For the first time ever, acting legend Chuck Norris has extended his official “Seal of Approval” to a film that he doesn’t even star in, the independent war drama “Last Ounce of Courage,” which follows the life of a father, son and grandfather who each take a stand for the rights of religious freedom and public expression.
"It was an easy choice to endorse this film because it’s message is consistent with my life principles and core values," Norris, a devout Christian and champion of American values and those who serve our nation, told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. "I’ve been asked to lend my name to endorse causes and projects for years, and I never had a mechanism to do that. A few years ago I decided to create a seal of approval as a marker that is consistent with my core values."
And it didn't hurt that Norris has a long friendship with the movie's star, Marshall Teague.
"I worked with Marshall on 'Walker Texas Ranger,' and we’ve been good friends for years. He gives the performance of his career in this film and no one should miss it," Norris said.
Teague, who plays a small-town mayor, is confident that “Last Ounce of Courage” will strike a powerful chord across the country.
“It’s about faith, family and freedom – it really is about every town in America. It will touch something in your psyche and in your heart,” he said. “We’ve had theaters filled with people openly weeping. After one screening, a gentleman came up to me and told me he had served, and that he had been waiting 85 years for someone to stand up there and say what I said.”
Over the years, Teague said he has been faced with personal attacks because he expressed his religious and political convictions, and that inspirational films have become few and far between in the entertainment industry.
“Movies like this aren’t considered ‘fashionable,’ and people are afraid of being jumped on for taking a strong stand,” he said.
But above all, “Last Ounce of Courage” seeks to spark dialogue about America’s founding values, patriotism and individual rights.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and that is what this country was designed around. Brave men and women have unfortunately lost their lives to defend our freedom,” Teague said. “You have the right to religious freedom, the freedom to speak your mind. When that is taken away, what have you got? It would be a pretty grey world. In my lifetime, I have never seen more cruelty directed toward people who speak their minds. This is not the country I was born in, this is not America. And that really bothers me.”
“Last Ounce of Courage” hits theaters on September 14, following a national premiere on Patriot Day (September 11), from which a portion of the proceeds will be donated to military charities.
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay