LOS ANGELES — Masey McLain, having landed an important role in The Baxters television series, is a rising star in the entertainment industry. We last saw her playing the leading role of Rachel Scott in the movie I’m Not Ashamed, the dramatic recounting of the Columbine High School Massacre in Littleton, CO on April 20, 1999.
Masey, the daughter of Marty McLain, teaching pastor of WestHills Church in Villa Rica, is a devout Christian and very selective in roles she accepts. The Baxters is based on Karen Kingsbury’s faith-based novels about the ups and downs of a large family with six adult children.
Roma Downey, who is best known as the star of Touched By an Angel and is the co-producer of The Baxters, was quoted in Variety as saying, “By making it ourselves it gives us a creative freedom we wouldn’t have elsewhere. These characters are sincere in their faith, and that sets them apart from other stories…. The tone of this is going to be heartwarming and moving.”
Masey was the perfect choice for a role in The Baxters because she is a gifted actor, charming in every way, and certainly sincere in her faith.
In reminiscing on I’m Not Ashamed, Masey commented, “The responses we have received from the movie have been incredible. I love acting in films, but to be a part of a film that is having an impact in people’s hearts around the world is above and beyond anything I could have ever expected.
“I still get emails and messages from people all over the globe telling me how God used Rachel’s story to completely change their lives. Someone who is a part of the follow-up program for the movie called me the other day and told me that globally thousands have already asked Jesus to come into their hearts after watching the film. That is worth more than any award or accolade that could ever come from the film.
“My favorite messages,” Masey explained, “are from people who tell me that they had no idea why they put the movie on, but they came across it online and felt compelled to watch it. Two hours later they were on their knees in their bedroom crying and having a breakthrough in their lives with God.
“The crazy things is that we prayed that people, who would never normally watch it, would feel compelled to watch it, even if they didn’t know why.
“The best part is that this film can be seen by anybody at any time (Google I’m Not Ashamed and watch it). It is so encouraging to think that God can use it whenever He wants in whatever way He wants to use it.”
Shortly after I’m Not Ashamed was released on DVD, Masey came out with a 21-day devotional called It’s Worth It. She explained, “Before I even knew I got the part for I’m Not Ashamed I felt like the Lord told me to start writing. I had no idea why because I had never written anything before, but I began writing down what I felt like the Lord had been teaching me.
“After we filmed I’m Not Ashamed my manager in Nashville encouraged me to keep writing, especially in light of just finishing the film and the impact it had on my life. A publisher reached out to me a few months later and asked if I wanted to release a book and if so, they felt like a 21-day devotional book would be appropriate.
“Slightly in shock, I told them that I had been writing and actually had 21 devotionals ready to go. It was a God-thing. The focus of the devotions is how to live according to the purpose for which you have been created and how to make an impact on the world around you. I wrote about my own life and journey, the lessons Jesus has taught me along the way, and the lessons I learned by stepping into Rachel’s shoes and portraying her life in the movie.
“I never dreamed God would call me to write, but when He lays something on your heart, you just have to do it. You never know how significantly He is going to use it.”
Currently, Masey is excited about The Baxter series and considers it a “dream project.” She explains, “I read all of Karen Kingsbury books in high school, so when I found out they were making a series, I couldn’t believe it. I jokingly told them in my audition that I would get so attached to these characters when I was reading the books in high school that I would start praying for them, which is slightly embarrassing, but that is how good a writer Karen Kingsbury is.
“I actually got the role of my favorite character, Ashley Baxter, and it has been a blast to play her part. It has been a joy to be on the set and the atmosphere is wonderful. I have loved getting to work with Roma Downey, also a dream, and Ted McGinley as well. The first day on the set was surreal – I couldn’t believe it was happening!
“The whole cast is doing an incredible job and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Both Roma and Ted (also a Christian) carry themselves with such grace and are some of the most life-giving people I’ve ever been around. It’s a joy to work with them.”
Masey contends that the most difficult part about her profession is definitely the “in between” job times, because actors never know when they are going to work again once a project ends. She remarked, “In my personal journey it is just one of the ways God teaches me to trust and depend on Him. He orchestrates it all anyways, so there is never anything to worry about.”
Memorizing lines and pretending that a camera isn’t in front of her at all times doesn’t seem to bother Masey, but trying to do an emotional scene can sometimes require multiple takes, especially when there are distractions and outside noises that disrupt a scene.
“I just have to zone in and block out anything that might distract me, just stay focused until the scene is completely done,” she says.
“I think the biggest thing that God teaches me in my career is that it’s not about me. It’s not about building my own kingdom or being successful – it’s about His glory. He continues to teach me that it is all for a purpose greater than myself.
“I want to be faithful to what He has given me and never get disillusioned that it’s for my own gain or kingdom. This industry is all about ‘making it to the top’ and being successful, but that stuff is so empty and you can waste your life living for that.
“I want to strategically live for Him and do kingdom work – whatever that is, whatever He has me doing. And any time comparison, pride, envy, or fear start to rise up in me, I try to ask God to kill it right there.
“My dad always told me, ‘Judge it in your heart before it makes it to your hands.’ In other words, God is always teaching me to keep my heart pure before Him.
“That’s the most important thing I think I can do to stay focused on what really matters, because it’s definitely easy to get distracted and deceived.
“My prayer is always that wherever He positions or puts me in this business, I’ll be faithful there and be the fragrance of Christ to those around me.”