I love to hear stories of how God takes seemingly insignificant events from people’s past and uses them for great purposes in their future. Andrew Hurt has just such a story of how God used his past training in construction and horse training to open up doors for him as an actor. He also shows us that it pays to be willing to work behind the scenes and learn all aspects of filmmaking if you want to find success as an actor.
When did you first develop an interest in acting?
When did I develop an interest in acting? It’s hard to say. I guess I have always loved entertaining people. Even as a child I was always playacting and putting on little skits with my siblings. I would have to say that I really started getting interested in film acting sometime in my mid teens. Actually, one of the big things that inspired me to act came from watching the newer version of The Chronicals of Narnia. I absolutly loved those films and it became one of my dreams to act in one of the seven films! That is really where my interest started!
What was your first role?
My first role was in Beyond the Mask, which, was also my first film I had ever been a part of. I was working at the time on set construction and had been up there about two weeks when I heard that they were holding auditions for minor roles in the film. That made me very excited since my passion was to act! So I auditioned, and was quite nervous I might add. I didn’t hear back from them for awile, and we started production; at which time they asked me to stay on with the grip team. Several weeks passed until one night I received an email saying that I had been cast for the role of “Rider”! At first I didn’t believe it, but soon found out that it was real. And what an amazing experience it was!”
How did you first get involved in Beyond the Mask?
I had seen one of the Burns first films Pendragon, (which I really liked) and soon started seeing things online saying that they were gearing up for another movie called Beyond the Mask. It seemed like a very cool concept, so I got on the email list and not too long afterwards, got an email saying that they needed help with set construction. I had done a fair amount of construction in my life, so after some consideration on my part, I applied for a crew position and waited with baited breath. They wrote me back, and about three days after a phone interview, I found myself up in Michigan on the set of Beyond the Mask building a ship!
What led to you becoming stunt double for Andrew Cheney?
Well, growing up, the Lord had given me the opportunity to learn how to ride and train horses through a friend who trains them professionally. While working on set, I had mentioned that I could ride and then one day our producer Aaron Burns came up to me and asked if I would be interested in doubling for Andrew on horse back. Of course I said yes!
Tell us about that experience.
My experience as a stunt double was simply awesome! It was definately one of my highlights while on Beyond the Mask. It was amazing to see how the Lord used something He had blessed me with earlier in my life and then use it for something bigger than personal enjoyment. Before it was over, I actually ended up doing more than just stunts for Andrew Cheney, I was able to double for Harrison doing a horse stunt, as well as play the part of the vicar on the horse who is shot in the beginning of the movie (although unfortunately, most of it ended up being uncredited 🙂 It’s actually quite funny because in one scene of the movie I ride in as William Reynalds, in the middle of the same scene I’m an extra, and at the end of that scene I ride out as Harrision. Whatever I ended up doing, whether it was riding horses, or running through a wall of fire, I can only say that it was unbelievably fun and I was so blessed to be a part of it!
What other films have you been in?
So far I have worked on 8 films, Beyond the Mask, His Brother’s Keeper (168 short), Polycarp, Wanted, God’s Big Global Purpose, Uncommon, War Room, and Champion.
Do you think working behind the scenes as a crew member helps you grow as an actor?
I would have to say yes. Although as an actor I would prefer to be in front of the camera, working as a crew member has added so much to my knowledge as an actor. While working behind the scenes, I have been able to observe how the actors get into their roles and study how they act. It is also extremly helpful as an actor to really know how a set works. You get to see and experince what the crew goes through, how each department is run, and how the actors can affect the crew. I would also add that all the acting I have done has come as a result of being a crew member.
What would be your dream role?
My dream role would definintly be in the action adventure genre! Perferably in a time when swords are the weapon of choice, set in the real world or fantasy. Someone like Peter from The Chronicals of Narnia,or Aragon and Legolas from The Lord of the Rings.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans right now are simply to continue following the Lord through the doors He opens. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey that the Lord has brought me through in the film industry thus far, and I hope to continue on as long as the Lord permits!
I would want say to any actors or aspiring actors out there, to first of all make sure you are doing what God wants you to do and not just fulfilling your dreams. Acting is a very dangerous occupation spiritually, but, if it is what God wants you to be doing, then He will give you the strength to do it! I would also say, never despise the day of small beginnings. You never know what God is doing! But lastly, I want to give all the praise and glory to Jesus Christ, who alone can save, and who alone deserves it!