Sadie Robertson plays “Marlene” in the riveting God’s Not Dead 2, opening this Friday, April 1. “Marlene” is the best friend of the main high school character, “Brooke.”

We are excited to share an interview we did with Sadie prior to the opening. But first, please make plans to see this sequel to God’s Not Dead! For that matter, if you haven’t seen the original, run to rent it … now. The first movie surprised numerous naysayers and critics by its amazing box office and rental success in 2014.

Both movies are important to audiences that value religious free speech in American society. The fictional situations are based on real-life incidents and court cases, as is illustrated by the long lists of actual lawsuits that run at the end of the films.

Robertson, 18, is a member of the Duck Dynasty family featured on the A&E TV series. But she is her own accomplished person and a young lady of prolific talents.

Robertson attends Ouachita Christian Academy in Monroe, Louisiana where she wore jersey #15 for the girls’ basketball team in her sophomore and junior year. Her team stats appear on many high school sports statistics websites. In conjunction with fashion designer Sherri Hill, she designs clothes under the label “Live Original” that encourage a stylish yet modest wardrobe for teen girls. The clothing line uses the same title as Robertson’s popular book, Live Original: How the Duck Commander Teen Keeps It Real and Stays True to Her Values (Howard Books, 2014).

She sang with country star Alison Krauss for her family's album, “Duck The Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas” (2013).

The following year she moved from singing to dancing and took Second Place with professional dance partner Mark Ballas on Season 19 of “Dancing with the Stars” despite remaining modestly costumed and insisting on dance routines that were not as “sexy” as many on the reality show.

Then came the big offer to appear in the movie God’s Not Dead 2. That’s where our interview comes in.

Q: What led to you being cast as “Brooke’s” friend “Marlene” in the movie?

A: My parents (Willie and Korie Robertson) were in the first movie, and the producers wanted to continue the legacy. They felt the character was a lot like me, and when I read the script I had no doubt about doing it.

Q: Did you create a “backstory” for your character - i.e., what motivates her and prompts her to support Brooke?

A: Yes - as Brooke’s best friend, she was the one go-to friend in high school no matter what Brooke was going through. She was there to encourage her.

Q: Did you have a chance to meet or spend time with all the actors, or the apologetics experts like J. Warner Wallace or Lee Strobel, who weren’t in your scenes?

A: No, I didn’t meet everyone – I was only on the set for three days! But I did get to be with Melissa, Jesse, and Hayley. They were all great, and it was a wonderful experience (Melissa Joan Hart as the main character “Grace,” Jesse Metcalfe as Grace’s attorney, and Hayley Orrantia as “Brooke”).

Q: What did you think of the court scenes in the movie where the witnesses were giving evidence about the truth of the Christian story?

A: Even as a lifelong Christian, I learned a lot from the movie, especially about the true origin of the phrase “separation of church and state.”

Q: Were there any discussions among the cast about how the script was a parallel to real-life occurrences in society today? 

A: Yes – we knew that at the end of the movie they were showing the cases that have happened. I didn’t realize how big the problem is!

Q: Why is it important for both Christians and non-Christians to see this movie?

A: People will be motivated. They’ll fear less, gain strength, and learn so many things like I did. I didn’t know some of these facts. If you are not a Christian – go anyway – it’s a good movie, and you’ll learn some real information from history you may not know.

Q: How can this movie help people who are struggling with expressing their faith to others?

A: The movie gives you courage to know God will take you all the way through something. I liked how Melissa (“Grace”) was praying on her bed.

Q: Have you or a friend or teacher ever experienced anything like the bias portrayed in the movie?

A: No. I went to a private school. But I have seen other kinds of punishment and ridicule, and I feel it all relates to this situation.

Q: The issue of Christians being able to voice their faith in public has become huge for your strong Christian family. When did you first feel driven to get involved?

A: It was actually before that – I was thirteen and away on a sports trip. Everyone wanted to party while being away from parents, but I never did. I made the decision not to go with the world but to go with God. I felt His presence and knew He was worth it. After that I got baptized. When you surrender and let God in, you know how good He is.

Q: Have you had a special teacher in your life who encouraged you in your faith?

A: Yes – my favorite teacher – she would ask if she could pray for us and listen to us – even in chemistry class. She led us by example and showed how important faith is.

Q: Ratio Christi teaches apologetics to Christian students so they can combine faith and reason to support their biblical worldview. Have you ever studied apologetics?

A: Our private school system used Christian books with science and history supporting the Bible.

Q: What do you think is the biggest concern on your Christian peers’ minds today?

A: Their biggest concern is what other people think about them – what are people going to say? They need to know that things will come and go but they can rely on God.

Q: You took Second Place on "Dancing with the Stars" with no dance experience! What encouraged you to go on the show?

A: Crazy! My grandma really wanted me to do it. I was scared but I learned a lot about myself and what I am able to do.

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How realistic are the court cases in this movie? We've done interviews with three key people who feel this case could easily become real:

-See our interview with attorney Erik Stanley of Alliance Defending Freedom about the real cases rolling at the end of the movie.

-Homicide Detective and Apologist J. Warner Wallace explains how easily this could really happen.

-And author Lee Strobel Makes a Case for God's Not Dead 2.

Update: God’s Not Dead 2 opened in 1,700 theatres across the U.S. and took in $8.1 million for the opening weekend, placing it fourth among opening films that week. If it has the impact and holding power of its predecessor, it will be circulating on movie screens for at least two months and be very much in demand once it is on video and cable. But don’t wait that long to see it!  Scroll down to enjoy some still photos from the movie, or see the trailer at the movie's main website.

Photos courtesy of Grace Hill Media and Pure Flix Entertainment.