Sherri Shepherd is back on the big screen in the emotion-packed, faith-based film Woodlawn.

In the movie based a true story, Shepherd plays legendary running back Tony Nathan’s no-nonsense mother.

Shepherd, who returned this year to The View as a guest host, talked with theGrio about her new film role and how her faith has played such and integral part in her career choices.

“I think that people are searching. With everything that’s going on now, it’s like every month there’s a shooting somewhere. There’s so much negativity. So much depression. I think that people are searching for something bigger than themselves, which is faith, love, the power of prayer, and knowing that it can change things,” Shepherd said while discussing themes in Woodlawn.

Shepherd also talked about the racial tension in 1970’s Alabama, brought to life in Woodlawn, and sounded off on some of the parallels between the film and the racially charged issues of today.

She took a moment to defend the Black Lives Matter movement.

“There is a disproportionate number of black men and black boys and black women… things are happening to them with the authorities. We’re trying to call attention to this. Nobody is saying all lives don’t matter. We all know that, and we have been saying that for years and years. Now we’re trying to spotlight what’s really happening right here and right now. It doesn’t negate anything else,” Shepherd said.

“I don’t understand why people are getting upset because you’re saying ‘Black Lives Matter.’ It’s just shining a spotlight on something very specific.”

Woodlawn hits theaters nationwide October 16.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Sherri Shepherd’s interview with theGrio, where she talks about the latest season of “The View” and gives her take on the evolving Bill Cosby sexual assault scandal. 

Follow theGrio.com’s Entertainment Editor Chris Witherspoon on Twitter @WitherspoonC.