Hercules Actor: ‘Being a Christian in Hollywood, You Get Attacked’

By Michael W. Chapman | October 14, 2014 | 7:18 PM EDT

Movie and television actor and director Kevin Sorbo. (Photo: Sorbo/Facebook)

(CNSNews.com) – Kevin Sorbo, star of the 1990s TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, as well as the 2011 movie Soul Surfer and this year’s highly successful God’s Not Dead, said there is a huge audience for Christian-themed movies and Hollywood would profit if it understood that audience, but he added that if you are a Christian and a conservative in Hollywood, “you will get attacked.”

Sorbo, who sometimes comments on current events, also said he believes there is a hostility towards Christians by some media and they spend an inordinate amount of coverage on topics such as “global warming” instead of focusing on more immediate issues such as the persecution and beheading of Christians by radical Muslims.

In an interview with CNSNews.com about the new movie Let the Lion Roar, in which he plays the 16th century Protestant John Calvin, Sorbo talked about the appeal of Christian movies in the marketplace and how the media are hostile toward people of faith.

CNSNews.com asked Sorbo if the criticism he has faced stemmed in part from the fact that he is an outspoken Christian.

“Yeah, sure,” he said. “I think being a conservative in Hollywood and being a Christian in Hollywood, you get attacked. It’s so strange to me that the media sits there and protects the things that they protect, or they ignore the things that they ignore, and they go after stories like global warming -- like that’s more important than what’s going on in the world right now with these terrorists.”

“Am I saying that all Muslims are bad? Of course not all Muslims are bad,” said Sorbo.  “That’d be a silly thing for me to say. There’s what, 1.2 billion of them out there? But they’ve estimated 300 million of them are radical and ready to behead every single person who doesn’t believe the way they believe, including fellow Muslims.”

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“That’s a far bigger problem for me with terrorists in the world than the things that they [media] want to pick on, attack, and I’m tired of racism being used as a card or bigotry or anything,” he said. “It’s like, give me a break.”

CNSNews.com then asked, “In the interviews I read some of the things you talked about was some of the resistance in Hollywood or New York to making Christian movies or pro-Christian movies, even though a lot of these, if they’re done well, they tend to be popular and profitable. You seem to be saying that there’s an animus against Christian movies in Hollywood -- why do you think that is?

Sorbo said, “You know, it’s interesting, I went to see Noah. I got invited to Paramount and one of the producers came up there. Well, number one they hired an atheist director, which to me is a weird choice. I mean, look, the movie was very interesting, it was beautifully shot. But as my wife says, it was Waterworld Meets Transformers. But I think it only made $100 million in America; I say only but they had $200 million into it. Worldwide they did very well. I think they still ended up making a $100 million profit. Not a bad profit, you know?”

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“But ultimately it did very well opening week and in every one country that opened it,” he said.  “But if you look at it, that movie dropped off 50, 60, 70% in every country the following week. Word of mouth was like, ugh, it doesn’t really speak to us. And I say us, I’m saying Christians who went to, who flocked to the movie to see it.”

In analyzing why the appeal of Noah diminished quickly with audiences, Sorbo referenced, for contrast, Mel Gibson’s hugely popular 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ.

“I go back to Mel Gibson, only saying that if you look back at stories -- I’ve been saying this stuff, you can see the stories that were printed up -- Hollywood not being very happy with Mel’s portrayal [of Christ’s Passion],” said Sorbo. “Well, he shot it for $30 million and the darn thing made –what? -- $500, $600 million worldwide?”

“So, with the believers in God it obviously struck a positive chord, much like my movie God’s Not Dead did this year,” he said.  “I mean, we had a $2 million budget, the thing made $64 million and we did very well overseas.”

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He continued, “So you know there’s an audience out there, is all I’m saying. I think Hollywood, I don’t think they on purpose don’t do it, I mean it’s called show business and they want to make money too and I know they’ve got more things coming down the pipe.  … But I just think, I don’t think they have people around that understand it, that get it because maybe they’re not believers in God, maybe they’re not Christian, maybe they’re not whatever -- and I think you’ve got to hire people like that to put movies out there that will appeal to the audience.”

Sorbo then noted the phenomenal success of Christian-themed or God-based television series.

“I mean, you look at 7th Heaven, Highway to Heaven, Roma Downey’s show Touched by an Angel, those shows all went 8, 9,10 years and there’s been nothing like that on TV for a long time.,” said Sorbo. “Why?  There’s an audience out there that would love that stuff, that has a moral compass that they want their children to see and follow, as well. To me, there’s nothing wrong with that.”

“I don’t know why Christians get bashed,” he said. “Christians aren’t the ones beheading children and blowing up churches and buses with women and children on board. So, I don’t understand why Christians get attacked and we sit here and protect Muslims, say, ‘oh well, can’t judge them all.’”

“Wow, it’s so strange to me,” he said, “what we protect and what we go after right now in this country through the media.”

Kevin Sorbo’s latest film project, Let the Lion Roar, examines how the Bible was changed by some anti-Jewish writers throughout history and presents its message that the Jewish people and Israel are vital in God’s plan for man’s salvation. The movie was released on Blu-ray/DVD with an accompanying book in September. In addition to Sorbo, other actors in the film include Oscar-nominated Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight), John Schneider (October Baby), and Stephen Baldwin.

Music for Let the Lion Roar was composed by Grammy-nominated Jaci Velasquez and Grammy-nominated Tim Rushlow.

Sorbo, 56, is married to actress Sam Jenkins and they have three children.

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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman