I could not imagine what it would feel like, look like, be like to have my movie, Mr. Church, finally released for the world to see. To see billboards, to do press junkets, to wake up on a Sunday morning and find a huge picture of myself and Eddie Murphy in the LA Times… to watch my daughter watching me walk a red carpet.
From the first time I saw the movie trailer on television, to Eddie on the Ellen show, to sitting in a sold out theatre as I heard weeping coming from those around me… well, it’s more than a dream come true because I never could have dreamt anything this beautiful.
And so I have tried to stay present for every single moment. Not taking a second for granted. Not the poster in the lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel as we did our weekend of press. Not the reaction on YouTube at the dropping of the movie trailer. Not the Q&A at the Writers Guild, Directors Guild, KCET screening and Academy (I mean, I got a picture of me in front of an Oscar?!). I’ve said “yes” to everything — podcasts, interviews. I’ve responded to every tweet, email, letter. I’ve spoken to people in France, Brazil, the UK. I’ve hugged students, strangers, dreamers on their own path.
I’ve bathed myself in this moment because that is exactly what it is. A moment. Life is about moments and I have always tried my best to not skip over them. I am so incredibly humbled. So immensely grateful. So entirely moved by the outpouring of love.
And with every hug, every letter, every appearance I know the real Mr. Church is with me. Holding my hand. I show up for both of us.
I have often said we are all connected. We all leave fingerprints on each other’s DNA. In many ways that is the message of Mr. Church. We may not always know how we have affected another person’s life. How one word, one action, one kiss can play a role in the trajectory of another person’s journey… but it not only can it does. And right now all the people across the world who have watched Mr. Church and have reached out to me to tell me I touched them… well, they are all now fingerprints on my soul.
And all of you… you who have watched me over the years through the dark times and the bright… you who have cheered me on, held me up, celebrated my wins and cried in my losses… I thank you. I thank you for your love and kindness, your empathy and compassion, your joy and laughter.
Fingerprints on my life. I take nothing for granted. Life is about moments… the good and the bad. This one is good. Real good.
I watched your movie today for the first time. Like many persons I’m sure, I was moved to tears numerous times. Relationships are so amazingly intricate and fragile yet sustain the very strong forces of this life. Your movie creates a visual of such strength. Thank you for your gift. I truly wish Herman was here to see this today. Many blessings to you and your family from Tennessee <3
Thank you so much for your kind, generous words! I believe he is always with me and whispering in my ear, “nice job, my dear.”
Hey Hey.. Just saw the movie and loved it. I wanted to know if the screen play or even movie was adapted into a book? If not, do you have any plans to? Thanks – Jay
Thank you, Jarrett! I actually always wanted to write this story as a book but I ended up writing it as a screenplay first. I’m now going to work on the book version. Stay tuned! And thank you! xo
I really enjoyed the movie though I must confess that a man providing a chef for an ex-lover for six months until she died and then provide for him for life afterwards seemed quite a stretch. The main characters were great, especially Eddie Murphy. He can do drama as well as Denzel and Samuel, in my opinion. I am interested in the true story but I am having a hard time finding it online. I went to Hollywoodvshistory and they did not have it nor did I find anything online. Is there a place where you tell the true story? You might want to consider writing a book about it if you have not already.
Thank you, Timothy! Yes, I took some creative liberties with certain parts of storytelling for personal reasons. However, I am planning on writing the book that will have much more of the real story and I hope when it’s done you will find it helpful with filling in the blanks. And, yes, I agree — Eddie is brilliant. xo
I couldn’t wait for this movie to come out, after seeing the previews… and I missed it in theatres. I just rented it on itunes, and I must say, it did not disappoint. It was brilliant. Touching, it made me smile and it certainly made me cry. Eddie and Britt were perfect. The story, is perfect. The writing is, as I said, brilliant. You were obviously blessed to have this man in your life. 🙂
Jen, thank you so much. I’m so glad the movie found its way into your home! Thank you for sharing with me your experience of Mr. Church. I’m deeply touched. xo
Just watched “Mr. Church” and was throughly surprised and delighted. Alice Walker said, “Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise!” I feel well fed by this story and its incarnation. Keep up the beautiful word work!
Mirabai, I LOVE that quote! Thank you! I feel well fed by your love! xo
Not sure if you’ll get this, but I wanted to let you know how much my girlfriend and I liked Mr. Church. We just finished watching on Amazon Prime about 30 minutes ago. We both thought this was an absolutely wonderful movie – I’m so glad that I got a chance to see it. Learning that this movie was inspired by a real person makes it even better. We’ve recommended the movie to all of our friends and family – something we don’t do very often!
Thanks to you and the director/cast/crew for making such a great movie. Definitely one of the best I’ve seen in recent memory – and one I look forward to watching again. What a great tribute to the “real” Mr. Church – he must have been an amazing person!
Eric, thank you (and your girlfriend) for watching Mr. Church! I’m so grateful you not only took the time to experience it but then took even more time out of your life to share your thoughts with me. He was indeed an amazing man and I’m so glad to share him with the world. The world needs more souls like his and if my story touches even one heart I feel I have done something good with my experience. Again, thank you! xoxo
I absolutely LOVED Mr. Church! My husband, who is a “man’s man”…tobacco chewing (so gross), ex-football player, recommended it…he knew I would love it and so did he (sssh, don’t tell anyone). Truth be told I was hesitant as I am not an Eddie Murphy fan, but WOW…just WOW. He was amazing. Thanks so much for this wonderful film.
Aimee, haha, I love your husband (tobacco chewing and all!). Thank you so much for writing. I’m so happy you both enjoyed the movie. Eddie Murphy is indeed amazing and I was truly, truly blessed to have him play the role. Again, thank you for writing and give a hug to your hubby! xo
The lady bug story put the all the pieces together so well “best understood from end to beginning”. I see Jesus directing the lady bug as well as the skate boarder. He is indeed our FUTURE/PAST. I long for Him to open our eyes to His movements in our lives.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdiexUOYxMs
I watched MR Church I fell in love.What s magical story of love and life and all of our weakness’ as humans.
He was a magnificent man I found myself wishing he knew but he didn’t need to. The man gave his love freely and really did not expect much in return. Rest easy Mr Church you were loved
I am sitting at my desk and all I can think about is watching your movie last night. I love being in an “afterglow” of a great movie, and indeed, it was a great movie. The movie had such grace, love and compassion that is not portrayed in today’s times. I think each of us wish we had a “Mr. Church” in our lives.
My husband even cried and when it was over, he said, “But what happened to them, did she marry the doctor? Was she able to keep the house? I have so many questions!” There you have it, a perfect ending, keeping the audience wanting more.
I wanted to write to tell you how blessed we are that this beautiful story did not sit on the shelf forever. I really want to read the book, as it will be one of my favorites, to read over and over again. Now, all you have to do is put ink to paper.
You have a fan for life. I would love to sit down and hear more and more stories of Mr. Church and all the wonderful things he did. There you go, a book of short stories.
Again, thank you….