With a mischievous smile and the face of an angel, 7-year-old Maddox Robinson was full of energy as he raced from poster to poster outside of Regal Hollywood Stadium 20 & RPX in Greenville Monday afternoon.

Outgoing and friendly, he already shows a hint of a movie star in the making, which isn’t surprising since he co-stars in the upcoming faith-based movie “Champion,” which releases nationwide in theaters this weekend.

“It’s about a girl named Gracie, and she’s been adopted by this family called the Suttons,” Maddox explained. “I’m the little boy, the youngest.”

The son of Matt and Kelley Robinson, who is a third-grade teacher in Greenville, Maddox is a child model and actor represented by East Coast Talent out of Atlanta. His mom said she saw a posting looking for a child actor for the role, and two days after sending his materials for consideration, Maddox, then 5, was on the set in Georgia, cast as Aaron Sutton, younger brother to one of the movie’s main characters.

Starring Andrew Cheney and Gary Graham, “Champion” is set in the supercharged world of dirt track racing, where a single mistake causes the lives of two men to change forever. Maddox’s mother said the plot is full of surprising twists and turns.

“We went to the film premiere, and I have to admit, I was surprised at how great it turned out,” she said. “I was there for five days of filming, and I had no clue it was going to be that amazing. It was made by the same people who made ‘War Room,’ so I really think it’s going to end up doing great.”

“Champion” won Best Feature Film and the Audience Choice Award at the Christian Worldview Film Festival, and Kelley Robinson said she expects it to win even more awards.

“It really is that good,” she said. “I think it will be one of those movies that starts out small but grows bigger the more that people realize how good it is.”

She said Maddox has appeared in other projects, but this is his first appearance on the big screen. He described his role as the comic relief.

“Some parts they cut out! I mean, what?” he said comically.

“At the premiere, he went straight, marching up to the director, and said, ‘You cut my scenes!’ and I was like, ‘Oh my lord!’” his mother recalled. “The director said, ‘I know. I’m so sorry!’ It was funny.”

She added that “Champion” isn’t a sad movie.

“It’s the ultimate story of forgiveness, and it’s a faith-based film, but it’s not just about being a Christian,” she said. “It’s for anybody. It’s hard to forgive people, especially when they haven’t asked for forgiveness, and everyone has had that issue. You literally feel like a different person when you leave the theater, and that’s rare for me when I see a movie.”

Maddox has already been cast in his second movie, based on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shootings in Charleston, his mother said. She said acting isn’t something she or her husband pushed Maddox to do. He genuinely seems to love it.

“He loves being in the spotlight and meeting new people,” she said. "If there comes a time when he doesn't want to do it anymore, all he has to do is tell us."

“When I was 3 years old, I said, ‘Mommy, I want to be a star.’ It’s been really fun, and I like doing it,” Maddox agreed, adding that he’s not sure he wants to be an actor when he grows up because he’d rather dig up dinosaur bones.

“I want to try to find an amargasaurus!” he said with a smile.

You can go

“Champion” opens May 19 at Regal Hollywood Stadium 20 & RPX in Greenville, AmStar 14 in Greenville, and The Big E in Gaffney.

Maddox Robinson will host a meet and greet beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at a private screening of the movie at Regal Hollywood Stadium 20 & RPX. To request tickets to that event, email Tickets may also be available at the box office the night of the event, but seating is limited and not guaranteed. 

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