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.

“We had a couple of ideas but nothing was really hitting the way that we really wanted it to hit.” When the Ebos started to think about the possibility of Sterling K. Brown their only question was whether he would want to do comedy. “Sterling is obviously a fantastic actor, but we're used to him making us cry and being in these super dramatic roles,” says Adanne. “But when we were going through his IMDb credits, we saw that he had been nominated for an Emmy for an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine which is a comedy we really love although we hadn’t seen that episode. He was hilarious and he had such a dynamic arc even as a guest star in a 30-minute episode. There were so many levels of funny that he was able to do in that role.”

When Brown first watched the short film he says he laughed uproariously throughout it. “I wanted to see how they would turn it into a feature and then when I read the feature script it was hysterical, while also being very introspective about the aspects of megachurches and prosperity preaching that are a benefit, as well as the things that are worthy of scrutiny. As someone who grew up in the church, and who has a deep affinity for the church, I think we should have the ability to engage in critical thought about the institutions that we follow and that we allow to occupy space in our lives.”

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.