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Liberty students cast in major motion picture

April 2, 2008 : Tara Maxwell

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. announced during Wednesday’s convocation that two Liberty University theatre arts students have been given the opportunity of a lifetime.

Sophomores Joshua DeVries and Cody Carwile have been cast as brothers in “Billy: The Early Years,” a major motion picture on the life of Billy Graham scheduled for release in late 2008/early 2009.

DeVries will portray Thomas Walter “T.W.” Wilson, who for decades served as Billy Graham’s executive assistant traveling worldwide to evangelistic crusades. Carwile will portray Grady Wilson, a close friend and associate of Billy Graham.

The film, being shot in Nashville, Tenn., is being directed by Robby Benson.

DeVries and Carwile are currently on location and will be filming through the end of May.

DeVries said the job has not sunk in yet, because it came as a surprise, but he is very grateful for the role.

“I have no doubt God will give Cody and I both the tools and confidence we need to represent our characters well on-screen,” he said. “Both T.W. and Grady Wilson were men of integrity who were a very large part of Billy Graham’s life and ministry, and it’s an honor to be chosen to portray them.”

Linda Nell Cooper, chairwoman of Liberty University’s Department of Theatre Arts, walked the students through the casting process, working with the producers and the director. She said they were impressed with the students’ talent.

“He called me into the room and shook my hand and said, ‘I have hired both of them. They are wonderful.’ The producers were all standing there and applauded them and said they were incredible. I said, ‘I have 150 more.’ Bill McKay said, ‘I look forward to meeting the other 148.’”