November 5, 2002
Hannibal — Heather Hazelwood of Hannibal never dreamed of being a super hero when she grew up, but somehow finds herself fighting the likes of Primordius Drool in the new Bibleman video "Jesus Our Savior: Part I." The video hit Christian bookstore shelves Oct. 22.
Biblegirl is a sidekick to Bibleman, a Scripture-quoting hero played by Willie Aames, who gained fame on television sitcoms "Eight is Enough" and "Charles in Charge." Aames also writes and directs the videos, with the purpose of reaching children and their parents for Christ. Bibleman’s other sidekick Cypher (Brady Williams) rounds out the trio of those fighting for evil for the cause of Christ.
The videos are targeted toward children, with colorful costumes and pyrotechnic action sequences, but Hazelwood said adults enjoy the humor as well.
"A lot of references are made to old TV shows and movies," said Hazelwood. For example, she said, the villain Primordius Drool sings like Frank Sinatra and talks like Jerry Lewis. "The action is for the kids; the humor is for the adults."
Though her character is relatively new, Hazelwood added that Biblegirl plays an important role for many reasons. "Biblegirl is like a camp counselor, someone likable for girls to look up to," said Hazelwood. "There are a lot of heroes out there for guys, but Biblegirl provides a role model for girls, someone besides Britney Spears."
Hazelwood said she was at the right place at the right time when she was considered for the role as Biblegirl. She first became familiar with the Bibleman videos during YouthLink 2000 St. Louis, a Christian youth event held in St. Louis and other cities across the nation over New Year’s Eve on the millennium. Hazelwood served as an emcee at the event, and performed with New Edition, Hannibal-LaGrange College’s Christian theatre troupe.
Earlier this summer, when Hazelwood was working at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Tex., Bibleman’s traveling show came for the church’s Vacation Bible School.
Because she had acting experience, Hazelwood jokingly suggested she could fill the role if they needed any help in the videos. Aames took her seriously, and a month later she flew to Portland, Ore., for two weeks of filming.
Though Hazelwood had done stage acting in college, she said acting in front of the camera is very different.
"They kept telling me to stop enunciating," she laughed. "In theatre everything has to be bigger than true life, but film isn’t that way." She said she eventually got comfortable with filming, even though the pyrotechnics made her a little nervous at first.
"I asked a lot of questions, and Willie was a really good director," commented Hazelwood. "We watched the scenes after we filmed them to see what needed changed."
Biblegirl wears a cape bearing the reference Proverbs 31, a passage maintaining qualities of a wife of noble character. Hazelwood also has adapted another passage of Scripture important to her character. I Peter 3:3-4 states: "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight."
"If you start with your inner self, it will help you become a Proverbs 31 woman," explained Hazelwood. Being a part of the Bibleman ministry has been a tremendous experience for Hazelwood. "It was nice to meet people in the entertainment industry who live the message they portray," she said. "In each show, Bibleman gives glory to Christ, not himself."
Hazelwood’s 7 year-old nephew and 4 year-old niece are her biggest fans. "They think it’s the coolest that Aunt Heather is Biblegirl," she laughed.
Jay Lawler, manager of the Quincy Mall Mustard Seed bookstore, said Bibleman is a very popular series. "Next to Veggie Tales, Bibleman is the strongest series we sell," he noted.
A native of Girard, Ill., Hazelwood doesn’t fight evil full-time. She works as an admissions representative for Hannibal-LaGrange College and now resides in Hannibal. She graduated from H-LG in 2001 with a degree in communication arts and speech. She currently attends Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal.
You can see Hazelwood again in Bibleman’s "Jesus Our Savior: Part II," set for release next year.
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