Tim McGraw wears many hats. While the one we normally see him in is a black cowboy hat, that’s not what we’re talking about. Not only is he an award-winning country singer, but he has also proved his ability as a double threat by acting a several films including Country Strong, The Blind Side, and Friday Night Lights.
After a short acting hiatus to record and release his album Damn Country Music, the country singer returned to the big screen for the film The Shack, where he plays the main character’s best friend and neighbor.
The film, which is based on the New York Times best-selling novel of the same name, debuted over the weekend and made $10 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. The Shack follows Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) who must deal with the kidnapping and murder of his 7-year-old daughter. He spirals into a deep depression and questions his faith along the way. Several years later, he finds a mysterious letter in his mailbox telling him to go to the abandoned shack where his daughter was killed.
Although he is skeptical at first, he goes to the shack and finds three strangers, including a woman who goes by the name Papa, played by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. Following the movie’s release, a bit of controversy was stirred up due to Spencer’s role in the film.
See, the trio that Mack meets is God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Spencer’s character Papa is God, Avraham Aviv Alush plays Jesus, and Japanese actress Sumire Marsubara plays Sarayu, the Holy Spirit. Not everyone was happy to see Spencer, a woman, playing God, which is how William Paul Young wrote the character in his 2007 novel.
When speaking with Knoxville News Sentinel about the movie, McGraw was asked how would answer people who question how God is portrayed.
“I would answer it, ‘We don’t know.’ I don’t know,” he said. “I know if I told you what God looked like and felt like then I’d be telling you a story. I just think we don’t know. God manifests himself, herself or itself in a way that we need it, in a way that we can grab a hold of and a way that we can put our arms around.”
He also joked that if he is “lucky enough or fortunate enough and brave enough throughout [his] life to get into Heaven and see[s] Octavia Spencer sitting there then all is good.”
How do you feel about the role of God in The Shack? Watch the trailer below.