Actor Matthew McConaughey, who stars in the new historical epic Free State of Jones, says that the film’s main character was inspired by the Bible. Speaking with The Daily Beast, McConaughey says that the real-life character Newton Knight led a rebellion against the Confederacy because he believed that the Bible taught people to stand against injustice. He said,

Knight had a moral code rooted in the Bible and the Declaration of Independence: love thy neighbor as thyself, and all men are created equal. So he had a very radical relationship with his own independence, and interdependence—which is very American. Extremely American …

All of this, the abolition of slavery in the Civil War at this time, they were almost all led by religious movements—Christian movements—that were trumping the ideals that everyone else had. They went further into it and said, ‘No, this is not right—because of the Bible'

He also added that the character was “not a ‘turn the other cheek’ New Testament guy,” saying, "One of the things I noticed about him was if he saw something that was wrong or unjust, he really had no way to ignore it.” As The Daily Beast notes, the real Newton was "a fierce man" who even snuck into the home of a Confederate official that was charged with finding local deserters and "shot him dead, right in the back."

McConaughey also said that he doesn’t think people today do a good job of using religion to bring people together. Instead, he said, that too often, it’s used to build walls. He explained,

Religion actually means, if you look up the Latin root, ‘re’ which means again, and ‘ligare,’ which means to bind together. It means exactly the opposite of what and how we are often practicing it these days!

The movie tells the true story of a Mississippi farmer who led a rebellion against Confederate forces during the Civil War, eventually establishing a new community based on racial equality in Jones County. Discuss

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The hype for the upcoming release of The Birth of a Nation continues to build. The newest trailer is absolutely stunning.

The film tells the true story of Nat Turner, a slave and preacher who led a rebellion against slave owners in 1831. Filmmaker Nate Parker, who also stars as Turner, uses biblical themes, verse references and Christian messages throughout the story, that depicts one of the most dramatic chapters in American history.

The film drew rave reviews when it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, setting a record by being purchased by Fox Searchlight for more than $17 million. The Birth of a Nation hits theaters this fall. Discuss

Today, we're getting our first look at Eight Days a Week, director Ron Howard's highly anticipated documentary about The Beatles. Ever since we heard about it, we've had big expectations. The film reportedly will take a deep look at the "touring years" of the rock band that pretty much changed the pop culture landscape—including the socio-political revolution that ensued. The new trailer doesn't show much (though it does include some rare footage of the Fab Four), but we like what we see:


Here’s a first look at the upcoming legal drama Denial, which tells the true story of professor Deborah E. Lipstadt, who had to defend herself against libel charges for calling out a Holocaust denier.

Based on her book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, the film takes on some pretty complex themes: The freedom of speech, anti-semitism, the legal system, the burden of proof and real history. But, if this first look is any indication, the film wraps them all tightly in a dramatic real-life story.

The Rachel Weisz drama drops on Sept. 30. Discuss

YouTube makeup artist Chrisspy has an extremely unique talent: She can undergo complete physical transformations with makeup.

This 8-minute video shows you how to use makeup supplies that you can buy at a drug store to turn your head into a character from a Pixar movie. Seriously, it is bonkers. Even if you have no interest in turning your face into a cartoon fish, it’s an impressive feat of makeup application. Discuss