Candace Payne, the laughing woman behind the Chewbacca mask viral Facebook video that amassed nearly 140 million views in just a few days, has revealed that her contagious laughter and joy comes from her deep faith in Jesus Christ.
"As far as the joy aspect, it is much deeper than the Chewbacca mask," Payne said about her Christian faith in an exclusive interview with Christian Examiner.
"Joy will radiate that faith," she added and said that it was the same faith at work when she wore the Star Wars mask.
The worship leader at a church southwest of Dallas easily became an online sensation after posting a video on Thursday, May 19 showing a perfect example of how to celebrate "the simple joys in life." Payne could be seen laughing her heart out as she put on a newly purchased Chewbacca mask that she refers to as her birthday gift for herself that she bought from Kohl's retail store.
"It was fun watching it go viral and fun watching people get some joy out of it, too," said the joyful worship leader who shared that people struggling with depression and anxiety told her they were cheered up by the video.
"I haven't laughed in the two months since my dad died," Payne shared about one private message she received, while another told her, "I haven't had a gut wrenching laugh in two years."
On Saturday, May 21, Payne had another reason to be joyful about as officials from the Kohl's retail store surprised her by visiting her at her home and giving her freebies in return for her loyalty.
"We don't want you to stress about having to share your Chewbacca mask," joked a Kohl's official as he handed Payne three more Chewbacca masks this time for her husband, son and daughter. Payne also received more Star Wars toys, $2,500 worth of gift cards, and additional 10,000 reward points in her account.