Knowing the tragic true story of Jadin Bell going into the filming of the fact-based story “Joe Bell” was heartbreaking enough for actor Reid Miller; but recreating the crucial time in Jadin’s life and watching the completed film was even more devastating to the up-and-coming actor. Mark Wahlberg stars in the title role in “Joe Bell,” an Oregon father who embarks on a walk across the country to raise awareness of bullying and how it led to his gay teen son, Jadin (Miller), to take his own life. However, the walk is also Joe’s way to seek redemption for denying Jadin was gay when he came out to him and misunderstanding the pain his son was going through. As such, Joe imagines in his mind that Jadin is on the walk with him, so he can make up for his past mistakes and in a way forge the bond they never had when the teen was alive.
“Joe Bell,” now playing in select theaters nationwide, also stars Connie Britton as Joe’s wife and Jadin’s mother, Lola, as well as Gary Sinise as a Sheriff Westin, a compassionate lawman who befriends Joe on the road. As Miller discovered, filming “Joe Bell” was one experience; actually seeing the completed movie and realizing the full impact of it was another, as he detailed in an exclusive interview with Looper.