On Sunday evening British Actress Letitia Wright won the EE Rising Star Award during the 72th British Film Awards. The award is voted for by the public and she was nominated alongside Jessie Buckley, Cynthia Erivo, Barry Keoghan and Lakeith Stanfield. During her honest, heartfelt and emotive speech the 25-year referred to herself as a ‘Child of God’ and frequently spoke about her faith. ‘This wasn’t an overnight thing, this wasn’t a click of a finger success, and I’m still a work in progress, but I want to thank God, my family, my team.’
She went on to talk about her battle with depression which lead her to wanting to quit acting and how her faith helped her get through it, ‘The only thing that pulled me out of it was God, my belief, my faith and my family, and an email from Bafta asking me to become part of the Bafta breakthrough Brits.’
The Guyanese born actress regularly talks about her Christian faith and how it has helped her throughout her career. During a recent interview with Magnify Magazine she explained the reasons she shares her faith so freely, ‘…because I don’t know who is out there struggling with what I had to go through three years ago – depression, feeling suicidal. I want people to have the help from God that I received.’
Wright is one of a growing number of actors who attribute their success to a deep-rooted faith in God. The list includes David Oyelowo, who famously stated God called him to play Martin Luther King Jr in the 2014 film Selma, David Ajala, currently playing Manchester Black in US TV action adventure Super Girl, Madeline Appiah star of Sky comedy In the Long Run, Nonso Anozie who features in the forthcoming Disney fantasy adventure Artemis Fowl and fellow BAFTA winner and star of Star Wars, John Boyega.
As a TV Screenwriter and fellow Christian, I can fully relate to how faith in God and prayer are essential tools for navigating the ups and downs of working in the film and TV industry. For example, finding the strength to keep going after yet another rejection email and you begin to question if you are indeed good enough. Or when you are struggling to figure out how your characters will get from point a to point b and then the moment you pray, you are hit with great ideas and divine inspiration. Or it could be uncertainty about which direction to take and then hearing the voice of God that bring ultimate peace and reassurance.
While it may sound as if God is some sort of success genie granting the wishes and desires of those who believe in Him, it is much more complex. There have also been times when my faith has developed my character in ways that were, at the time, difficult, including being loving and forgiving in the face of great pain, putting aside my proud and stubborn ways to adopt humility and submission and saying sorry and accepting my mistakes when I was convinced I was in the right. I could continue to list all the ways in which His love has called me to account or made me a better person – but we really don’t have that much space. What the aforementioned actors and I also have in common, is a conviction that we are meant to be here. God has given us specific talents, ability and platform for reasons greater than fame, success or money. We are part of His bigger plan and with His help, love and guidance we will undoubtedly succeed.