Masey McLain (I’m Not Ashamed, The Baxters) stars in Every New Day Pictures’ latest film, If You’re Gone. Lillian White, played by McLain, discovers one morning that her boyfriend Brad (Oscar Mansky) has gone missing. She spends the next several months trying to find him, all while her family, best friend, and the uncooperative detective give up much quicker than her, she never allows her faith to waver.
McLain reveals in an interview how important maintaining faith is to her, as well as spreading messages of positivity through her films, writing, and music.
What was the most challenging or exciting part about playing Lillian?
The most challenging part about playing Lillian was having to go to that place of how I would truly feel if someone I loved disappeared for months. I would be horrified, drained, shocked, frustrated, and totally depleted of any energy except that which would be used to find that person—and that’s what I found in Lillian as I put myself in those circumstances. It was emotional for me to go there, but it’s also rewarding as an actor to be able to step into someone’s shoes and honor what that person would be feeling.
Do you have a favorite story or memory from being on the set of If You’re Gone? Because the subject matter was so heavy, the fun and light moments for me on set were gold. This cast and crew was a JOY to be around and we all became so close very quickly! There are so many stories, but mainly I just remember laughing and having the greatest time with everyone.
You’ve been acting since you were in 9th grade. Is there something in particular that made you fall in love with acting at such a young age?
After I did my first play in high school I remember thinking how much I loved to step into someone else’s shoes and get to feel and explore and convey all that they were going through, and then getting to see how that impacted people. When I’m acting it always feels like my way of getting to serve someone. It might be a story that makes a huge impact on their lives and is a character that the audience can see themselves in, or a story that brings them a lot of joy and is a break from reality for a little bit. I loved and still love every aspect of getting to be a part of something that moves people.
It takes a lot of dedication to stick with a career choice from the beginning of high school. Did you ever consider changing paths? What kept you committed to acting? There were times when I definitely got discouraged and wanted to quit. Multiple times. The only other thing I saw myself doing was music. But every time I got too discouraged and tried to quit, God would show me in a very obvious way to stay in it and keep going. Now looking back, I see why, and I’m so thankful that He was always faithful to see me and know exactly how to get my attention and encourage me in it—He knew what was ahead—I just had to persevere and trust Him.
Lillian prays a lot in the film when she’s feeling discouraged or needs to rekindle her hope. What role does prayer play in your life? Prayer plays a huge part in my life. It’s my direct communication to God, and I know that he hears me and sees me. There’s a Bibles verse that says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Prayer is one of the ways I draw near to Him, and scripture says when I do that He’s drawing near to me too. He tells us to pray to Him, and when we do—He hears us.
You’ve done other faith-based films before. How important is it to you to spread messages of faith like the ones in I’m Not Ashamed and If You’re Gone?
It’s very important to me. It’s so incredible to see messages I get from people daily about how God has used I’m Not Ashamed to change their life. I’m so thankful that God has made a way for me to do what I love, and for a purpose that is so much greater than myself. And whether the next film I do is a faith film or not, I never want to separate or compartmentalize my faith from who I am. I always want to carry the message of hope, no matter what I do or what project I work on, because that’s my true purpose.
I always want to carry the message of hope, no matter what I do or what project I work on, because that’s my true purpose.
Did you always know you wanted to act in faith-based films?
I didn’t. I never even set out to act in faith based films, it just kind of happened. I definitely wanted to honor God with the parts that I played, but I never set out to do faith based films specifically.
Your book It’s Worth It deals with similar topics. What inspired you to write a book? Honestly, I was in a season in my life where I didn’t really know what to do and kind of felt stuck. I actually started writing it before I’m Not Ashamed even happened. I was kind of in a lull season and just felt God prompting me to just start writing. So I started writing about all that the Lord had taught me so far through different circumstances and seasons. Then after I’m Not Ashamed happened, my manager encouraged me to continue writing and start working on a book. I already had so much of what I had been working on, and then I incorporated all the stories and lessons I learned from my experience doing I’m Not Ashamed, and ended up with a 21-day devotional.
I read that you’ve also spoken about living a life of passion and purpose. Could you tell me a bit about that?
I always want to encourage others to live in their purpose, because life is so incredibly short. James 4:14 says that life is but a vapor--In view of eternity, it’s such a short amount of time. If we only get a vapor of time, don’t waste it. We weren’t put on this earth randomly or accidentally—there’s a purpose to our existence. And it’s far too easy to get distracted, apathetic, or immersed in the things of the world, that we actually can miss out on what God wanted to do in and through us during our lives. There’s so much work to be done and we have an active role to play in God’s story—don’t miss it! Fully dive into the Word, His presence, His voice, and you will be amazed at all He will do in and through you.
McLain is currently filming season 2 of a show called The Baxters, based on Karen Kingsbury’s bestselling series. Follow @maseymclain on social media to keep up with all her latest projects.