Meet the Cast: Branden Lewis

How long have you been acting?
I have been a working actor for about 6 years now.

Who do you look up to as an actor/actress? 
I have always been a big Will Smith fan. He has a great ethical standing and blueprint on how to achieve your goals. He understands what hard work ACTUALLY means and I can appreciate that. 

What attracted you to begin a career in acting? 
It started off in a stage play when I was 17. I have never really been shy on stage, but for some reason, the story we performed and the character I played really resonated with me. I really enjoy the process of storytelling and performing arts. In 2012, I was watching the movie called “Benjamin Button.” And as I was watching this film, I had this really weird yet clear desire to go in the direction of film. I felt like it was a call. I couldn’t tell you why it was that particular movie that sparked the call but I really think it was more about my life assignment, purpose and destiny. This revelation hit me and I wasn’t even saved yet!

What is/was the best and worst advice you have received as an actor?
The best Advice I have ever gotten was to train. Industry professions would rather have more training on your resume than gigs booked. Agents want to know that you will book in the audition room. Training and networking. HUGE! 

I have never really gotten any bad advice. I had to learn this industry on my own so there were a lot of trial and error!

Have you ever played a role that deeply affected or even changed you personally?
I have never been in that circumstance before. However, I have played a role where I have brought along some of those emotions of the character I played home. There are also roles I have played where it’s as if I was playing myself! And even playing “myself” I have discovered things about “myself.” It can be fun and surprising all at once!

What if anything drew you to the Unfortunate Dating Diaries project? 
The message. I have been in church long enough to see the cliches. I have only been saved five years. And in such a short amount of time, the Lord has taught me a lot. I understood the idea of “clicks” and “stereotypes” in public school settings. But I didn’t think that you would see that in churches. 

Being a part of this project was a great opportunity to make fun out of things we experience, yet lay down the reality of things that should never occur in the body of Christ. 

Do you relate in any way to the character you play? Or any of the other characters of UDD? If so, how? 
I can’t say I can relate. However, I can say that I have witnessed a little of everything within the characters personalities in church. People really think that Christians are extremely passive or even passive aggressive and you can clearly see that portrayed well in the character of Eric. Then, there are those who really abuse the word of God and manipulate scripture to get what they want, MAC!!!!! And even Devon can represent leaders that tend to be mis-placed and mis-guided and therefore leading others to uncertainty. 

What was your favorite part of being on set for this project? 
I absolutely loved simply collaborating with the other talent and bouncing ideas and actions back and forth. And I loved fellowshipping with the cast. There was so much ministry going on in between scenes, that we were practically having a church service! Such beautiful and raw moments with brothers and sisters in Christ!

Do you have any encouragement for Christian singles that you would like to share? 
Listen to the voice of God. It’s simple. You do that, you will not compromise anything. Until you find that person He chose for you, pursue Him passionately. 

Do you feel the local church supports Christian singles? 
In my experience, I think they do. The church I was raised in Christ had all kinds of groups and ministry events. In fact, I found my wife at church!!

Did Christian dating seem confusing or troublesome for you? 
At first it was hard because I was transitioning from my old life-style to this new wine skin. There were some major changes but by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was able to overcome!

What is your favorite Bible passage? 
That is HARD! But I would have to choose, John chapter 14-15 and the entire book of Ephesians! Oh…Oh..AND HEBREWS! There is a ton of meat and mystery that I can feed on those passages for years. 

As an actor I’m sure social media is a very important part of promoting yourself: have you personally experienced a lot of unwanted comments or harassment of any kind because of these social media platforms? 
Honestly, not a bit of harassment!!! I have a ton of encouragement from people who pray for me!

Branden, talk about being called into the acting industry? And your convictions to work in the industry while not compromising your faith and values? 
This is a huge topic for me. Only because it does have everything to do with one of the things the Lord has called me to do. But God had to really peel back my eyes to see that this industry needs to be redeemed back to the original Creator, the original artist. And that really is my heart. I love storytelling. I love the process. I love the craft. I take this seriously. 

 I remember the very moment the Lord but a massive burden on my heart for this industry. I was on a date with my wife to see the movie “Kingsman Two” (Bad movie obviously). But we went just to catch a movie. Through the film, it’s as if I was sinking lower and lower into my chair as the vulgar language, lust and ridiculous humor continued to flush through the screen. The people all around me were laughing hysterically. My wife and I remained unmoved. The end of the movie followed a rather large applause and my wife and I were left speechless. Granted, this movie was not a GREAT film. BUT this film still made it to theatre, this movie still made money, and this movie entertained these lost souls. 

For the next hour I ranted to my wife and that is when I discovered the WHY to the call. There is so much to say, but I can tell you this. If we know the enemy is using the media as a platform too blind and deceive people, where are the soldiers to destroy the works of the enemy?  Media has a WORLD WIDE reach and should be used accordingly. My call is to reach the lost within this industry and to reach the audience who engages in this industry. To evangelize everywhere I go, through any and every means of communication and to preach the Gospel through film. 

The other side of my heart sees the deception within the industry. There are those who are Christians or say they are Christians yet they partake in works, or take on roles within this industry that totally compromise their faith and they think they are FINE. Not to mention, playing roles that deceive the audience. I have seen MANY who pursue this industry for the wrong reasons and I believe it is my job to make sure fellow brothers and sisters in Christ know that there IS a fine line between creativity and compromise, Kingdom Creativity vs. Culture Creativity, abstaining vs. participating. We are in the world but not of it. 

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