Kara Killmer On 'Beyond The Mask,' 'Chicago Fire' and Faith in Film

The actress talks about her new swash-buckling faith-based film, Beyond the Mask, and how she holds on to her faith in Hollywood. 

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Posted in , Jun 4, 2015

Actor Kara Killmer takes to the red carpet during the Detroit premiere of BEYOND THE MASK-- the revolutionary family adventure film in theaters on June 5, 2015.

Picture this:  a faith-based, action-adventure romance film set during the international turmoil of the Revolutionary War. That’s the best way to describe the genre-busting new film, Beyond the Mask. Sound interesting? Kara Killmer certainly thinks so. 

The actress, who’s been gracing our TV screens this year as Sylvie Brett on NBC’s hit show Chicago Fire, is making personal and professional history with Mask, starring in her first major motion picture in a film that’s blazing a new trail in the faith-based genre. 

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When Beyond the Mask opens in theaters June 5th it will be the first live-action Christian family-adventure film to ever hit the big screen.

In Mask, Killmer plays Charlotte, a woman of strong faith and conviction who finds herself pulled into danger when the man she loves (Andrew Cheney) attempts to thwart a British plot. 

“The verse that comes to mind for Charlotte is ‘Gentle as a dove, shrewd as a serpent,’” Killmer tells Guideposts.org.“That was one of the things I really appreciated about her. I think she is very strong in her faith and she’s very rooted in her moral compass.”

It’s a swash-buckler to be sure, but it comes with an inspiring message. 

“It has the whole package,” she says. “I think people who aren’t in the faith could watch it and it sort of be a conversation starter about redemption but I also think that people in the Christian community can get a lot out of it because the theme of the movie really is that there’s no point to which you can strive without the Gospel.”

Killmer also appreciated the chance to join the ranks of women inhabiting the kind of leading roles in Hollywood that just haven’t been available before. 

“This is a great time in entertainment for heroines,” the actress said of being able to contribute to the conversation on feminism in film. “There’s a lot of material being written for leading ladies and for women saving the day, but at the same time, I feel like there’s a continual redefining of what feminism is. What I liked about Charlotte is that she is very strong, but some of her strength comes from her obedience and faith, her perseverance and compassion and different things like that, that people don’t necessarily view as being the top tier of feminine strength.” 

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Besides fulfilling her dream of acting in a period piece, becoming a leading lady and donning a corset – spoiler alert: those things are tight – the actress has also enjoyed starring on Chicago Fire this season, calling the show  one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences of her career. 

“It was wonderful,” Killmer says. “The cast was so kind, nobody was pretentious, nobody treated me like the newbie. Everyone was so inviting. There wasn’t a single person that made me feel like a new kid.” 

Killmer was also able to discover a new appreciation for the men and women her show depicts on screen. 

“Of course we’ve gotten to meet a lot of real Chicago firefighters and real paramedics and they’re just the salt of the earth. They’re wonderful and so dedicated and it’s very rewarding to be able to work on a show that’s putting the limelight on our civil servants.” 

But if you think working on one of the hottest series on TV right now gives her more insight into the next season of the show than the rest of us, think again. The actress admits even she was in the dark about her character’s new romance with Officer Sean Roman from Chicago P.D. 

“They really keep those things close to the vest, even from us. I had no idea that they were putting Brett and Roman together until the day before we started shooting the episode. They gave me nothing for where it’s going to go. They’re revising and reshaping things as we go to fit the chemistry of the actors and to see where the performance takes it, so it’s really like a living organism.” 

With so much success, Kilmer credits her faith and her family for helping her stay grounded. 

 “There’s always somebody ready to praise and there’s always somebody ready to criticize so I just think, as long as my mom isn’t calling saying ‘I’m really concerned about this’ then I’m okay.'”

'Beyond The Mask' hits theaters June 5th. 

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