The actress who played the lead role in the 2016 movie I’m Not Ashamed has a message for teenagers and young adults: Don’t waste your life.
Masey McLain starred as Rachel Scott, who was the first person killed during the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that left another 12 dead, in addition to the shooters. The movie follows Scott’s story, showing how she had a major impact on others around her in the months leading up to her death. It is based on Scott’s journals, which detail her Christian walk.
“Rachel died at the age of 17. We’ve all been given so much time here, and it’s so easy to waste that time and to get distracted or to feel we don’t have a purpose,” McLain told SCENES. “The enemy uses so many different tactics to distract us from that purpose.”
I’m Not Ashamed was released on DVD in January, around the same time that a new book by McLain, “It’s Worth It” (Broadstreet) hit the street.
McLain – who speaks at youth and young adult events – talked with SCENES about the book and how she overcome the fear of playing Scott. Following is a transcript:
SCENES: What inspired you to write “It’s Worth It?”
Masey McLain: Even before I got the part or even knew about I’m Not Ashamed, I started to feel like God kind of just told me to start writing. It was a dry season for me, and I didn’t really know what else to do. I was auditioning for other things a lot, and had not yet heard about I’m Not Ashamed. So I started writing, and after filming I’m Not Ashamed, I felt like God started cultivating a message of purpose to convey to people, and started to shape everything that I had already written. I never thought I would write anything
SCENES: That’s fascinating, because people would likely have assumed you wrote it after the movie.
McLain: I did some of it before and a lot of it after for sure, especially revising a lot of it. But it definitely started before.
SCENES: So what were you writing about?
McLain: It was a lot about what the Lord was teaching me in different seasons in life, and what the Lord was showing me about Himself. And then during the film, a lot about Rachel’s life impacted what I wrote. A lot of it is about my life and a lot it is about what Rachel’s life taught me. My prayer is that people walk away from it encouraged and with a focus on following Jesus – and that it truly is worth it.
SCENES: How did studying Rachel’s life and then playing her in a movie, how did that impact you?
McLain: In many ways. A big way that always sticks with me is the way she was faithful. She didn’t wait to make an impact or wait to have an audience or platform to make a difference. She just made a difference right where she was, and was faithful to serve God in that way. And then to reach out and love other people the way God calls us to. That’s always what I remember about who she was.
SCENES: Was it challenging playing her in the movie?
McLain: It was, especially before we started filming, I remember being really scared – just trying to figure out how I was supposed to do this. Or how to live up to it. I definitely was intimidated. But as soon as we started filming, it was something I knew that I was supposed to do. A lot of people around me encouraged me all the time; they were confident that I was supposed to do the part. And even her mom would say that I reminded her a lot of Rachel in my personality and my quirks. Sometimes I could just be myself and just bring that to the table.
I’m Not Ashamed is rated PG-13 for thematic material, teen drinking & smoking, disturbing violent content and some suggestive situations. It contains no language or sexuality.