by Michael Karounos
I had the pleasure speaking with Maddy Curley, a co-star of the movie “Stick It” (Buena Vista Pictures) opening April 28,2006. This is Maddy’s first feature, and during the course of our talk it became obvious that she was doubly-qualified for her role. She graduated from the University of North Carolina as a major in both Dramatic Arts and International Business. More importantly, she was a member of UNC’s top-ranked floor excercise team in 2004, winning competitions in the balance beam, as well making the Academic All-American team. What follows are her responses to my questions about the film and her life.
So, Maddy, since this article is going to appear on a Christian site, I have to ask: are you a practicing Christian?
Maddy Curley: Yes, definitely. I was raised a Christian. I really started to fully understand it when I was 13-what it meant to have Jesus as your savior.
How did you hear about this role and why do you think you were chosen?
Twilla Tanyi, who I knew from UNC, called me from Carlyn Davis Casting in Washington, D.C. and asked me to audition.
I was a perfect combination of what they were looking for. They knew I was a gymnast, and because of my acting major, I knew the right questions to ask about the acting.
How do you feel the movie portrays gymnasts?
It shows them as being really, really hardworking, eager about their sport, and having a competitive edge.
How are you adjusting to Hollywood? Are you on your own?
[Laughing.] I love it, and my mom’s standing right next to me!
Have you been able to see any of your friends since you’ve been involved in the production?
My gosh, yes, I probably had someone stay at my apartment every week.
How does the movie enable you to exercise your faith?
It has given me a chance to glorify the Lord through what I love to do.
Where do you worship now?
At the Vineyard Church.
Are you involved in any ministry there?
Yes. I work in the youth ministry. We have small group meetings on Wednesdays. My group has four middle school girls, ages 11-15, that I meet with every week.
Did they know about your involvement in the movie?
Not at first, but they do now!
How did you find out about the church?
Alicia Sory, who plays Lacy, told me about it. She said “You would love this church!” I went to other churches with friends but it’s like God said “Here you go!”
What has it been like as a Christian in Hollywood?
It’s hard, because a lot of people are trying to tell you things against the Bible. Like be a good person, and you’ll go to Heaven. But that’s not true because none of us would probably go to Heaven on our own merit.
What roles would you like to do in the future?
I’d like to keep doing Disney movies, maybe do a period piece. I love researching.
Would you like to do any action movies?
I would love to. “Alias”, any of those active roles. I’ve been taking Kung-fu, and it’s been really cool, big kicks, weapons. I could do that.
What did you think of MILLION DOLLAR BABY?
Amazing movie. I was impressed with her acting and training. I’m taking boxing lessons also.
Did you meet any other Christians while making the movie?
Yes. Missy Peregrym, the star of the movie, is a Christian, and her dad’s a minister. John Kirby, the acting coach for Missy and James Caviezel, is a Christian, too.
Do you have any advice for Christians involved in gymnastics or acting?
It’s important to get involved in an acting class right away. Also, you should meet Christians in the business who will support you and sympathize with the difficulties of being a Christian.
See our REVIEW of “Stick It”