Writer Kathy Larson (KL) recently interviewed Karen Abercrombie, the actress who played Miss Clara in War Room. The movie, from the creators of Fireproof and Courageous , will be in theaters August 28.
Below is the interview:
KL: How did you get involved with this film?
I didn’t know the producers of War Room, though I had seen their stuff before. But I had been praying for many years for a chance to do some faith-based projects and this opportunity just arose for me. I had done theater in New York and film and television in L.A. for many, many years, but had moved to North Carolina to be closer to family. Just when I started looking to get back into acting, this faith-based film was holding auditions locally… in my church!
I had sent in a resume and picture earlier in the process but they thought I was too young for the role. But at two weeks out from filming, they still hadn’t found the right person to play Miss Clara. A friend suggested I just get dressed up as an older lady and go on over there. They gave me some monologues to read, and as I read it, I heard her voice immediately. I didn’t really know much about the film, but I felt drawn to the piece when I read her dialogue.
KL: I find it interesting that you said getting involved with this film was an answer to prayer, since it is a film about prayer. Could you tell us more of that story?
Thirteen years ago, I was at a women’s conference where they had this fantastic dramatist, Nicole Johnson. As I watched her, I was amazed at how she was using her gifts for the Lord. I prayed that He would give me a chance to use the gifts He had given me like she does. Over the years, I would get an opportunity here or there, but nothing like I really wanted. But this opportunity far exceeded my expectations. I’m still blown away. My mouth is wide open. My chin is on the ground. Thank you, God.
After thirteen years, God answered this prayer at the perfect time. I had moved to North Carolina to spend more time with my family and really focus on being a hands-on mother to my son. I was blessed to be able to take that time, but then my son went off to college, and it was time to get back to acting. And that’s when this opportunity arose, right here in my own church. Just when it was time to get back to using my gifts, I was able to use them for God. What an awesome step out.
Priscilla is so sweet, nice, and funny. Priscilla is a fierce lioness, a warrior in the Kingdom of God. She tells it like it is. And did I mention, she is very, very funny?
KL: Are there any women in your life from whom you drew for Miss Clara’s character?
As the character is so much older than me, bits and pieces of older women I’ve known along the way. But mostly my aunt, who really poured some good and sweet stuff into me from the time I was a young child. I grew up in an alcohol and drug addicted family and a positive role model who wasn’t in my house made all the difference. She had a little ministry she created called The Sunshine Band – a children’s gathering where she told Bible stories and sang songs. She’d take her things around to different neighborhoods, to the children whose parents didn’t go to church and tell them about Jesus and how He loves us all. It was in that ministry that I first gave my life to Jesus.
KL: What would you say God has taught you through working on this film?
Miss Clara’s rebirth as a character comes through being a mentor to Elizabeth. She realizes the mentorship is not just for Elizabeth. She’s healing herself through that relationship as well. Since this film, I have gotten so much more serious about mentoring young women, taking them into counsel and sharing time and tears with them. I have a few that I’m mentoring right now and my life has been so enriched. I would strongly encourage churches to set up mentoring relationships in their communities and for older women and men to pursue those relationships with younger women and men. We have a generation who is lost. They are diamonds in the rough and they need someone dig them up, love on them, buff them up, and let them shine.
Also, I pray all day long now. I was a prayer warrior before, but now, I am praying all day long, about anything and everything. All the time.
KL: Is there anything you like to share with our readers about your experience with prayer?
And God’s timing is perfect. If there’s something you’ve been praying about for a long time, like my praying to be involved in a faith-based film, He hears. Just because He hasn’t answered doesn’t mean He isn’t going to. He answers in a different way or a different time, for your best interest. Over the years, I have prayed for so many things that later, I thought, “Oh, thank you Lord that you didn’t answer that prayer!” He answers just the right way in just the right timing.
His timing is perfect. And He always hears. Always know He always hears.