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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Star of "The Least of These" had No Intention of Joining the Cast

Christian actor Stephen Baldwin says it's "kind of weird" how he ended up in the leading role.

Stephen Baldwin and Shari Rigby play Graham and Gladys Staines in "The Least of These."

The Least of These is a true story about Graham Staines, an Australian missionary who was martyred while working with lepers in India. Stephen Baldwin, a Hollywood veteran with more than 100 acting credits to his name and a committed believer, initially joined the project in an advisory capacity. But he tells NBC's Today Show that the filmmakers seemed to be angling for more from the very beginning.

"They kind of always said, 'But if we can't find somebody to play Graham, but if we can't find somebody... "

Turns out they couldn't and Baldwin was, indeed, cast in the lead role. Playing opposite him, as Staines' wife Gladys, is outspoken Christian Shari Rigby, whom Baldwin called a "wonderful actress" during his Today Show interview. Rounding out the cast is Sharman Joshi, a veteran of India's Bollywood movie scene and a "brilliant" actor, according to Baldwin.

Staines and his two children were murdered by a mob of Hindu extremists, which the film obviously focuses on, but though this is a Christian movie, Baldwin says the subject matter makes it universal in its ability to touch audiences.

"It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from: when you hear a dad and his two sons perished together - the kids were ten and seven - it doesn't matter your color, doesn't matter your faith - it connects all of us that way."

The Least of These hits theaters this Friday, February 1st. In the meantime, you can check out Stephen Baldwin's entire Today Show interview via this link.


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