Fans of Brett Dalton’s work in “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” can see the actor when he makes an appearance in Fresno for the West Coast red carpet premiere for his feature film “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.” Harvest Bible Chapel Fresno is hosting the debut screening at the Edwards Stadium 22 & IMAX in River Park. Dalton will answer questions from the audience after the film.
Being cast as the title character in the film was a huge break in Dalton’s career. The only problem was it didn’t look like it was going to happen.
“They wanted to shoot the movie in Chicago in January and February. I was in the middle of filming season two of ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ at the time,” Dalton explains.
He wasn’t just in the middle of playing Grant Ward on the ABC comic book-based “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” but his character was at a pivotal point, going from good guy to villain.
In a move that surprised Dalton, producers of “Resurrection” decided to delay production a couple of months, which allowed Dalton to complete the season of the TV series and then film the movie. Dalton says that kind of move is rarely made unless it’s for an actor who has far more star power than he does at this point in his career.
Dalton, who graduated from Westmont High School in Campbell, became interested in acting after auditioning for a school production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” After getting his Masters of Fine Arts at Yale, he began his professional acting career by landing roles in “Blue Bloods,” “Army Wives” and “Killing Lincoln.”
In “Resurrection,” Dalton plays a former child star whose life has been a mess since the TV series ended. He’s spent more time in trouble with the law than working. His latest antics get him 200 hours of community service at a mega-church. In an effort to get out of hard work, and get close to the pastor’s daughter, Stone auditions for the role of Jesus in “The Passion Play.” What he thinks is a way to slide by again ends up being a real spiritual awakening.
“Resurrection” is the first feature-length film produced by Vertical Church Films, the new film division of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago. The production company will produce movies that are faith-based.
Dalton see’s “Resurrection” has having an even broader appeal.
“I am not a really a church-goer myself, so I didn’t set out to do a faith-based film. What I saw with this script was a good story that just happens to be an inspirational story that has Christian values. I see it more like the movie ‘Blind Side’ because first and foremost, it is a good movie,” Dalton says.
The filming of the movie took place between the second and third seasons of “S.H.I.E.L.D.,” putting the actor in an interesting place. Not only was he the star of a feature film, but he was also getting all of the notice that comes with being part of the Marvel Comics universe.
Being part of that world means dealing with a larger interest by fans and the press, but Dalton also feels a real obligation when playing the character. It’s new to him, but he knows each Marvel character comes with decades of tinkering to get them just right.
“I really have to stay on my game,” Dalton says. “These characters have existed on the printed page for years. But you also want to put your own spin on it,” Dalton says. “I have definitely benefited personally from being part of a show people like and playing a character people love. I am playing a bad guy but I still get a lot of love. He started as this brooding, silent agent and then changed into this anti-hero. He’s the villain you love to hate.”
“The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” premiere
- Red carpet event, 6:30 p.m. Friday. screening at 7:30 p.m. with Q&A to follow
- Edwards Fresno Stadium 22 & IMAX, 250 Paseo Del Centro
- Go to bit.ly/gavinstone for tickets