Clarence, or ‘CJ’ (Issac Ryan Brown) as he is called by his peers, imagines himself playing an angel in his hometown’s annual Christmas pageant in the upcoming film ‘BELIEVE.’

Clarence, or ‘CJ’ (Issac Ryan Brown) as he is called by his peers, imagines himself playing an angel in his hometown’s annual Christmas pageant in the upcoming film ‘BELIEVE.’

Actor Issac Ryan Brown is filled with infectious energy. The pre-teen actor who’s co-starring in the new film Believe tells rolling out this is one of the most exciting roles he’s played to date.

“CJ is exactly like me. The character is very balanced and buoyant. And, he’s able to take on anything the world sends his way,” Brown says of his character, Clarence Joseph, a boy who believes in miracles.

“I am very excited about the film Believe. In fact, I want to thank God right now for allowing me to get [the role in] the movie. Like I’ve told Ryan, you don’t get a lot of films and opportunities like this. It’s an incredible experience with an equally incredible cast – Ryan O’Quinn, Danielle Nicolet, Kevin Sizemore, David Deluise and of course our brilliant writer Billy Dickson,” the middle schooler ticks off a list of his fellow castmates and the director and producer.
“I read the entire script before I went in. I was so entranced … I prayed to God and told him, ‘Lord, if you don’t do anything else, allow me to get this movie.’ Three days later, I get a call while I was in the library doing my schoolwork that I got it,” he adds explaining how he got the role.

This film showcases triumph no matter the odds. For years, the small town of Grundy, Virginia has relied on the Peyton family to provide the highlight of the year—the annual Christmas pageant. When Matthew Peyton (Ryan O’Quinn) inherits the family business, the responsibility of the Christmas pageant also falls on his shoulders. But as financial hardships fall on the town, Matthew finds himself overwhelmed. As his business profits plummet and his workers begin to strike, Matthew is forced to make a decision between selling the family business and canceling the beloved pageant or sticking out hardships despite his rapidly declining popularity in the community. Through chance events, Matthew meets Clarence (Brown) and his mother Sharon (Danielle Nicolet). His newfound friends impact Matthew’s life in a way he never thought possible and teach him to believe and give faith a chance.

“CJ is always happy but there is one scene where he falls into depression and gets sad. It was one of the most difficult parts of the movie for me. His faith and belief are what gets he and his mother [played by Nicolet] through day by day,” explains Brown, who’s unbelievably only 11 years old.

Brown is best recognized as Young Dre from the ABC series “Black-ish.” Before that, he was introduced to America on the television show “America’s Got Talent” at the young age of six, where he dazzled the audience and judges alike.

Yvette Caslin

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