Kevin Sorbo on Being a Christian in Hollywood and ‘Against the Tide’ (Part 2) | Inspiration Ministries
Back To Articles

Kevin Sorbo on Being a Christian in Hollywood and ‘Against the Tide’ (Part 2)

by John Farrell

Kevin Sorbo Live on Inspiration Ministries

Thank you for joining us for this Inspiration Ministries Facebook Live Interview!
We’re excited to do this Inspiration TV On Demand edition of Facebook Live with actor, producer, director, husband, and father, Kevin Sorbo!
After the interview be sure to sign up for your 30 Day FREE Trial to Inspiration TV On Demand at https://bit.ly/Watch-KevinSorboand to watch Kevin’s movies ‘Gallows Road’ and ‘Before the Wrath’!
And…visit http://inspiration.org to read and share John’s interview with Kevin Sorbo.
Finally, if you would like to know more about a personal relationship with Jesus, please visit tofindgod.com!

Posted by Inspiration Ministries on Tuesday, November 17, 2020

 

John Farrell: Obviously, you have a long resume in the movie and television industry doing both secular and faith-based projects. For more than a decade now, more and more of your roles have been in projects with more of a positive message of faith and hope than the projects you worked on earlier in your career. Why this change in your career trajectory?

Kevin Sorbo: I look at my seven years in “Hercules” and I have to brag a little bit. I apologize for the sin of pride. By our third year down there in New Zealand, we passed “Baywatch” as the most watched show in the world in 176 countries. It was a seven-year run. In fact, the studio wanted to go longer with it, but then I got offered to do “Andromeda” and I’m a big sci-fi fan of Gene Roddenberry.

What’s amazing is that I love what the writers did with the show “Hercules.” Even though you’re dealing with mythology, it wasn’t like looking at it as a religion of sorts. They always put good messages in those movies and TV shows and they always had moralistic values in there. They had a lot of humor. They had some very touching moments, but it was always about how Hercules was there to really help people and not just to look for fights and beat people up. He was there to be a good example, a good figure for people. That really sort of opened up a door for me.

I started doing a lot of good movies between 2005 – when “Andromeda” ended – and 2010. In fact, there’s one in there called Avenging Angel. It’s a Western that deals with faith, which I really liked a lot. It’s one of my favorite movies.

But in 2010, I got approached by Dallas Jenkins. He said, “I got this movie that I want you to read the script for.” I read it and asked, “Who’s playing Pastor Ben?” He goes, “Well, I don’t know yet.” And I said, “I want the role.” He said, “Oh man, I can’t afford you. There’s no money in this.” I said, “I don’t care. This is an amazing movie.”

That really opened up the door for me in a way, because I said I want to do more movies like that. And that was written by the same guys that did God’s Not Dead, which I did a couple of years later.

I think What If… was even a better movie than God’s Not Dead. It just didn’t get the publicity that it deserved. That’s the toughest thing with independent movies. It got to a point with Hollywood where they said, “Well, you’re a Christian and you’re conservative, sorry, we can’t work with you anymore.” So much for the tolerance that they scream for.

That door just closed, but then this door opened up and I said, “I really want to do movies like this anyway. I don’t care if Hollywood doesn’t want to use me anymore.” They don’t owe me anything and I had a great run and a whole different sort of road less traveled, so to speak, opened for me and I took it.

JF: Building on that, how has your faith affected your place in Hollywood?

Kevin: It hurt, which is amazing to me. They’re the ones who can fight for freedom of speech and tolerance, but it’s all a one-way street with them. And I find that sad.

If people have a different opinion of me politically, religiously, whatever it may be, I won’t hate them. I don’t get angry about it. Let’s have a talk about it. If you want to have a talk about it, great. If not, live and let live. I want to harvest without beating down people saying, “You better become a Christian or you’re going to hell.”

I want to do movies that make people think a little bit and open them up to further discussion. The biggest thing I find with my atheist friends that I know, and even atheists that have come up to me to talk to me saying, “Yeah, I like that movie, but I don’t think the way you do.” They say, “You know, the problem I find with Christians are you’re the least forgiving.” Of course, some Christians are this way. Not all Christians are unforgiving, but quite a few are and we’re very judgmental. I don’t debate that.

We should be the least judgmental and we should be the most forgiving, but we have to work on that. I think pastors need to stand up and stop worrying about the size of the congregations and get back to working for God instead of working for the government. I think the political correctness has worked its way to everybody right now and it’s hurting this country more than helping it.

