MercyMe Frontman Bart Millard Reveals Mother’s Reaction to Portrayal of His Heart-Breaking Childhood in ‘I Can Only Imagine’

The faith-based film “I Can Only Imagine” hit theaters nationwide Friday and tells the true-story of Bart Millard’s life, including his difficult upbringing. In a candid interview, the musician told The Christian Post what his mother, Adele, thought of his honesty.

Nearly eight years ago Millard was approached about making a movie of his story after he shared his testimony during a concert.

“It’s the most random, surreal thing that happened,” Millard told The Christian Post of having his life made into a film. “We thought they were crazy, but we were like, ‘OK, whatever.'”

After years of being told that the movie was in the works things eventually kicked into “high gear” once the Erwin Brothers (“Woodlawn,” “Moms Night Out”) became involved.

“I think that they did a great job with a redemption story. It’s kind of scary making a faith-based film. I didn’t want it to be low hanging fruit or kind of a corny movie, and I think they did a really great job of capturing the emotion,” Millard said. “There were some scenes for me, in watching the film, that made me really uncomfortable — because I was kind of reliving it and I think that’s a sign of a job well done.”

“I Can Only Imagine” is the “true story that follows the life of Millard, lead singer of the Christian band MercyMe, whose father died of cancer and inspired him to write the mega-hit song, ‘I Can Only Imagine.’ The story beautifully illustrates that nobody is ever too far from God’s love — or too far from an eternal home in Heaven,” the movie’s synopsis states.

Millard once described his father as a monster because of the harsh physical and verbal abused he endured as a child. His mother left a young Millard behind with his father out of fear for her own life. However, the film is a story of redemption as his father would go on to become Millard’s biggest hero before dying and his relationship with his mother has also been restored.

When asked what his mother’s reaction was to the emotional film, the Texas native admitted that it was better than he thought it would be.

“My mom is a very huge part of my life now and when I was watching the movie I was really scared because I didn’t really realize how much of a victim she really was. She feared for her life and she had to get out,” he told CP.

Millard explained that the first draft of the script was a bit harsh concerning his mother because when he initially spoke about what happened in his childhood he shared it from the point of view of a third-grader. He did go back and make some revisions to the story considering her battle and although it’s still difficult for him to watch, he felt the narrative was more accurate.

“I was nervous. I thought, ‘This is gonna kill my mom when she sees this.’ It was hard to let go and actually let the story play out,” the 45-year-old revealed.

Millard said he sat with his mom alone and watched the film as they both had tears in their eyes.

“She just kept saying, ‘Yeah, that’s how it happened, that’s right,'” Millard illustrated. “She actually loved the movie. She told me, ‘I’m heartbroken that I wasn’t a bigger part of it, but that’s what happened. I was so scared for my life and I’m so glad that we have each other now.'”

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Source: Christian Post