In a new film, country singer and Lake Highlands High School grad Granger Smith plays a country singer struggling with loss.

In Moonrise, Smith’s character, Will Brown, has just lost his wife and pushes away those close to him as he grieves. He learns to love again when a horse trainer arrives to teach their daughter how to ride the same horse his wife died riding.

Sign up for our newsletter!

* indicates required

The movie also features new original songs from Smith.

Smith’s real-life wife, Amber, also happens to play his late wife in the film, something they meant to be an “Easter egg” to viewers.

Instagram will load in the frontend.

The Smiths are no strangers to grief and losing close family members, either. A few years ago, they lost their 3-year-old son, River, to drowning in the family pool. The personal connection is what further drew him to the character, he says.

“If me sacrificing a difficult time on camera meant other people who were stuck realized they were stuck and you don’t have to stay stuck, you could move forward out of this … it was worth it,” Smith told CMT.

“Moonrise was released December 15 on Pure Flix and will be available to stream in other formats in the coming months.