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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Introducing Erin Bethea, Lead Actress in "Miracle on Christmas"

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Best known for her role in Fireproof, she heads the cast in our faith-based film.

Erin Bethea in a scene from "Miracle on Christmas." Image: Horse is Ready Productions.

This is the first in a series of profiles of the actors in our inaugural feature, Miracle on Christmas, which we wrote about in an earlier article. As is fitting, we start with Erin Bethea, who plays the protagonist, Mary Boyce, a Christian woman struggling with her faith after a series of personal trials. In a word, we could not have cast the part better, because Erin handles it with real élan. Before we get to her performance in the picture, though, let's get to know her a bit better.

After graduating as a theater major from the University of Mobile in Alabama, she took a job at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL as a performer in live shows and parades. During her seven years there, Erin fulfilled a childhood dream no doubt shared by many women who grew up watching the animated feature, Beauty and the Beast: playing the part of Belle. Erin admits she was so happy the first time she put on the costume for a performance, that it made her cry. She says her time at Disney also taught her something that has served her well over her career: to strive uncompromisingly for excellence.

Her entree into the movie business came thanks to the Kendrick Brothers - Stephen and Alex - who were then pastors at her father's church in Georgia and are now the top moviemaking team in the Christian genre. Erin played a small part in Facing the Giants, the brothers' second film, and then landed a big role in Fireproof, playing opposite Kirk Cameron in the lead of that 2008 hit.

There have been many movies since that time, and she also launched her own production company - Argentum Entertainment - together with fiance Drew Waters, who is an actor and director. In addition to several shorts and TV commercials, the company has one feature under its belt - New Life - and two Christmas movies in development.

And that provides the perfect segue into our film, Miracle on Christmas. A committed Christian, Erin says Christmas is her favorite season of the year, which in part piqued her interest in this project, that and the fact that it reminded her of one of her all-time favorite Yuletide movies, the 1946 classic It's a Wonderful Life, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.

Erin was impressed by the talent and commitment level of both the crew and cast of Miracle on Christmas, all of whom came ready "to rehearse, and work and make it good," (we second the motion!) She was especially pleased with how quickly she and her fellow players bonded, forging an authentic family dynamic that she believes will come across to viewers in the final production, which is a critical consideration in a family dramedy like this.

Erin and Jason Burkey, who plays her character's husband, have particularly strong chemistry in the movie. That is no doubt due in part to the fact that they have acted together before, also playing husband and wife in another Christian movie, Fearless Faith, which is currently in post production.

When asked what she hopes people will take away from Miracle on Christmas, Erin mentioned the importance of her character's support network during her trials, specifically the ability to rely on God and loved ones when weathering difficulties. We think she pulled it off with aplomb and can't wait for you to see her do it when the movie comes out for Christmas 2020.


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