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Asheville’s own Xaveria Baird on the big screen in “Not Another Church Movie”

Baird at the Hollywood premiere for "Not Another Church Movie."
Courtesy of Xaveria Baird
Baird at the Hollywood premiere for "Not Another Church Movie."

Local Asheville actor Xaveria Baird is making a jump to the big screen.

The 31-year-old Shiloh resident said his role in the new film “Not Another Church Movie” is a dream come true and a "blessing from Jesus."

The movie, out this Friday, includes Baird acting alongside stars like Jamie Foxx, Mickey Rourke and Tisha Campbell.

“It's just fun to be around these people, because you learn about them and you watch them on TV and next thing, you know, you're walking the red carpet or in a scene with these people that you watched growing up,” Baird said.

The spoof comedy, directed by Johnny Mack, riffs on films and characters created by Tyler Perry. The story follows Taylor Pherry (Kevin Daniels) as he tries to write a movie about his dysfunctional family, while God (Jamie Foxx) and the Devil (Mickey Rourke) meddle with his script.

Baird plays the role of Calvin, a guy he describes as someone who “wants to be hip” and “ends up in a bit of trouble.” The character is based on another Calvin, played by Kristopher Lofton, from Perry’s 2008 film “Meet the Browns.”

Acting is a relatively new endeavor for Baird, a former football player at Brevard College. At school, he studied early childhood education and worked as a preschool teacher after graduation. Then, a former girlfriend suggested he try acting, he said.

From there, he realized it was a calling.

Baird studied with the late Jon Menick, a teacher at the Screen Artists Co-op, a local acting workshop.

Within a few years, he started landing gigs, including an appearance as Shamik on season five of Donald Glover’s “Atlanta.” He’s also appeared on television shows “MacGyver” and “Step Up: High Water.”

Baird says one important thing he learned from acting classes was how to bring his “big personality” down to earth.

“Having that big personality for theater is really good, but you have to bring it down a notch for television because everything is natural,” he said. “So learning how to say these lines on a piece of paper and make them mine.”

The film will be released in theaters nationwide on Friday, May 10. The Regal Biltmore Grande theater in Arden will host a red carpet event for the 7:45 showing.

Laura Hackett joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in June 2023. Originally from Florida, she moved to Asheville more than six years ago and in that time has worked as a writer, journalist, and content creator for organizations like AVLtoday, Mountain Xpress, and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. She has a degree in creative writing from Florida Southern College, and in 2023, she completed the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY's Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. In her free time, she loves exploring the city by bike, testing out new restaurants, and hanging out with her dog Iroh at French Broad River Park.