Now playing nationwide, Same Kind of Different As Me is the true story of the friendship of arts dealer Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) and Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou), a homeless man Moore befriended at the behest of his wife Deborah (Reneé Zellweger). Read below for info on how this movie helped make a difference in Jackson, Mississippi and why Same Kind of Different As Me was an “easy yes” for Zellweger.
“It was a very easy yes, I might say,” said Zellweger. “(Director Michael Carney) called me and said ‘I heard you loved the story. I heard that you’re inspired by these people’s lives and what they chose to commit themselves to doing. But let me tell you what we’re going to do. We’re not going to what most folks in Hollywood do. Go and borrow the town, build a set and then tear it down and say thank you very much and then leave. We’re actually going to find a mission in Jackson, Mississippi that is unable to properly serve the homeless community and we’re going to refurbish it so that they can take care of the folks in that town.'”
The community center at Central United Methodist Church, which was turned into the Fort Worth Union Gospel Mission during the production, now has a new $300,000 kitchen thanks to Everybody Can Help Somebody Foundation (which was created by Ron Hall, and producers Stephen Johnston and Darren Moorman). For more info on how Johnston and Moorman helped fund Same Kind of Different As Me, check out this piece on The Clarion-Ledger.
To hear Zellweger talk about how the film made an impact on Jackson, Mississippi, check out the audio below (Hall is also heard at the tail end of the sound bite):