Since leaving AS THE WORLD TURNS, Lamman Rucker (Marshall) has been keeping very busy both on the big screen and small, and this weekend, his newest film, The Undershepherd premieres on TV One. It stars Rucker and GREY'S ANATOMY'S Isaiah Washington as two ministers whose friendship is tested as their careers evolve in wildly different directions.
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"One has all this power and gets all this attention and money and fame," Rucker explains, "that's probably considered successful in a lot of ways. And then the other, he goes in the direction where there is significantly more challenges and less fame and less money. And it really shows that doing things the right way, following your voice, and handling yourself with some class, honor and integrity is actually a more significant definition of success."
And although the tale is set in Los Angeles churches, the actor believes that the themes are universal. "The film could be set in any community," he muses. "It could be in a corporate environment. It could be any industry, really.
"We shouldn't be afraid to challenge and examine some of the people who are in positions of power," Rucker continues. "They're in a position of significant influence, and because of that, we shouldn't be afraid to hold them accountable. Unfortunately, there's some use of the institution of the church and the dynamic of religion to control in that way and serve their own personal selfish goals. You've gotta be very careful about that!"
Rucker also finds himself working alongside an impressive cast that includes Washington as well as Elise Neal and Louis Gossett, Jr. "Oh yeah," he smiles. "Lots of folks that you'll know. When you've got that high production quality and you've got talented actors that can bring that stuff off the page, it rounds out quite nicely. I've gotten really incredible feedback about this film."
You can catch the world premiere of the award-winning The Undershepherd this Saturday, March 30, at 8:00 pm EST on TV One, with an encore presentation on Sunday, March 31 at 5:30 pm EST.