Below are snippets of interviews conducted by Preview editor Greg Shull and other family-friendly media with Because of Winn-Dixie cast members AnnaSophia Robb, Jeff Daniels and Cicely Tyson.
Newcomer AnnaSophia plays the film’s lead role, 10-year-old Opal who adopts a dog named Winn-Dixie. Jeff plays her father, who is a small-town Baptist preacher. Cicely Tyson plays Gloria Dump, a reclusive woman thought to be a witch by the neighborhood children. The questions have one theme: the spiritual background and views of these actors.
Q: Do you pray? And have you ever had a prayer answered?
AnnaSophia: I do pray. And I love being able to pray just because you can tell God anything, and he just listens. And even if it doesn’t seem like he’s listening, he’s always there. I think that’s really great because sometimes you just need someone to talk to, but you can’t talk to your friends or you can’t talk to your parents, and you just want to talk to someone. I think your animals are kind of like a symbol of God because they listen to you always, and they’re so sweet, and they just love you no matter what. Even if you hit them or throw them, which you definitely do not want to do, they still love you. And I think that’s wonderful.
Q: How is it being a Christian in Hollywood?
AnnaSophia: I don’t think it really changes. I don’t know. You go with yourself and you pray, but I don’t like force anything on people, y’know, talk about what they think about God. Sometimes, it makes them feel uncomfortable. And I think everybody can believe what they believe. I believe what I believe, and that’s okay.
Q: What are the criteria you have for doing movies?
AnnaSophia: No bad language.
Q: As you get older, what sort of films would you like to do?
AnnaSophia: Well, I don’t want to do any Victoria’s Secret commercials. I want to do stuff that kids can watch.