Alan Ritchson & Hilary Swank Tug at the Heart in ‘Ordinary Angels’

By: Laura Bennett

Alan Ritchson might be recognised as the t-shirt-popping hero in Reacher, but in Ordinary Angels he and Academy Award winner Hilary Swank team up to deliver a punch of a different kind.

Key points

  • Outspoken Christian Alan Ritchson says character Ed’s anger represents a faith struggle we can all relate to.
  • “You don’t realise it, but it’s probably God,” Hilary Swank says about “ordinary” acts of kindness.
  • Ordinary Angels is in cinemas March 14.

Based on a true story, Ordinary Angels is about an alcoholic hairdresser named Sharon (Hilary Swank) who rallies an entire community around the critically ill daughter of widowed dad Ed (Alan Ritchson) after feeling compelled to help when she saw their story in the newspaper.

Hesitant to accept help, Ed has to become willing to receive assistance and Sharon has to learn what drives her addictive personality.

“[Sharon] is at her lowest”, Hilary said in our interview.

“She’s buying more beer after having a hard night, she realises she’s lost her son through actions in the past, and she sees this young girl in need on the front of a newspaper and it pulls at her heartstrings.”

Having already lost his wife, Ed’s also at a low point confronting the reality that he may lose his daughter too. The anger Ed feels represents a faith struggle that Alan, an outspoken Christian, thinks we all can relate to.

“I’ve wrestled with God in my own life,” Alan said. “There are times where it’s like, ‘where are You? Are You real? Are You here and are You going to do something to help?’

“I think many of us have come to that crossroads [but] so many of us skip over [wrestling] and go straight to unbelief and we miss this opportunity to engage with God in a very real way.”

When you see someone like Sharon step in to help with such tenacity, you have to wonder what inspires such “ordinary” acts of kindness.

“All I can think is, you don’t realise it, but it’s probably God,” Hilary said. “I think that empathy is a spiritual quality, and we feel the soul of another human being through our likeness to them. We want to help others, and in turn, I think we know deep down inside that it’s really helping us.”

Alan thinks it’ll be “hard to watch Ordinary Angels and not get emotional”, but those feelings serve a purpose.

“We’re created beings, here to help one another,” Alan said. “[We’re here] to uplift and bring joy to one another’s lives. Sometimes we forget that [and] think it’s all about us and our ambitions, [but] Ordinary Angels reminds us that we’re here to find ways to help others through our creativity, time, talent, treasure – all that.”

Ordinary Angels is in cinemas March 14.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Feature image: Movie stills

About the Author: Laura Bennett is a media professional, broadcaster and writer from Sydney, Australia.