November 30th, 2009
01:57 PM ET

Kimberly Williams-Paisley to star in movie based on Amish school shootings

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Lifetime Movie Network isn’t one to shy away from the tough subjects of pregnant cheerleaders, murderous mistresses or cheating husbands.

Now LMN is tackling a real-life tragedy, producing a feature film based on the 2006 Amish school house shootings in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.

The film, entitled, “Amish Grace,” will feature former “According to Jim” star Kimberly Williams-Paisley in the lead role and will be based on actual accounts of the shootings as well as the book "Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy" by Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt and David Weaver-Zercher.

On October 2, 2006, a gunman walked into a Nickel Mines schoolhouse, took several girls hostage and eventually killed five of them before taking his own life. The story garnered national attention, not simply because of the extent of the tragedy, but because of the Amish community’s all-encompassing forgiveness of the gunman.

Williams-Paisley, who is most famous for her romantic comedy turn in “Father of the Bride” and as the spouse of country crooner Brad Paisley, will play the fictional character of Ida Graber who, devastated by her daughter's death, finds herself struggling to forgive the gunman.

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Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Maggie from Pa

    I agree that this movie is in poor taste to say the least. I knew one of the families and to think of their pain being exploited (even though they will probably never see it) makes me sick. Leave these quiet people alone to live out their lives, privately. I will not watch this movie.

    December 3, 2009 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kristine Adams

    I watched the live tv coverage of this tragedy unfold and I too was amazed by the compassion and forgiveness the Amish people had not only for the gunman but his family. They went to HIS wife that night and told her they forgave her husband and did not blame her at all. I know it will be difficult to watch for those of us that lived in that area, but think about the greater lesson here. They truly were acts of God that day. They forgave their transgressor. They turned the other cheek and reached out to another hurting family. This is something that should be shown because it is a lesson we all need to hear over and over again. By far he is getting his punishment in hell. Perhaps the makers of this movie will make a contribution to an area agency that offered support during this crisis or the local mennonite agency that does mission work around the world. Kimberly is a terrific actress and she will bring grace and dignity to this film. It will be hard to watch, but think of the greater impact it could have on the country.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Meg Hager

    I totally agree that hell is for anyone who makes a movie of this. The Amish don't even agree to photos of themselves for religious reasons, so how could they feel about this movie. Are dollars are more important than consideration for this terrible tragedy happening to them?

    December 3, 2009 at 4:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. Michelle

    I think that sometimes, enough is enough. Why do we need to publicize this anymore than it already was at the time? As a native from the largely Amish Lancaster County in Pennsylvania, I know from experience that the Amish keep their business to themselves and try to keep themselves separated from the English. I think this is just an unnecessary invasion of a space that is uniquely theirs. I hope that Lifetime doesn't paint the Amish in a poor light because from my dealings with them, they are definitely cordial, but reserved people.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. MSB

    Steven in PA - how do you know the reason Clemmons killed the 4 police officers was "to get on TV"? Did he tell you this? I don't think anyone really knows the reason he decided to do such an "evil" thing. And since he's dead, do you think there's TV in Hell? Also, forgiveness is not something that anyone can "make you do", it's comes from the heart, it's a choice, not a requirement.

    December 2, 2009 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Amalia

    I love Kimberly Williams-Paisley! She is an awesome actress. I am so pysched to see this movie!

    December 2, 2009 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. Debra R

    I understand where the PA people are coming from. it is so much easier to watch a "based on a real story" when you are unaware of the facts. many tme the facts are changed or ignored as in the case with several movies "Cinderella Man" being the most recent. In that case they made Baer a thug and created incidents that never happened which caused his family extra pain. We will see if lifetime has more integrity.

    December 2, 2009 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. terracoeli

    Dear Buffy and Steve: maybe this movie will help educate people about the Amish culture and remind "us" of God's commandment that we love (and forgive) one another. I doubt it, though. Movies like this are made to make money. I don't think the "grace of God" will stop production, either. I myself plan on exercising my right of self-determination; I won't watch the show.

    December 2, 2009 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Steve in PA

    I have to agree with Buffy, this movie is a bad idea. I remember when this whole stand off took place and the murders of 5 innocent children for no reason at all. To make this movie in the attempt to show forgiveness should be given to someone doesn't make it right. Not everyone can and should be forgiven for what they choose to do. This man had his 15 minutes of fame and nearly destroyed a small town because of it. There are plenty of other movies Lifetime can make without having the killing of innocent girls in it, to show forgiveness in the face of a tragedy.

    Maybe they can make one of Clemmens who just killed 4 police officers for no reason other then to get on TV. Then we can all sit around and watch and forgive his deeds and all feel better about ourselves.

    December 1, 2009 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. m k coughlin

    Kimberly Wililams-Paisley is a fine actress who will tastefully and professionally protray what happened. I look forward to the movie, as with all LTMs.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris W

    How cool! I love Kimberly. She's not only gorgeous, but a wonderful wife, mom, and actress. Glad to hear she's making a new movie. I also don't understand "Paisley's wife........." in reference to her movie. Very patriarchal and outdated reference, as if she's Brad's chattal. She was famous for quite awhile before her husband hit the big time. Anyway, I'll be watching her movie.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. carol kesling

    i love kimberly and her husband, what a great pair! i will definately look for the movie. good luck kimberly and congrats on the new baby!

    December 1, 2009 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dani from AZ

    Buffy, there are dozens of movies out there that are based on true stories, and film producers create something that would make money, making money is what makes them sleep at night, and some movies based on actual events even helps educate some. You must not watch movies at all to find that offensive. Im looking forward to seeing the movie.

    December 1, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. amyinoaktown

    BTW, Kimberly WILLIAMS-Paisley was on the map way before her husband!! Love her work....she is a great actress and happy to see her in more roles! Best one yet was Lucky 7!

    December 1, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. quimbey

    I wonder when it will air. I read the book, and remember the incident. Hope it done well. Kimberly will do a good job.

    December 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  16. drc

    I think Kimberly Williams-Paisley is a good actress also ... but find it weird that the link to this article was titled: "Paisley's wife in Lifetime movie." As if her claim to fame is her husband. Don't get me wrong, Brad Paisley is a great artist too ... but I'd heard of Kimberly Williams before I'd ever heard of Brad Paisley. I'm sure she's proud to be his wife but come on, give credit where credit is due!

    December 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Princess

    She is a great actress. I'm sure she will do a great job as an Amish school teacher.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Debs626

    Should be a very interesting movie.
    Love Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  19. Buffy Immel

    It saddens me to hear the announcement today on the radio that they are filming a movie for Lifetime Movie Network regarding the Nickel Mines School shooting. As a native from Nickle Mines, PA I am horrified that any movie producer or actors would do such a thing! My family has a close connection with those families whose lives were turned to turmoil that October day, we know they would highly disapprove of this movie or any such thing. How can anyone who is financially benefiting from this movie sleep at night. I hope with the grace of GOD this movie gets shut down. Those little girls are angels in heaven not characters in a movie.

    December 1, 2009 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  20. Debra R

    I find it ironic that the Amish will not be alble to see this movie. I certainly hope that lifetime does not embellish too would be gilding the lilly...but I am sure Kim will turn in a solid performance.

    December 1, 2009 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  21. Stephanie

    I can not wait to see the movie. She is an awesome actress.

    November 30, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |

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