When Richard Ramsey was looking for an actress to play Rose, he said that he was looking for someone who could display the kind of beauty, innocence and charm that could inspire a hit love song. He needed the girl next door that audiences would want to take home to mom. Ali Faulkner, who's big break in film came on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1, was that girl.
In this exclusive interview with Kim Jones, Ali shares what she learned from Rose and how she feels like she will use that in her own future.
Kim Jones - I have to admit, I was really surprised to see your role in The Song after seeing you play Bianca in Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Kiki in Killer Women since the character was so different. You did a phenomenal job with Rose because her innocence came through as strongly as her young wisdom. Being that you're not married, how did you get into the head space to play her so beautifully?
Ali Faulkner - For me, the process required a lot of prayer. I never really prayed in my work much before this particular film but for some reason, that's what I felt led to do. I prayed leading up to the time, prayed during it and it helped me to open my heart to the role. I absolutely know that God was with me in the process. Some people might find that odd, thinking, "Oh - God is involved in the little things like that when there is things like war going on?" But I absolutely do believe that God is involved in all of the details of our lives if we're willing to reach out. Nothing is too small for Him to want to be a part of. So for me, I absolutely believe 100% that He guided me in the process a lot. It wouldn't be honest or truthful if I didn't give credit where credit is due. Also, there is love. We don't necessarily have to have experienced the things that our characters have gone through. Although I haven't been married, I have loved deeply before and even more so, I think, after the experience. I'm engaged now, but I was with him during the filming. So just having experienced love in general, I think, to me, is very important to be able to access the character's heart. Most deep, complex characters require some sort of essence of love, whether it's the loss of love in their life or their experience of love in some form or fashion. So I think it's important as a person to have experienced love at some level and I've been blessed to do that.
Kim Jones - I did not know you were engaged! Congratulations! Have you set a date?
Ali Faulkner - We're shooting for May.
Kim Jones - A spring wedding will be wonderful. I bet you have so many visions of how your life, once you're married, will be. Looking at how Rose dealt with what the life she envisioned turned into, do you think that you learned anything from her choices and her actions?
Ali Faulkner - Gosh, I feel like it's really, really hard to know exactly how we would react to something like that. I don't want to degrade myself but I don't know if I could react with the same strength that she did, but I hope I would. We never know what is going to happen. Like you said, we plan all of these things, but we really can't know. The only thing you can do is try to learn from your own experiences and other people's experiences. Rose presents a great opportunity to learn that things can happen. Marriage takes a lot of hard work. It's not rainbows and unicorns. That's the beautiful part of it. You're going to have hard moments no matter who you are. Some people are blessed with really beautiful lives that don't seem to have too much difficulty, but for the most part, no one is spared from grief or pain or heartache. I think it's a great warning, what Rose and Jed go through, that even the best marriages and romances can have problems if that slippery slope is started and not acted upon wisely and quickly enough. So it's a great warning and it's certainly spoken to me. I've realized how much forgiveness and grace goes into true love. I'm sure that, like any couple, I'll need that as well. I can only hope to have as much as Rose. Also, there is a give and take in every relationship. That's part of the struggles that they went through. Jed wasn't the only one that added to the complications. Rose made some mistakes too. It's a great reminder to always do your best to support the other person, even if it means making sacrifices in your own life. It's definitely been a huge inspiration to me and has given me an inkling of what it means to spend your life with someone and the depth of that. Really, at the end of the day, even though it's hard, it's just such a beautiful thing to have that gift - someone to walk through life with. It doesn't mean it's going to be perfect, but it's such a gift to have someone to go through the hard times with.
Kim Jones - It is work, but you're right, it's totally a gift. The music in the film is a gift too. What one song in the soundtrack spoke to you, as a young woman in love, the most?
Ali Faulkner - There are so many great songs in there. There is a song in the film towards the end that isn't in the soundtrack. It's a live shot during an awards show, a great singer named Cheyenne Marie Mize. She sings a line that says, "You call me beautiful but you don't know how ugly I can be." It's an incredible song and it speaks to me. I feel as humans, we're beautiful, but we really know our ugly and our dark sides. To me it's so truthful in a haunting way. When you realize that you really can be ugly, but people wouldn't know by looking at you. Your spouse is the only one who sees it because they're the ones hurt the most by it. That's so beautiful and truthful. That one really spoke to me and then there was a song that Alan and Caitlin sang called "All I Wanna Be" that goes "All I want to be is with you." He's talking about how he's 1000 miles away, traveling around but all he wants to be is with her. I've had those moments where I've definitely related to that. Then there is one more called "Chasing After Wind." Jed sings it and he's basically asking, "Why should I sing if nothing has meaning?" To me, that's so true. We all, at some point, wonder, "Why should I even walk out the door if it has no meaning?" There's just so much stuff you have to go through in life, so if there's no good reason for it, you're barely inspired to even get out of bed.
Kim Jones - You come from a small town and a family that introduced you to God at an early age. When you took the role in Twilight, did you catch any flack for being involved in that project and do you worry that your role in The Song, playing the good and virtuous wife, will turn away some who would rather see you in non-faith based films?
Ali Faulkner - I really haven't run into anything negative like that. I've been blessed. To me, I feel like the goal of this film was to be open-hearted enough to bridge the gap, regardless of your beliefs. So far, it's been well received. When I was really young, my dad gave me a piece of advice. I don't really tell this story, ever, but I came home from school one day and I was really upset because someone didn't like me and I didn't understand why since I had been nice to them. My dad said, "Ali, you can't be everyone's cup of tea." and it just stuck with me. No matter what you do, you can't please everyone. It's so true. But you have to, in your heart, know that at the end of the day, you made a choice that was true to what you were being called to do in the moment. Some times that may be being in a secular film; some times that may be being in a faith-based film; some times that may be being in Killer Women. To me, it's not that black and white. There are certain things in roles, certain lines I won't cross but I ask myself for each role, does it glamorize these "bad" or "hurtful" things just for entertainment purposes or does it have a point? If it does, who am I to think I'm above embracing the role for maybe a greater purpose. I try to do the best I can to live truthfully to how I'm being called to live. You could, of course, ask me again tomorrow and it could be different.