Granger Smith understands grief. He tragically lost his son in 2019. Now he is making his acting debut, playing a country singer who has pushed away his family, fame and faith following his wife’s death.

"This is the first project I have ever been a part of," Granger explained. "This is a story about a man who has lost his wife. He is a single dad raising three kids, looking for redemption, looking to find joy again, and he finds it in unique ways."

" I enjoyed the responsibility of trying to display a character that I felt like I knew pretty well."

Granger says he enjoyed filming this movie because he felt he could relate to the character in many ways. 

"My wife and I lost our son," Smith explained. "I was only three years removed from that when I got the script, and I was rocking our newest baby boy Maverick in our porch swing up front when I read the script for the first time. I was holding in my arms our little story of redemption and restoration. I just thought people need to hear this story. They need to know there is a way forward through whatever they are going through."

The emotional core of the new film MOONRISE stems from a personal experience that writer and director Vickie Bronaugh had following the death of her mother.

“The Christmas after my mother passed away, my father was lost. On Christmas Eve at my sister’s ranch, we were outside on the porch, and my father wouldn’t get up and go inside to celebrate. How could he move forward when my mother couldn’t?” said director Vickie Bronaugh. “There was a supermoon on the horizon, and it shined this white light on us. As it rose, it got brighter and brighter, and we all just sat there quietly. After that happened, my father stood up and said, ‘let’s go inside.’ He knew at that moment she had moved forward, and we should too. And that quiet moment inspired this film, MOONRISE.”

In this new movie, Granger Smith plays Will Brown, a former country singer who has pushed away his family, fame and faith following his wife’s death. It’s his daughter, Ellie (played by Piper Clurman) and a talented horse trainer (played by Sonya Balmores) who show him strength, forgiveness and grace to live life again.

“This is a powerful movie with a very relational message. Will is grieving his wife and unable to forgive himself for past decisions,” said Granger Smith. “He’s a complicated man carrying pain and guilt. But it’s not until he’s intentional about healing that he can move forward. It’s a brilliant story about redemption and forgiveness."

Today on Connections, Granger shares what it was like to go from country singer to actor. He'll also share how he relates to his character, Will Brown.