In her first leading role, St. James portrays Sarah Collins, a rising single professional who has to make a life-altering decision when she gets pregnant. Sarah struggles with her new reality and also faces her doubts and frustrations with God.
St. James says God had already given her a pro-life passion before she was even offered this role. Sensing that the Lord was calling her to get more involved with films about faith and family, St. James moved to California a year ago. Through a couple of friends, she got involved with several crisis pregnancy events and recognized an incredible need for movies that support life.
At a fundraiser banquet, she met one of the girls who is carrying her baby to term because of the support of the crisis pregnancy center. Moved by the young woman’s story, St. James sensed that God would give her a song with the pro-life message. A couple months later, the singer was asked to audition for Sarah’s Choice. When she later received word that she had gotten the part as Sarah, St. James says a song came to her in only about half an hour.
“I’m blown away at how God did that,” St. James says. “He lit up my heart, literally impassioned my heart for this [pro-life] message way before I knew anything about the movie.”
Through her research for her role in the film, St. James says she noticed that most young, unwed mothers-to-be live with “a tremendous amount of fear, a tremendous amount of pain and pressure.” St. James says she drew from her own experiences with these emotions in her life to bring her character to life onscreen.
“It’s interesting when you’re going into the role of another person and you study up their exact circumstance, you can bring yourself and your own legitimate emotions to the table,” she says. “I loved the challenge of it.”
Another equally important theme throughout Sarah’s Choice is God’s forgiveness and redemption for those who have had an abortion. St. James says it was crucial for this message to be portrayed. “Obviously everyone wants a redemptive story, but the truth is that 43 percent of childbearing-age women today have abortions; it’s much higher than what most people think,” she says. “People need to know that there is forgiveness and grace and that all of us have made different forms of mistakes and need a lot of grace of God.”
St. James says God has ignited her heart with the pro-life message. “I have two friends who have had abortions but have told me their stories with tears. It’s impacted my life on a personal level. I want to be a part of helping other women from going through that. I want to be used by God to help point people to His forgiveness and hope as well, because we all need that.”
She encourages the Christian community to support faith and family films. “We need more films like Fireproof and Facing the Giants and films like Sarah’s Choice. We want to see this genre move up to more of the standard of The Passion of the Christ, but it’s going to take the Christian community really going out and supporting films like this so the budgets can be stronger and stronger. So I would really encourage families to get behind films like this that have a lot of heart and soul and a good message, and hopefully we’ll see more of them.”
If you want more information about how you can help the unborn, contact Care Net at care-net.org.
Sarah’s Choice will be available on DVD on Nov. 17. Bonus features include trailers, commentary and more. Click here to purchase this film.