JF: From looking at your IMDB page, although you may not be doing as many mainstream secular roles, it doesn’t seem you’re hurting for work. There’s obviously a big market out there for movies that are more hope-inspiring and faith-based.

Kevin: Yeah, there’s a call for it. I travel a lot through airports, hotel lobbies, and restaurants where people walk up to me all the time and say, “Please make more movies like Let There Be Light.” I’ll say, “I’m working on it, but you guys gotta support them.”

The hardest thing is raising the money and we need people to raise the money. The movies that I do … the independent movies most people do in the family world are very inexpensive. They’re like $4 million. That sounds like a lot, but that’s catering on Pirates of the Caribbean. They do $300 million movies and we have a hard time finding $4 million.

Usually in independent movies, those investors are going to get their money back plus some. With that kind of budget it’s almost guaranteed for you to get your money back. You can’t guarantee anything in the industry. It’s still a risky business, but all the movies I’ve done, all the investors have gotten their money back and more. We just need people who want to come in and be part of this world and help change the world.

There are plenty of people out there I know that have the money to do these kinds of movies, but they’ve got to come out of the woodwork and help us spread a positive message to people instead of a negative one. Look what’s going on. If you look at Netflix, they put up that “cutie” thing and many people left Netflix. I just read they lost $15 billion in the last quarter because all these people canceled their subscriptions.

JF: In regards to two of your upcoming projects – Faith Under Fire and Miracle in East Texas – could you briefly tell me a little bit about both those films and your character in them and how he relates to the overall story?

Kevin: Miracle in East Texas is really near and dear to my heart because I directed it. I starred in it along with my wife, who does an amazing job. John Ratzenberger is amazing in it. Lou Gossett Jr. was amazing, as was Tyler Mane. People know him as Sabretooth in the X-Men movies and wrestling fans know him as well.

It’s a true story set in 1930. It’s written by the great Dan Gordon. Dan Gordon was the show runner in “Highway to Heaven.” He wrote 60 of those episodes. He wrote The Hurricane for Denzel Washington and Wyatt Earp for Kevin Costner. Amazing writer. It’s about two conmen played by myself and Ratzenberger that woo widows out of their money on fake oil wells all through Oklahoma and Texas. They would sell 500% of the shares to clear a dry hole. When they didn’t find oil, they’d sneak out, go to the next town, and do it again.

When they get to Kilgore, Texas, they actually strike oil. Ends up being the largest oil find in the history of the world. The whole time they’re wooing these widows, they’re quoting scripture and quoting Shakespeare. The more they do this, especially my character, the more it bothers him how he’s really deceiving people and using scripture to deceive them.

There’s a wonderful twist at the end of the movie that you’re going to have to see when it comes out, but it’s a touching true story. It’s funny and moves along amazingly. For me to be able to direct this movie was a Godsend. It was so much fun.

It was supposed to be in theaters in July, but obviously with everything going on it won’t come out until next year when more theaters open up. I hope people support it when it gets out there.

Faith Under Fire is a movie in which I play a doctor. It’s really a very touching story about this girl who gets cancer. Her father is a fireman and it’s another very moving story about finding love, faith, God, and hope, which we need more than ever right now in our world with all this anger and hatred out there and the BLM, Antifa, and the rioting, looting, and killing. Most people with any biblical values in their lives, would they be out there doing that destroying people’s businesses? I don’t think they would be.

JF: I look forward to seeing both of these when they come out. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but two of your films, Before the Wrath and Gallows Road are being offered on our streaming platform, Inspiration TV on Demand. Could you briefly tell me a little bit about those films and the role you play in them?

Kevin: Before the Wrath is another documentary that has been out for at least four months now. It was the number one documentary on Amazon for the first three weeks out. I know that after that it grew to become not only the number one documentary, but the number one Christian movie out on streaming and DVD right now.

It is an amazing look at the book of Revelation. It combines scholars and intellectuals talking about that and how it deals with a wedding that took place way back in Jesus’s days. They combine this thing so perfectly with the modern day using actors and the portrayal of what that wedding was and how it intersects with the return of Jesus as well. It’s fascinating.

It’s shot really incredibly well. I’m not on camera with those guys, but I’m the narrator. Brent Miller and his team put this thing together. I’m involved in the next one that they’re going to be doing. In that one I will be on camera, but also the narrator of it. They’re going to do a documentary on the disciples, which I’m really excited to be part of. It’s going to be pretty cool.

