The PureFlix Entertainment film Redeemed reunites three 1980s stars: Ted McGinley (Married… with Children, Hope and Faith), Grant Goodeve (Eight is Enough, Northern Exposure), and Teri Copley (We’ve Got It Made, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson) in a drama about commitment, spiritual and financial ethics, and what constitutes fidelity.
Paul Tyson (Ted McGinley) is a loving husband to Beth (Teri Copley), devoted father, and respected businessman on the brink of the biggest deal of his career: taking his company international. Enter Julia (Ana Ayora), a breathtakingly beautiful Brazilian representative sent to manage the buy-out. Paul flirts and skates the boundaries of their relationship, and Ana uses this to her advantage to discover what comprises the company’s underbelly. As the pressures of a crumbling company begin to mount, and Paul wrestles with intense new feelings of lust, his marriage, his faith, and his integrity is put through the fire. In the end, what will he be left with?
Director David AR White delved further into the plot. “Redeemed answers questions about ‘What is Faithfulness?’ in today’s society. You know the world has one standard, sometimes it’s whatever feels right, do that. And of course, the Bible has another.”
While Ted McGinley works regularly in Hollywood, both Grant Goodeve and Teri Copley left the Hollywood scene at the height of their careers. Grant moved his family to Washington State, and save for voiceover, commercial work, and hosting stints on KING TV Seattle’s Northwest Backroads, and HGTV’s If Walls Could Talk, has moved into a comfortable life outside of the limelight.
“For me it was time to get out, I didn’t want this town to define what I was, and how I was doing here to define what I was,” Grant said. “I had a great time here and it was good. I may come back and see about doing more work.”
Teri Copley was a hot commodity in the ‘80s, a sex symbol who graced calendars and magazine spreads. Once she accepted Jesus, she left it all behind. “I had an encounter with the Lord that changed my life, and all I could think about was being as close to him as possible. So I felt he was leading me to leave the business, because I was a sex symbol of the ’80s, I actually did Oprah’s Hollywood Sexiest People show and I did a Blondes in Hollywood show. It was the 80s. I felt the Lord was saying he wanted me to leave that life. It was necessary, because he wanted to do a work in me.”
What drew them back in? For Grant, part of the draw was the script. “There’s a lot out there to do, and sometimes I get a little dismayed at the content. I wanted to do a film that just had a good message.”
Teri focused her life on raising her child and writing (she is the author of Conversations Between a Girl and Her God), when the role suddenly came to her. “One day, out of the blue, my management company called and said there’s a movie company that’s asking for your availability. I said, for what? And they said, for a movie, and it’s a faith-based movie. I was so excited. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I met with David and we went over the script a little bit. They called again and said they wanted me for the part.
“I feel like He [Jesus] gave me the green light, and I needed to wait for that. I needed to know that it wasn’t me trying to look back, like Lot’s wife.”
Among Ted’s many credits is work with the PureFlix family. “I have had the pleasure of working for this company before, and it was one of the highlights of my professional career. It makes going to work such a joy, and such a pleasure.”
Ted has been a Hollywood mainstay since his breakout role as Jefferson D’Arcy in the popular sitcom, Married… with Children. He went on to star as Charley Shanowski in another sitcom, Hope & Faith, and has had recurring roles on Happy Days, The Love Boat, and Dynasty. In 2008, Ted became a contestant on the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars, and has recently had roles on The Mentalist, and Mad Men.
His choice to remain in Hollywood had much to do with life and circumstance. “Sometimes you’re just working for the check, which is what I need to do. I’m still trying to work, still trying to hang on, I have kids in school, I do what I have to do. There have been things I’ve turned down because I just don’t want to be a part of it. But I mean, I do all kinds of stuff I probably shouldn’t do. But I’m all about foot washing.”
There was a sense of mission and joy being a part of the Redeemed cast, even with the Downtown Los Angeles Skid Row location, and the August 100-degree heat.
“This location has been a big test,” Grant explained, fanning himself. “When I first came here, I was practically aghast. But what’s been amazing, physically, the heat, everything about this really should have militated against me having a good experience. But it’s been a wonderful, positive experience, and it’s because of the spirit of the people who are here.”
“We are so all in,” Ted interjected. “You have to be, because, again, as the nature of small, independent films, things change quickly they happen quickly, so you’re kind of always on the seat of your pants. It goes with it. But there is an audience who is waiting for this.”
Despite his departure from Hollywood, Grant’s experience and influence came in handy while counseling a young actor. “There was this young man who came up to me when I was director of worship, leading worship at a church up in Seattle, and this 20-something year old kid came up to ask my advice afterward. He said, I know you’re a person of faith, I’m going to L.A. I chatted with him for about 30 minutes or so, I really forgot about it, until a few years later.”
A friend brought the now-older actor over to Grant’s house. “He said he wants to thank you and see you because you talked to him a few years ago.” The actor’s name: Jim Caveziel, who took on the life-changing role of “Jesus” in Passion of the Christ, and is now in our homes every week through the television series, Person of Interest.
“Of all people,” Grant mused. “There’s a case of someone who has made decisions, and been true to his faith, but also to his craft. There’s ways of doing it. For young actors it’s having a community of people who are like-minded, praying with you and for you. It really comes down to prayer and your personal relationship with God, and keeping that first. Then you can pretty much go anywhere. There will be temptations, there will be traps, there will be all those things, but you’ll have a covering and be able to guard your heart and your soul so you don’t get taken, and turned off a cliff.”
Ted is more laid back about his faith and influence. “Living in Hollywood, the whole thing for me is that, no matter what you believe, I don’t like anyone rubbing anything in my face. My faith is so private to me, I don’t even discuss it. I’m not a big witness, I just hope that people see how I live and understand and respect my relationship with God. That’s how I’m wired.”
While Teri submitted to God’s call to move away from her craft and grow in relationship with him, she felt that she would one day step back into acting. However, the radical changes that God had worked in her life gave her a different perspective on how to once again pursue that path. “For the last five years I started feeling him tell me, ‘I have for you to act.’ I tried to do ministry and stuff and it was fine, but there was no blessing on it. I would look through the peephole, but say, I can’t say those words. Because I can’t do things that are against what I have become: my morals and my values. I’ve learned to value myself as a person, and things that devalued me were unacceptable to me now.
“That really is the beauty of getting to know God. People really don’t know how beautiful, and special, and priceless we are. So we give ourselves over for nothing. You know? And that’s how he brought me back. And I paid the highest price, I was getting lots of offers, and at the height of my career, I walked away.
“Somewhere deep inside I knew I needed to be valued.”
Since the interview, Grant has gone on to do a few more “Hollywood” projects, including the independent short The Shootout, and The House of the Righteous with Edward James Olmos.
“Earlier on, I’d done a few projects which I regretted having done just because they didn’t really line up with my beliefs. But that was a learning curve. I’m still happy to do things that have anything redemptive in them. I’ll still do things that are a little squirrelly, as long as there’s a good reason for that character to be there. So it’s really project to project, it’s not really a puritanical ‘No!’ It’s just refreshing to be able to do something where you actually enjoy it.”
Teri, while delighted to have the opportunity to act again, is circumspect about what happens next. “At this point, one thing that I’ve learned after walking with him for 22 years—I’ve learned not to get ahead of God. Just to walk, and be surprised. That’s the beauty, to try to stay in his will and let every day be an adventure.”
Redeemed was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on September 9. You can purchase the film through the Pureflix website, Amazon.com, or your local Christian bookstore.