I did quite a few interviews at CPAC 2014 this year, which will be rolling out over the next couple of days; it took a long time to upload the video files, and a couple still need some editing. They were all fun, but it’s tough to top talking with former Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) for any reason — but especially about films and politics. Thompson came to CPAC to promote his latest film, Persecuted, which deals with the encroachment of the state on religions expression. We talked about the film, the cast, and the prescience of the script in terms of HHS contraception mandates and the effort to get the state to force participation in same-sex weddings. The script was written five years ago, as we discuss:

The Hollywood Reporter noticed the CPAC buzz over Persecuted:

The actor and former GOP presidential candidate’s independent film about “censoring religious speech” has conservative confab CPAC buzzing.

Regal Entertainment said Friday it has booked for a May 9 release a political thriller called Persecuted that explores politically timely topics like religious freedom, government surveillance and censorship. …

Persecuted stars James Remar as a televangelist who is framed for murder after he refuses to support a popular wave of religious reform in the U.S. The film also stars Dean StockwellRaoul Trujillo and Bruce Davison.

Despite very little marketing thus far, the movie’s trailer was recently No. 1 on the iTunes “most popular” list, a feat insiders attribute to a robust Facebook page and the ripped-from-the headlines themes that the movie explores.

The trailer begins with real-life Fox News Channel personality Gretchen Carlson, who plays a news anchor in the film, informing the televangelist that, “There are those who claim that your ministry is intolerant.” The trailer ends with another character asking: “If you take away a man’s right to speak his mind in a country founded on that very principle, you don’t really have a country, now, do you?”

I have to admit, I was sorely tempted to talk to Thompson about the situation in Ukraine. Not so much because Thompson would have special expertise on the situation, although he’s certainly been good on foreign policy over the years, but just so I could ask him whether Russia had a plan before entering Ukraine. Getting him on video saying, “Russians don’t take a dump, son, without a plan,” would have been awesome. Alas, that moment was not meant to be. Instead, Thompson delivered a soon-to-be classic line: “Real progress is good. It’s Progressives you have to watch out for.”

Here’s the trailer, which has been popular on iTunes. Keep an eye out for this film when it opens.