The new film Unplanned, released in theaters on March 29, depicts the life story of Abby Johnson, one of the most prominent pro-life voices in the United States. One of the movie’s co-stars, Maura Corsini, who has roots in the tri-state area, plays “Megan” (Abby’s good friend and Planned Parenthood co-worker) in the film. Maura grew up in Delaware and attended Archmere Academy where she fell in love with the performing arts, then moved to New York City and later to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
The Pro-Life Union of Greater Philadelphia asked Maura some questions about her experience acting in Unplanned, and why it’s important for pro-life and pro-choice people living in the Greater Philadelphia region to see this film:
Q: Please describe your experience being cast in Unplanned. How did you feel at the start of production vs. end of production?
A: It was a great experience all around and being on set in Oklahoma was the best month and a half of my life. But it’s funny, we had absolutely no idea of the gravity and impact this film would have. I remember being in my trailer on the last day of shooting and one of my costars called me, excitedly, saying that it might end up being in some theaters. Now here we are with over 1,000 booked in America alone. God is good.
Q: What inspired you to audition for the film Unplanned?
A: I emailed the directors, Chuck and Cary, because I heard God’s Not Dead 3 was in pre-production and I wanted to be a part of it. They explained that they were no longer working on that film, but they had a pro-life film in the works that they wanted me to read for. They warned me, and all the cast for that matter, that being blacklisted by Hollywood was a big possibility, but I couldn’t pass it up. The first independent film I ever booked I ended up dropping out of because of pro-choice themes, so this felt very full circle and gratifying.
Q: You have a Catholic upbringing. Did the movie content, a.k.a. Abby Johnson’s life story, offer further realization for you on a personal level about the abortion industry and/or the pro-life movement?
A: I have always been pro-life but honestly I was not that educated on the topics, only the basics. I was pro-life because my parents were, which is a very ignorant mentality regardless of the subject matter, so I am happy now to have done such extensive research on both sides of the argument.
Q: Because the majority of Hollywood tends to lean toward the pro-choice stance, what was it like starring in a movie that depicts both stances, but truly focuses on Abby’s conversion to the pro-life movement?
A: The special thing about this movie and why it differs from other faith-based or politically driven dramas is that it does truly show both sides of the argument. It gives a fair depiction of the pro-life and pro-choice stance which, I think, makes it so much more effective. There is no condemnation towards pro-choicers, just understanding that they’re (for the most part) just trying to support women. We are just kindly trying to share the notion that pro-life is pro-women, not visa versa.
Q: The movie release of Unplanned is timely based on recent news headlines about abortion. What kind of impact do you hope this film will make on the American people, no matter what age or gender they are?
A: Obviously I want an end to abortion. That’s not a secret. But we can do more than that — let’s talk about restructuring the foster care system so children who don’t get aborted have a better chance at success and a happy life. There are so many steps to best solve this issue, but the first step is to bridge the gap between political affiliations. These are NOT partisan issues, they are humanitarian issues. Let’s drop our egos and hear each other out.
Q: After your involvement in Unplanned, what advice would you give to those who may be ‘on the fence’ about seeing this movie?
A: I do have a lot of pro-choice friends so I understand if someone is on the fence about the issue, but I do NOT understand how someone can be on the fence about seeing the film. This is a true story with no fabrication so if you are scared to see it, ask yourself why. Maybe you are relying on the convenience of abortion, or maybe you’re afraid to go against the grain of society. My advice is to stop letting outside forces dictate your beliefs. Watch this film. Then watch a pro-choice film if you want. Do your OWN research and I promise you will find the light and the truth. Abortion is a genocide and with proper research it becomes overwhelmingly apparent.
Q: You have local roots to the tri-state area growing up and attending school in Delaware. What can pro-life individuals do in the Greater Philadelphia area to help transform other hearts and minds to choose life, similar to what Abby Johnson has been doing since her conversion to the pro-life movement?
A: My challenge for all of my Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey friends is to invite at least one pro-choice person to see this movie. If they’re resistant, maybe buy their ticket for them. Then have a respectful and open dialogue after the film to share thoughts and feelings.