Four years ago, Tiffany Dupont was crowned Miss University of Georgia. Today, she's the queen of Persia.

Dupont plays the lead role of Esther in the new film One Night With the King, which opens in almost 1,000 theaters this Friday. The film, three years in the making from Gener8Xion Entertainment, is the story of the book of Esther, the courageous young Jewish woman who risked her life to ask Xerxes, king of Persia, to spare the lives of her people. The screenplay was adapted from Tommy Tenney's book of the same title.

It's the first leading role for Dupont, 25, who had parts in 2003's Cheaper by the Dozen and 2004's The Work and the Glory, in addition to TV roles with Joan of Arcadia and The Bedford Diaries. In One Night With the King, Dupont joins Luke Goss, who plays the role of Xerxes, and veteran stars Omar Sharif (Prince Memucan), Peter O'Toole (Samuel, the Prophet), and John Rhys-Davies (Mordecai).

Dupont—a committed Christian who has said she only wants to play wholesome roles, a la Reese Witherspoon—recently chatted with us about the movie, about her co-stars, and about how her pastor was the one who told her she'd landed the role of Esther.

I hear there's a cool story about how you learned you got the part.

Tiffany Dupont: Yes. I go to a Calvary Chapel church out here in Los Angeles. I had been here about two years at the time. I'm very close with my church, very close with the pastor and his wife, and I work with a girls ministry here.

Anyway, I had auditioned like five times for the role, but I still hadn't heard anything. So I'm at church one Sunday, sitting with the pastor's wife. Then the pastor starts talking about this movie, and that they're praying for it, they're excited about it, and all that. ...

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