Some of the most memorable scenes in Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. involve style, music, and dance. Given how important fashion is to Baptist Church culture, the clothes and hats were integral to the story being told, especially given the wealth that the Childs have accumulated from donations and gifts.

“It’s a different fashion show every Sunday,” explains Adanne of Southern church culture. With Trinitie Childs having a particular passion for expensive church hats, the Ebo sisters decided to pay tribute to their late grandmother with her selection of headwear. “Our grandmother, being of the culture, had a wide assortment of hats,” says Adamma. “I think we had about 11 or 12 huge boxes of hats when she passed away in 2011. It felt like we could include her by having her actual hats in the film.”

In another of the film’s memorable sequences, Trinitie and Lee-Curtis are preparing to take on the Sumptors, and alone in their car, they let loose, rapping to “Knuck if you Buck,” the 2004 track by the Atlanta hip hop group Crime Mob. When it came to selecting a song for the scene, Adanne notes that what sealed the deal was that this is a fight song, coupled with being an Atlanta song from an Atlanta group. “It's literally a song where when it’s played at a party or played in the club, it gets people hyped, and honestly, it's about fighting people,” she says. “We wanted a song where both Regina and Sterling could interact with each other and that first verse is the guy’s part, and then the second verse is all the girl. They feel like they're in the fight for their lives, but then it's also a moment that helps bond them together.”

However, when it came to performing the scene, Hall and Brown both had to admit that they weren’t familiar with the track. “I think that Regina and I have been in L.A. for too long!” laughs Brown. “She's from D.C. and I'm from St. Louis so we didn't know the song. I said, ‘Regina, we’ve got to start memorizing these words!’ So in between memorizing lines for the rest of the script, we would just be listening to ‘Knuck If You Buck’ over and over and over again and then we started spitting it for the crew: ‘Y'all ready! Y'all ready?’ It was such a joy because I think you get a chance to see two people who really do know each other and enjoy each other's company. This is who they are. They're about to go take the Sumptors on and they're ready for it. It's such a wonderful thing to see two people who are of the cloth just be real.” Adds Hall, “I think I listened to that song about 50 times and it's still in my head. It’s such an anthem in Atlanta but I will say once we got to shooting it we had a lot of fun.”

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.

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Official Trailer: Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.

 
 
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Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.

September 2, 2022

About the Film
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Director's Statement: Adamma Ebo

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Regina Hall stars as Trinitie Childs.

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Sterling K. Brown stars as Lee-Curtis Childs.

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Nicole Beharie stars as Shakura Sumptor.

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Conphidance stars as Keon Sumptor.

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Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. started its life as a feature film script while writer and director Adamma Ebo was completing her MFA in Directing at UCLA in 2015.

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One of the key evolutions from the original feature script was the inclusion of Shakura and Keon Sumptor - played by Nicole Beharie and Conphidance - the up-and-coming, younger co-pastors of Heaven’s House, where many of the Childs’ congregation now go to worship.

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Some of the most memorable scenes in Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. involve style, music, and dance. Given how important fashion is to Baptist Church culture, the clothes and hats were integral to the story being told, especially given the wealth that the Childs have accumulated from donations and gifts.

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When it came to casting Trinitie’s larger-than-life husband, Lee-Curtis Childs, the journey to find the right actor to portray a charismatic pastor ill at ease with himself, took a slightly more winding path.

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When they asked who Adamma saw in the role of Trinitie Childs, she remembers saying, “a Regina Hall type,” not daring to dream that they would actually land Regina Hall.

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Adamma Ebo [l] and Adanne Ebo

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Given the script’s unique blend of comedy coupled with the subject matter of a scandal serious enough to warrant the loss of the majority of the Childs’ congregation, striking the right balance for the film was incredibly important to everyone involved.