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Fireproof: Q&A with Kirk Cameron

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Sep 24, 2008 | 4:36am EDT

We all remember Kirk Cameron as Growing Pains’ loveable prankster Mike Seaver, but his step away from the spotlight probably left you wondering what happened to the former teen heart throb. It turns out he’s been busy raising his six kids alongside his wife Chelsea and focusing his time on faith based television and DVD projects like the Left Behind series.

Now, Cameron is venturing back to the big screen with his new movie Fireproof and he was happy to tell us all about it when we met up with him in Los Angeles last week.

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Hollywood.com: Fireproof is ultimately about saving a marriage. How do you tell that story?

Kirk Cameron:

Most love stories in movies are kind of about this unlikely person meets that unlikely person and there is chemistry and fireworks and it is the story of the obstacles until they finally get together and that’s your crescendo. This movie starts 10 years after the honeymoon is over and what do you do when there is no fire left?...Can a couple who seems to have lost it get it back again? Fire it back up to the point where they would still say ‘I do’ all over again.” I find the movie very, very inspirational.

HW: Is fireproof a metaphor in this movie?

KC:

It is. In the movie the word fireproof is used a couple of times from one firefighter to another specifically talking about marriage. What he says is, “Look when something is fireproof it doesn’t mean that fire is never going to come to it, it is that when fire comes you are going to be able to withstand the heat.”

HW: How do the characters in the film withstand the heat?

KC:

So in a nutshell this is a love story about a firefighter and his wife and a marriage that is going up in flames…[My character is] about to get a divorce when his dad steps in and says, I want you to put it off for 40 days, “I am going to send you something.” So he sends him something in the mail, this hand written book called The Love Dare and it is a 40 day challenge to see if he really understands what love is in its purest sense and then challenges him to see if he can demonstrate it for 40 days even in the face of her constant rejection…It is a real book that is coming out in book stores on Sept. 26 the opening weekend of the film…I’m actually going through it in real life at home. It is a great book, I’m on like day 10.

HW: How do you keep your own marriage strong?

KC:

Chelsea and I have been married for 17 years and maybe an interesting point – Chelsea is the girl who played my girlfriend on Growing Pains so I married my onscreen girlfriend. We have six children so I understand the challenges of marriage and family struggles. My kids are 11 all the way down to 5 and we just have a very high view of marriage. We believe that marriage is to be honored above all things and that there isn’t a thing in the world that is going to be more important to me than my wife’s heart and that I try very, very hard to love her, honor her, protect her and all of those things. Some people may be into that and some people might think it is too much work, but to us that is my highest calling in the world to be a husband and father to my kids.

HW: Is putting your marriage first an easy thing to do in this industry?

KC:

Chelsea and I have been married for 17 years which in Hollywood years would be like 70. It seems like we are setting a record for being married the longest…It is a choice. It is a choice to set your heart on certain things. A lot of people go with the adage of follow your heart, just follow your heart. Movies and songs are about follow your heart, but the problem is that your heart can be so easily deceived…Don’t follow your heart, lead your heart and that’s what my wife and I do with our marriage and our relationship. My heart’s not in this business. You’re here today you’re gone tomorrow…but where my treasure is, is with my wife and my children.

HW: Do you have fond memories of your days on Growing Pains?

KC:

I have great memories of Growing Pains. Some of the most fun memories of my whole life, the practical jokes that we would play on the set on each other, all of the great times that we had. All of our problems got worked out in 27 minutes and 45 seconds. They were like my real life family in a lot of senses. I spent more time with them than I did with my own mom and dad and brothers and sisters during those years. You’ve got a full time work schedule. I know that there are actors who look back on that kind of stuff – I don’t know if Leonardo DiCaprio is often reminiscing about his Growing Pains days, but I do because I had a great time and it is what led to things like this movie and other things. I’ve got nothing but good memories, even in spite of some of the growing pains we had as a cast along the way.

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