Christian actor in life story film talks over rise from prison to praise
An actor from Wirral could be about to see his own life story told on the big screen ...
An actor from Wirral could be about to see his own life story told on the big screen. Christopher Lee Power is in negotiations over the screen rights to his life story with a London-based film company who want to make it into a feature film.
Christopher, 44, whose stage and screen credits range from Shakespeare to Coronation Street, began his professional training in his late 20s at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and Richmond Drama School. He later attended the Lee Strasbourg School in London, studying the revolutionary ‘Method’ approach to acting learned by Marlon Brando and James Dean.
Life however began very differently for Christopher. His tough upbringing in Rock Ferry was compounded by dyslexia, problems with physical co-ordination and a traumatic incident of sexual abuse at the age of eight, which he kept a secret for many years.
As a rebellious teenager he ran riot with local teenage groups in the 1970s and 1980s and fell foul of the law, eventually serving time in prison for petty crime.
Remarkably he managed to turn his life around, discovering a talent for acting in his teens when he attended Liverpool’s Rathbone Theatre Project, following in the footsteps of other local working class teenagers such as David Morrisey and Cathy Tyson. For Christopher, it proved the turning point on his journey from rebel without a cause to happily married father of one, who is now following his acting dreams.
In 2008 Christopher decided to tell his own remarkable story in his autobiography Breaking Free, which has now caught the imagination of the film company who are keen to develop it into a screenplay.
“I wanted to tell my story as honestly and openly as possible, to hopefully show that no matter where you start in life, that’s not how you have to end up” said Christopher. “I make no excuses for my behaviour and I know I made wrong choices, but the important thing is I got back on the right track. I started believing in myself and believing that maybe God had a better plan for me.”
Christopher has since gone on to appear in TV dramas including Coronation Street and The Building of the Titanic as well as Sky TV’s Mystery Files and touring in the award-winning play Remembrance Day. Last year he appeared as Bill Sykes in Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust’s production of Oliver! at the Floral Pavilion and more recently in Bullets and Daffodils, the critically acclaimed musical by Dean Johnson, reading the poems of Wilfred Owen.
His life story has also proved an inspiration to young people from Wirral with similar deprived backgrounds to his own.
“After the book came out I was approached by The Gideons, a local charity, to go and talk to young people with similar backgrounds to my own, which I have really enjoyed doing,” he said. “I believe that young people have so much to offer, but just need a little encouragement. Sometimes I see so many teenage groups on the streets and know that if they knew what background I came from, then they too could follow their dreams and do something positive with their lives”.
Alongside this important voluntary work, Christopher rounded off a busy 2012 playing the part of a Social Services director in a new British-made feature film For Love’s Sake. Directed by Andrew Walkington, it tells the moving true story of one mother’s fight to regain custody of her children, following a breakdown which led to them being placed into care. The film is due to be premiered in the UK and USA in Spring 2013.