Gallows Road is another movie I played in. I’m sort of a guiding force for a gentlemen that is having a rough time in his life and is trying to figure out what road he wants to go on. It’s a wonderful touching movie. It does deal with racism. It does deal with revenge and it finally deals with repentance and love. It’s a pretty cool heavy drama movie that finds love and hope for the two main characters involved in this. I think people will be touched by it.

JF: What advice do you have for Christians who want to get into acting and perhaps move to Hollywood to chase their dreams?

Kevin: Get ready for a lot of rejection. I don’t care where your belief is or not. It’s a city of broken dreams. When I moved out there from my small town in Minnesota, a buddy gave me the most solid advice I could’ve gotten. He said, “Hey, remember it’s called show business, not show shows.” So, I went out there and treated it like a business.

I learned a lot from caddying. I used to be a caddy at this private country club. I was a teenager and I used to ask these guys, “How’d you become so successful?” Every one of these guys individually said, “You know what, Kevin, I failed. And I failed again. And you know what, I failed some more and I kept failing.”

I loved the fact that they learned from those failures and they took the negative away and just kept the positive from each adventure. That’s what I brought with me out to Hollywood.

I had a positive feeling about it. I knew I was going to have success in the industry. I worked hard. I got in the right acting classes. I was very lucky. I never had to work another job when I got out there. I shot very well in the commercial world. I never had to bartend or wait tables or do any of that stuff. I always made enough money to get by to pay my rent and pay for my acting classes.

I was grateful for that. I think you just got to go out there with a positive mindset. I tell people, “Don’t let anyone set your limitations, especially yourself. Start each day, look in the mirror, and say, ‘I’m getting better. I’m getting stronger. Go for it.’”

JF: Great advice. Outside of the projects we’ve already discussed, what’s next for you?

Kevin: I shot a pilot two years ago for a new comedy called “The Potwins.” The Potwins is sort of like Tim Allen’s show, “Last Man Standing,” meets “Family Ties” – the one Michael J. Fox used to be on back in the 80s. It’s very funny.

I totally forgot about it, but I got a call out of the blue. The producers picked it up for eight more episodes. I live in Florida now so I had to go back to California, which I never shoot in California. All my movies seem to shoot out of state or out of the country. I went back to California and we shot eight episodes.

We had to take three COVID tests a week. It was just insanity. It’s a little overkill, but it’s very funny.

The biggest thing to me, that’s bigger than that, is that I just got one of those investors out of the blue write me a check and I’ll be directing and starring in the next Left Behind movie.

JF: Is that still in preproduction?

Kevin: I’m hoping to shoot in November or December this year, but we’ll see. Might be a little premature now, but we will get it out there. I’m looking forward to it. It’s a very good script.

JF: Is there anything else that you’d like to add that I may not have asked or something that you perhaps want to reemphasize?

Kevin: I’d love people to go check out my book, True Strength, that deals with the three strokes that I suffered from an aneurysm I had during my Hercules’ years. My recovery took three years.

I have a follow-up book that I wrote with my wife that just came out called True Faith. People can go to kevinsorbo.net to get autograph copies or they can see what I’m doing. There’s all kinds of information on the website from DVDs and books that I can sign. I have scripts from my movies. There’s a lot of stuff on there that people can check out.

Related Articles

Kevin Sorbo on Being a Christian in Hollywood and ‘Against the Tide’ (Part 1)

Defending the Bible: An Interview with Dr. John Lennox

Gallows Road: Where Racism, Revenge, and Redemption Converge

Before the Wrath: Are You Ready?

 

Kevin Sorbo, a veteran Hollywood actor, director, and producer, is best know for his lead role in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”, one of the highest-rated syndicated television programs in the world, as well as for TV series Andromeda” and “Supergirl”, and the motion pictures God’s Not Dead and Let There Be Light. Learn more at KevinSorbo.net

 

 

John Farrell is a Digital Content Writer / Editor of Inspiration.org.

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like one of our anointed prayer ministers to support you as you lift your voice in prayer, please click on the link below.  

Prayer Request

US / Canada:
+1 803-578-1800

UK / International:
+44 (0) 84 5683 0584

For more life-changing stories and Bible teaching, tune in to Inspiration TV or our new Inspiration TV on Demand (VOD)!

Watch Inspiration TV Live

Check Out Inspiration TV on Demand

You can watch our powerful programming on either Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, via livestream at ini.tv/livestream, or on the Inspiration TV mobile app — click here for all the ways to watch!

Be Encouraged Daily! Sign-Up For Our Devotionals