A pastor who lost his wife and child has come to a crossroads in his faith. During a snowstorm his life becomes bound with eight others when they are trapped in a disused church together. It takes a Christmas miracle to help them — and that’s the title of a made for TV movie that has aired recently on Showcase channel and will be released on DVD.
Sechelt actor Aaron Pearl plays the pastor, a lead role for this former Chatelech Secondary School graduate who has made a career out of TV and movies ever since his first major Hollywood film in 1998 with Leslie Nielsen in Wrongfully Accused.
Christmas Miracle was filmed in Nelson last February and produced by the Gospel Music Channel in the U.S., described by Pearl as a huge network, not usually seen in Canada. At one time Pearl thought that he might like to be a pastor in real life. Growing up in Davis Bay, his first job was to follow his father’s profession as a commercial fisherman, far removed from the stage or camera. It was while he was considering priesthood that he was unexpectedly offered a runway modelling job in New York. The camera loved him and his photographer urged him to try acting. Pearl has had some major roles, such as with Elijah Wood in All I Want, a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival, and some minor roles such as The Pink Panther with Steve Martin. In Canada he is most recognized for his TV role in CBC’s Intelligence in which he plays a cop.
Though Pearl maintains a home in Davis Bay, he is often on location elsewhere. He says that Toronto has taken a big chunk out of the B.C. film industry and now Montreal is upping its involvement.
“Why not a series filmed here on the Sunshine Coast?” he asks.
He’s most excited by his minor role in Man of Steel, to be released next summer. “Blink and you’ll miss me,” he laughs.
But he loves being with this cast and director Zack Snyder. “I remember watching Superman at the Twilight Theatre in Gibsons years ago,” he said, “and I’m so happy to be part of it now.”
However, he can’t reveal the plot in advance since die-hard comic book fans will figure out which of the many comic book stories the film uses. Movies based on comics are popular — Pearl has had roles in X-Men 2 and 3, and fans of the genre go along with the territory. Some send gifts to his trailer while he’s on set, others have stalked him. But he’s a low key star, preferring the work to the glory.
“Behind the camera is the most comfortable place on earth for me,” he said. “I’m in my comfort zone.”
For future airings of Christmas Miracle see www.showcase.ca.