Christian Movie: Interview with Stacey Bradshaw

Senior Prank Movie Interview Stacey Bradshaw

The Senior Prank from StoneTable Films

Interview with Stacey Bradshaw

It takes a special person to look beyond the outside, to see people with disabilities as friends or equals.”

- Brandon (Ben Davies) to Cara (Stacey Bradshaw), The Senior Prank

The statistics are staggering. The effects are long-term. Between 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school. Many fewer have been cyberbullied per the 2009 National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics. A soon-release family film called, The Senior Prank, tackles this national tragedy with care and finesse.

I had an opportunity, recently, to interview one of the film’s stars, Christian actress Stacey Bradshaw, who plays Cara Jarvis. Stacey was open and candid about her answers, letting me know that the story is more than just about the act of bullying. It’s an incredible story about love, acceptance and forgiveness. But first, here’s the storyline:

Cara Jarvis longs to be a part of the in-crowd at her new high school. In an effort to impress town hottie Brandon, she befriends Grace, a girl with Down Syndrome. It’s a friendship she tries to hide when she meets popular girls Skylar and Quinn. When Skylar loses her bid to be on the Homecoming Court, she sets it up for Grace to win Homecoming Queen…as the senior prank. Grace wins, is publicly humiliated, and Skylar rigs it so that Cara takes the blame. Cara must win back Brandon, restore her friendship with Grace, and save her reputation at her school.

Tell me a little about yourself. When did the acting bug first bite, and what do you hope to accomplish as a Christian actress?

The acting bug first bit me when I was in my early teens, and I was 17 when I participated in my first theater production. I majored in theater in college, but transitioned from stage to screen in 2010 and have been acting in films ever since. I enjoy doing many, many things (writing, singing, dancing, photography, sewing, etc.), but acting has always been the foremost passion of my heart and I knew there was nothing else I would rather pursue in its place. Growing up, I had very little opportunity to get involved in theater, and for the first three years after I graduated from college, I was limited to being a background extra in films, but God is faithful to bring along the right opportunities at the right time.

As a Christian actress, I want to be a part of stories that glorify the Lord and will impact lives for His Kingdom. Every film has a message and worldview and everything we do has eternal value. I pray that God directs me to the films that will reach people for Him.

Tell me about the film, The Senior Prank. What made you audition for it?

I heard about The Senior Prank because a friend of mine shared the audition information on Facebook. I jumped at the opportunity to audition for a Christian film. The story sounded great, and I was still trying to get my “break” into film acting. I had just been cast in the lead role in a short film in Michigan, which was my first speaking role in a film. I’m so grateful to producer/director Donald Leow for taking a chance on “new talent” and giving me such a wonderful break! It was an amazing experience and really confirmed for me that I was doing what God wanted me to do.

Describe your character Cara Jarvis. How did you feel portraying this character?

Cara is a girl who needs love and acceptance from her peers. At heart, she’s a good kid. She’s not mean-spirited, but she’s a follower, doing whatever it takes to fit in with the “cool kids.” The character was definitely a big stretch for me. I’m not a leader by nature, but I do have an independent spirit and I’m not afraid to stand by the strong values and standards that my parents instilled in me. I’ve always gone against the grain. The hardest part of portraying Cara was the scenes when she pulled mean pranks on other people. I’ve NEVER been a prankster, and my personality wants everybody to feel happy and be encouraged. Even though it was just acting, making fun of another character because of their size or disability made me feel SO BAD.

Bullying is a hot topic. What are your views about bullying? What would you say to those who are being bullied at school or online?

Bullying is a horrible, horrible thing. It’s completely senseless and so hurtful for the victims, and I know it’s easy to get angry and revengeful (I get angry just thinking about it), but I think it’s also important to realize that bullies are often suffering from abuse or a dysfunctional family, or some other source of pain that compels them to lash out and inflict pain on others. There is no excuse for what they are doing, but they need our prayers. The Bible says to pray for those who wrongfully use you. So to those who are being bullied, I would say to pray for your abusers and try to feel Christ’s compassion and love for them, and to also remember that EVERY ONE OF US has value in God’s eyes. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we are beautiful in His sight. God doesn’t make mistakes. YOU are not a mistake. Find your worth and your identity in Christ and ask Him to give you strength to endure the abuse and the wisdom to know how to respond. And remember God’s promise to work all things together for good.

The film has received The Dove Foundation’s highest recommended rating for family movies. It’s a family film for ages 12 and up. Does this story have any personal meaning to you? Were you ever bullied, or do you have friends who were bullied in school?

I’m very grateful to say that I have never been bullied. My parents started homeschooling me in second grade, and I was blessed to grow up with friends who were mature in their Christian faith and who loved and supported me. My two younger brothers have been bullied on occasion, though, whether on the ball field or even sometimes in church. As a protective older sister, it has been very painful for me to see this happen over the years.

The film does a great job of presenting the underlying issues of love and acceptance between people who are different and those who are wanting to belong or fit in. How important is acceptance, in a relationship, for those who may be different than us?

Acceptance is very important in a relationship, especially for those who already see themselves as being different. They may be struggling with feeling insecure or isolated, and we need to reach out to them and let them know that they are loved. We are all special and cherished in God’s eyes, and that’s what’s important. As Christians, we need to share that love with everyone, not ignore those who are different and make us feel uncomfortable because they aren’t exactly like us. They are people with feelings just like us. We need to put ourselves in their shoes. How would we feel if people ignored us? I will be the first to admit that I have been guilty of this in the past, but being a part of this movie has definitely helped to convict me and inspire me to be more purposeful in reaching out to people in the future.

Where can people buy the movie? Is it showing in theaters now?

The movie is currently being shown through privately sponsored screenings in theaters across the country. If anyone is interested in hosting a screening in their town, please contact Donald Leow at for details. To stay up-to-date on when the film is released in theaters and/or comes to DVD, follow the movie’s Facebook page. The web address is: 

Thank you so much, Stacey, for your time. Any last words?

It was an honor to be a part of a film with such a powerful message. I want to commend Katherine Craddock, who did a beautiful job writing the screenplay. I have been very blessed to hear the testimonies of so many people who have been touched and impacted by the film, and I pray that it will continue to bless viewers and change lives.

About Bob Valleau

Bob Valleau is an award-winning Christian writer. He is also an author. He encourages others to believe in the power of God’s love for their lives.