Ashley Bratcher in "Unplanned'" (Courtesy Pure Flix) FEATURED PHOTO GALLERIES

Christian actress Ashley Bratcher brings her beliefs to new streaming film ‘Finding Faith’

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Actress Ashley Bratcher, who portrays a conflicted newspaper columnist in “Finding Faith,” says she can stay grounded by knowing “that my identity is rooted in Christ.”

“Finding Faith,” just released on the Great American Pure Flix streaming service, details the struggle of Victoria, the author of a faith-based advice column written under the pseudonym “Faith.”

However, Ms. Bratcher’s character lacks faith herself, confronting the sudden loss of a parent, marital strains including a divorce filing, and the temptation of a national career platform.

There’s a happy ending — a staple of Great American Pure Flix titles — but not before a fair amount of anguish that sends Victoria to a local pastor for counsel.

The pastor encourages her to put her life in God’s hands, but that’s not the end of the process.

“Rededicating your life to God is one thing. Getting control is another thing altogether,” he says.

Dedication to God was key to Ms. Bratcher finding success in her chosen career. In a way, the struggle Victoria has in “Finding Faith” mirrors her own journey.

“I failed miserably” as an actor, she recalled in an interview. “I went up to New York City, I was getting a lot of auditions, I had a great manager, but I wasn’t walking with the Lord.”

After her lack of success in the Big Apple, she said, “I was like, ‘Okay, God, can I have a second chance? Maybe now, can I give my career to you?’ … I was like, ‘You know what, if this is what you want from me, then great, but if it’s not, then don’t let it happen. And I found a lot of peace in that.’”

She also found that once-elusive success. Ms. Bratcher — who in real life faced an unplanned pregnancy and kept the child, now a teenager — had what called a “breakout role” in 2019’s “Unplanned,” starring as Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director who left the industry and became an abortion opponent.

Does she find it difficult to “turn off” her characters at the end of a day’s work?

“I’m generally happy to get it to get out of it,” she said. “I have a tendency to play more dramatic roles and there’s a lot of tears and a lot of heavy moments sometimes. So at the end of the day, I’m like, ‘Okay, that’s not real.’ I’m separating reality from fiction. I lived in that moment, but that moment is over and that’s not who I am.”

Ms. Bratcher’s next goal is to bring the story of Dr. Frances Kelsey to the screen in a project called “Pharma.”

Dr. Kelsey, a medical officer with the Food and Drug Administration in 1960, repeatedly questions the safety of thalidomide, marketed initially as a sleeping aid. Her efforts led to the drug being pulled from the U.S. market.

Widely available in Europe, thalidomide was blamed for thousands of cases of birth defects when pregnant women took the drug.

Ms. Bratcher said Dr. Kelsey “stood up to the FDA and Big Pharma [and] exposed bribery, corruption, and she prevented the thalidomide tragedy from being here in the US. … I just think she’s a very honorable woman who’s courageous, and I want to tell her story.”

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