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Justine Schaefer (left) and her identical twin sister Julie appear in many IWU theatre productions, such as last year’s Much Ado About Nothing. (Much Ado photos by Ben Dobler and Rachael Stuckey. Courtesy IWU Theatre Guild.)

You know that big moment in 80% of all high school movies ever made, where the entire school is at the football stadium or the auditorium or the cafeteria or something and everyone is looking at our heroes and then, at the climactic moment, the whole crowd bursts out in thunderous applause?

That actually happened, sort of, to two IWU students on the set of the 2012 high school movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

In this week’s edition of the IWU Sojourn student newspaper, sophomores Julie and Justine Schaefer told Sojourn‘s Tim Gutai about their summer 2011 experience on a film set that featured stars like Emma Watson, Paul Rudd and Nina Dobrev:

Julie: My best experience was our last night on set. We were filming from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., and we were at a football field. When we were done with the scene, Stephen [the director] has this microphone because he was down on the field, and he said, “Can we have a big round of applause for our twins, Julie and Justine?” The whole, entire stadium stands up and applauds us. It was the best feeling I ever had in my whole, entire life.

The Schaefers, both theatre majors, have appeared together or separately in multiple productions of the IWU Theatre Guild in the Phillippe Performing Arts Center’s Black Box Theatre, including The Importance of Being Earnest (Justine), The Glass Menagerie (Julie), Much Ado About Nothing (Justine and Julie), and the upcoming Steel Magnolias (Julie). They talked with the Sojourn about their views on the place of a Christian in the acting vocation:

Q: What are your views on how Christian actors should approach roles, especially where they may not agree with the content?

A: Justine: I suppose I should say this: The film explores themes of sexual abuse, homosexuality, substance abuse and things like that. It’s a very challenging film, and a film that maybe people – especially people from a Christian perspective – aren’t going to agree with. But I think it’s good for us as Christians – and even Julie and I as theatre majors – to approach these issues with an open mind and see how we can help, how we can be there for other people and show Christ’s love. I think that’s our purpose as artists: to show Christ’s love wherever we go, even if we’re dealing with some things we may not agree with.

Q: What advice would you both give to aspiring Christian actors?

A: Julie: I know this is said a lot, but you need to follow your dream regardless of what anyone says to you. We’ve had people be negative about us wanting to go into acting. Our family has always been very supportive, but there were people who were negative about it. You have to get past that. You have to say, “I feel that God is calling me in this, and I’m going to do it no matter what.” You have to believe in yourself, and that’s the biggest thing – believing in yourself and believing you can do it and that God will lead you in the right direction.

Be sure to check out the Sojourn’s entire excellent profile, including anecdotes about meeting Emma Watson and working on a Hollywood set.