a prayer —it was just a great time. Ja would try to get me to work out (chuckles); we stayed at the same complex in San Jose where we filmed the movie, and he would try to get me to go to the gym, which was hilarious. Obvious it worked for him but it didn't work for me.

GOSPELflava.com: You mean you're not a gym rat?

Adrienne Bailon: Not at all! His muscles tell a different story than what mine do.

GOSPELflava.com: I figured that would be part of your daily routine being that you're in front of the camera a lot.

Adrienne Bailon: No. I think that I'm a normal girl, I hate the gym, I mean some girls enjoy it, but I definitely dread it. I try to eat healthy, I try to get in there when I can, or when I realize 'summer's coming I gotta get in there', but it's not something I love doing. I'd be lying to you and lying is not of God.

GOSPELflava.com: So what do you say to the skeptics who see these faith-based movies and have the feeling of "they always get some famous singer or tapper to play the main characters" and are leery of watching the movie because of the casting factor.

Adrienne Bailon: I think the great thing that Galley Molina did was to target the mainstream audience. Sorry to say it, but if you're saved you already know God… you know what I mean? The main thing about ministry is leaving the four walls of the church and reaching the people who don't know God, that don't have a relationship with God. That's the audience that we're targeting with this movie. Yes, we love all the churchgoers and we need your support so we can get movies like this in the theaters (because if you don't go out and support it, the studio executives say, 'the believers don't want to see movies like this, they'd rather see Terminator 3) —so it's important that we go out and support the film. But it's also important that we invite somebody who doesn't know God; this movie can reach them. I think that was the reason they wanted to cast mainstream actors or familiar faces that would draw an audience that maybe wouldn't normally go out and see a faith-based movie. I think if you think about it that way, you realize that Ja Rule might draw an audience that might not normally be in a church service. This is a great way to reach them. It's a cool movie, it has edge, it's got a little gangsta to it, and I think that's what they wanted, that face that could draw in the masses who maybe would never get to hear a message of faith and hope that's in this film.

GOSPELflava.com: The plot is based on a true story.

Adrienne Bailon: It is. It's loosely based on Galley Molina's life. Galley says it himself, that he was one of the biggest drug traffickers in the Bay Area, and now he's a pastor of a huge church in San Jose.

GOSPELflava.com: Who else is in the movie?

Adrienne Bailon: Toby Mac (who I grew up knowing from his days with dc Talk), Steven Baldwin, Vincent Pastore from The Sopranos, and Michael Madison from Reservoir Dogs. It's really incredible cast.

GOSPELflava.com: This doesn't seem like a "cheesy church movie" at all.

Adrienne Bailon: That's the point. It's not supposed to be a cheesy church movie; I think the fact that it can actually compete with what the box office is giving you in Hollywood is a great thing. We created a mainstream film that can hold its own from the directorial perspective to the special effects: all of it. It's an incredible movie and I hope it shows the younger audience that it's cool to love God.

GOSPELflava.com: Give your final sell. Why should people go see this movie?

Adrienne Bailon: Everybody should go see I'm In Love With a Church Girl on October 18th 2013, because there are so many movies that we go out and support that doesn't have the most positive message, but I think it's great to find balance and see a movie that will leave you inspired and motivated. You're going to see what makes the world go around, which is love, hope, and faith, and I think it really has a beautiful message that hopefully you can carry on to someone else.

GOSPELflava.com: Adrienne thank you for your time.

Adrienne Bailon: Thank you so much, I appreciate it.

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interview by Andre Griffith

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