VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Roma Downey On Working With Dennis Quaid In ‘On A Wing & A Prayer’
In an exclusive interview with uInterview founder, Erik Meers, actress Roma Downey revealed what it was like to work with actor Dennis Quaid in On a Wing and a Prayer, which Downey co-produced.
Downey, who is the president of LightWorkers Media, the Faith and Family division of MGM Worldwide Television Group, where her husband, Mark Burnett, was the former chairman, revealed that she is “committed to telling stories that are hopeful, stories that are inspiring, stories that uplift the spirit in some way.”
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“So obviously that’s why the script was sent to me. Brian Eggerson had written a spec script; he had come across this amazing true story. He thought it would make a wonderful screenplay and he was right. When I read it, I honestly couldn’t believe what I was reading. I couldn’t put it down, it was such a page-turner. I thought this has to be a film,” the Irish actress said on how she had come to produce On a Wing and a Prayer.
According to Downey, “The story has this family get on a plane in Fort Myers, Florida, and with one pilot on board, and as they’re taking off in Fort Myers, the pilot unexpectedly dies of a massive heart attack, leaving Dennis Quaid in control of this plane that he doesn’t know how to fly. The drama intensifies because his wife and children are in the back. And it unfolds as just a nail-biting, you’re on the edge of your seat. It just makes for a wonderful 90 minutes and yet at the end of the film, just when we think the worst thing is going to happen, there’s an extraordinary inspirational miracle really.”
She explained how Quaid ended up joining the production out of pure chance after she “was meeting Dennis on a completely separate project and coincidentally during that meeting he shared with me that one of his hobbies was flying airplanes! He said he was a pilot and I couldn’t believe it. And I said ‘Oh my gosh Dennis, I have this great script that I’d love you to read. Would you please take a look at it?’ I sent him home with a script, he responded positively, it is a terrific story.” “Of course ironically, he had to unlearn everything he knew about flying because he’s playing a man who does not know how to fly,” she added.
When asked about her favorite scene, Downey explained that it was the one she could most relate to. “At the end of the film, the expert pilot on the ground, played wonderfully by Jesse Metcalfe, is telling him to let go… it’s a very dramatic moment in the movie.” Calling herself a “controlaholic,” Downey believed this scene to remind her of moments in her own life where she was “trying to control everything” but that “sometimes, we have to let go. We have to surrender.”
“Here I have my new movie, as it streams on Amazon Prime this weekend. And I hope millions of people tune in to see it but I have no control over that. I have to let go and just know I’ve made a good movie. I have to trust that it’s going to take off and I’m gonna trust that it lands – forgive all the puns, I can’t help it,” the British actress said jokingly before encouraging viewers to watch the movie during their Easter holiday.
“It’s a family picture… It’s not that often we get to see something you can sit down with your kids and your parents and watch together on the couch… you can watch from the comfort of your own home and be inspired.”
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