"Billy: The Early Years" is the
title of the movie on the life of renowned evangelist Billy Graham
(here in 1966, Foto: Wikipedia)
Billy Graham's Life
Being Filmed
by JS, German Christian Media Magazine pro, May 13, 08
Translation by Birgit Barandica E.

The life of world's best known evangelist Billy Graham, is currently being filmed. According to "Christian Today", productions on "Billy: The Early Years" have begun on March 26.

Movie locations are mainly in Nashville, Tennessee. Another location is Watertown in Tennessee, which has a striking resemblance to Charlotte,

Graham's birth town in 1930. Most of the time, 21-year-old actor Armie Hammer is representing Graham in his younger years, since he is said to look pretty much like the evangelist. "There has never been made a film on this man up to now and even if you disregard his spiritual significance and such, he simply is an icon figure of the 20th century," Hammer tells "The Tennessean".

The message proclaimed by Graham for all of his life, has been on the salvation by Jesus Christ, according to Hammer. The movie wants to do justice to just that. "Now, as he has grown older and isn't able any longer to go on proclaiming this message himself, we will do it for him", the actor says. "We take his story and his message very accurately and publish it just like that."

Hammer goes on, "Graham went so many places and did so many things you wouldn't think possible and he did it with so much dignity. So from an actor's perspective, this is not an easy part." He studied videos of Graham's sermons during many hours in order to be able to identify with him. "I went to church, read the Bible and did many spiritual things in order to be able to represent someone like Billy Graham." Furthermore, a makeup artist worked for two hours on Hammer's hair to get it look like Graham's head of hair.

The biography starts with Graham's teenage-years in Charlotte, North Carolina. The older Graham is being played by Graham's real cousin, Bill Graham, who is also a minister. The part of Grahams friend and mentor Charles Templeton is being played by Martin Landau, according to "Internet Movie Database", who already won a movie award and has been nominated twice. Movie director is Robby Benson. The movie is being scheduled for the fall of this year in the US. .

Co-director and screenwriter Bill McKay has already produced two dokumentaries on Graham. The preacher himself expressed some concern that the image of his person would rather outshine Jesus, as to McKay. "I wouldn't give a dime for most of the evangelists I met. But sitting together with Billy Graham was a completely different experience," McKay told TV station WKRN.

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