Beyond the Mask

Beyond the Mask, in which I play Dr. Bonneville, is in theaters across America now! Thank you everyone who came out and supported the April screenings, which made this larger distribution possible. It more than doubled the previous record for the theatrical-on-demand model. Thanks to those that supported the film on opening weekend it's still available for public screenings in your area.

It is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray in Walmarts and online to rent or own.

The Christian Post included me and the NYC April screening in their article "New Faith Based Film 'Beyond the Mask' Uses More Green Screen and CG Effects Than Any Other Christian Movie."

They most certainly pull it off! I got to see Beyond the Mask with about 1000 people in San Antonio at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. They all leapt to their feet as the credits rolled. After the show two-time Emmy Award winner John Fornof, who directed Sean Astin of The Lord of the Rings and Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey in The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, told me, "Tonight everything changes."

Then he sent me this: "I remember when Star Wars came out--it revolutionized how movies were made. I got that same feeling watching Beyond the Mask. Rich and I were stunned. We both agreed. This is truly a breakthrough movie in Christian filmmaking. It fires on all cylinders--an intriguing and exciting story of God's redemption with plenty of surprising twists and turns, solid acting, captivating cinematography, blow-your-mind special effects and sets, and a powerful music score. Beyond the Mask sets a whole new standard for what a faith-based film can be--and should be.”

All of these fantastic elements come together in a fictional story based around actual historical events. I play a doctor who helps an assassin recover in a village that thinks he's the expected pastor. He must immerse himself in the Word and there comes face to face with Grace. He's ready to leave his past behind him, if only his former boss--played by John Rhys-Davies (who carries a significant amount of screen-time) will let him.

Rich plays the doctor who nurses a
reformed assassin back to health in the
village where he is thought to be the
new pastor.
Faith Flix and Jeannie Ortega, who used to cover Rihanna, also covered my performance and the NYC screening: Action Film 'Beyond the Mask' Set to Hit Theaters April 6 in NYC For Special Screening.

The Hollywood Reporter reported: "John Rhys-Davies' Faith-Based Film Aims to Top 'Theater-on-Demand' Release Record

Dr. Diane Howard reviewed the film and included elements from an exclusive interview with producer Aaron Burns for Sonoma Christian Home: "'Beyond the Mask' Movie About Freedom and Personal Salvation."

You can watch the first minutes of the film online.

We had been hearing about the film for over a year before I was cast in it, and I believe the first time we heard about it was when we were on the set of IndescribableBeyond the Mask is a spectacular story, written by Paul McCusker, who wrote for the children's radio program Adventures in Odyssey.

I was cast as Dr. Bonneville by Bev Holloway and got to work with acting coach John Kirby, both of whom I've worked with a number of times over the years.

It was a delight to reconnect with crew from Christmas GraceThe ScreenwritersIndescribablePawn's Move, and Alone Yet Not Alone, and to work with a lot of new friends, many of whom I would work with on later projects like Princess Cut and Polycarp.

John and I both think Beyond the Mask is going to be a hit. He was thrilled with what he was seeing in the monitors.  

To learn more about the film and get involved in spreading the word, go to

This is the set, where I performed my scenes.
Here's a Behind the Scenes piece they did on the mansion. You can see me briefly at the start.

I thought it was a beautiful parallel that the mansion is a place of healing, and that was the central scene that we shot there. I pointed that out to director Chad Burns, and he invited me to pray before we shot that scene, which he also did before the film screened at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. 

Here's an article on the project: 'Lord of the Rings' actor John Rhys-Davies joins new Christian action film.

Christians should also know:

*The film is rated PG. 
*There’s some swashbuckling action, mostly aimed at stopping the villains. At one point someone gets conked on the head with a candlestick, but it’s stumbling over the fallen candlestick that puts an end to the fight. You see him tripping from the knees down, and then there’s a cut to him lying on the fireplace hearth. At one point someone gets electrocuted, but it’s seen from a distance.
*There's one smooch to celebrate [Spoiler Alert] an engagement.


Paul Munger said...

That's fantastic! Several of the folks who worked with us on Alone and Screenwriters are there. You're going to have a great time, and I praise the Lord for extending your acting opportunities into new territory. Can't wait to see how the film turns out!

Rich Swingle said...

Paul, Indeed, there are loads of Screenwriters and Alone Yet Not Alone folks working on this amazing film. It's great to reconnect!

Rebekah and Christy Cook aren't on set because they're recuperating from a hydroplaning accident, but I had dinner with them and David, who drove up from Virginia to help them recover. They're doing well, but keep praying for full recovery.

Anonymous said...

You did a GREAT job in Beyond the Mask!!! Just watched it and - wow! Kids will love this film! Kudos to you in your role! You were absolutely in your element.
--Torry Martin
Actor, Comedian, Writer, Teacher

Rich Swingle said...

Here's another great article: 'Beyond the Mask' is Revolutionary In More Ways Than One.

Rich Swingle said...

Beyond the Mask won Third Place for an Independent Feature at the Winnipeg Real to Reel Film Festival.

Rich Swingle said...

Timmy and Samantha watched Beyond the Mask last night (we were at a wedding) and they LOVED it!!! Timmy declared it his new favourite movie... better than Star Wars and Indiana Jones (and that's impressive!). Both of them have asked to see it again, so I guess we'll be renting it again this coming weekend so we can see it as a family!
--Anne Sanborn
Australian missionary to Thailand living in Florida