Kevin Sorbo and Shane Harper. Photo: © 2014 Pure Flix Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.

A still from “God’s Not Dead.” Photo: © 2014 Pure Flix Entertainment.

GALO: What was it like going from a relationship on-screen to a relationship in real life?

KS: Well, I guess you could say it was art imitating life or life imitating art.


But we both kind of knew it right when we met, and here we are. We got engaged within six months [of dating] and married a year after that, and now we’ve got three kids and are about to have our 18th wedding anniversary.

GALO: Congratulations! Thats phenomenal. Especially since success in that department seems sort of rare these days.

KS: I know! It’s very rare, and I told her, this should really be a golden anniversary in our relationship.

GALO: A few years ago, you became the celebrity spokesperson for the inner-city mentoring program A World Fit For Kids, which has done a lot to increase graduation rates and draw kids out of the urban gang and drug culture. You’ve also spoken of the gratification it has brought you to receive letters from kids over the years thanking you for the role model provided to them by Hercules. Does being a mentor or positive role model influence the sorts of roles you take, or the kinds of projects in which you decide to get involved?

KS: I guess, yeah, it kind of does, and having kids of my own, too, certainly changes your outlook on life, and your view of what’s appropriate — of what has value and what doesn’t, what has good morals, and so on. But if I were to just read scripts, get 20 pages in, realize it doesn’t hold my interest, and then just say no to it; or if I’m reading for a character and think, ‘maybe this isn’t the exact kind of character I’d like to play’ — if I approached potential roles like that, I would have to do only faith-based movies. And that’s not what I’m like, because I like to mix it up a bit. And I’m still at heart an actor, so if there’s an interesting part I see where the character is just a complete nut-job, I think, ‘maybe he’s an interesting nut-job to play’ [laughs]. I’m not saying no to all roles, though there are certainly some roles that just don’t interest me, or the script just doesn’t feel right to me and I say no, but I don’t really like to stick to just one genre, so to speak.

GALO: Didn’t you play a serial killer at one point?

KS: I did, yeah, in a movie called Julia X. I told my mom when I did it, “I made a movie that you can’t watch” [laughs]. And it was violent, but not overly so — it was more of a psychological thriller. Unfortunately, though, it hasn’t really come out yet, because the director and the producers are at odds with one another, and it’s been in court for about three years now.

GALO: That’s a shame.

KS: Yeah, so I think that by the time it comes out, the interest will have waned on it. It’s a shame because I think it would have showed me as a completely different character in the eyes of Hollywood, which would have been good for my career. Unfortunately, there are just so many factors that can make things not happen, and you’ve just got to live with it.

GALO: I thought God’s Not Dead showed that versatility too, though, seeing as you play a mean-spirited college professor who seems to be the polar opposite of a good-natured hero like Hercules. Besides the difference in personality type, you also had to assume the mindset of a character whose beliefs are deeply antithetical to your own. As a Christian believer, was it difficult to see the world from the perspective of atheism, or have you had your own frustrations with or doubts about God as a person of faith which enabled you to more easily step into the shoes of this person?

KS: I’ve certainly had my frustrations with God, though I’ve never really had much doubt about God’s existence. I think that, when things go bad in our life, we tend to point fingers and blame other people, God included. I guess, welcome to the new generation of America [laughs]. A lot of people have this sense of entitlement, where they feel that their life isn’t the way it should be and it’s somebody else’s fault. It’s something that drives me crazy, but we don’t have to get into politics, or all of that politically correct insanity, as I call it [laughs].

GALO: If not your own experience, then what was the main inspiration for the character?

KS: I have friends and acquaintances where we’ve had discussions about God and have been at odds with each other, but I really just based the character, first of all, on the writing, because I thought the writing was great from the script. But also, secondly, just based on people I’ve seen on these cable outlets — these atheist guys. These guys actually have a club; they actually have presidents of American Atheists. It’s amazing to me that these guys take the time, energy and effort to display their hate, their anger, and their absolute contempt for people who believe in God. It doesn’t make any sense, because it just seems like such an awful waste of time to me to be so angry about something you don’t even believe in. So I feel this sort of pity for them, on the one hand. On the other hand, though, they crack me up [laughs], so I really also just based the character off some of these guys I see on TV, because there are some who really just seem like clowns to me.

But they exist, and they’re out there, and there are atheist college professors like that all over the country that are, in all honesty, persecuting students in their classrooms whom they find out are Christians. It’s sad because college freshmen will go to school having a belief, and then, four years later, they come out not having it. I feel like saying, “Great job, universities of America, you’re doing a wonderful job of bringing our country down even more” — a country that became great and was built by individuals who had a belief in God.

GALO: The filmmakers said openly that the film was made to raise awareness about this phenomenon you mention — that of students from faith backgrounds abandoning their traditional beliefs as a result of evangelistically anti-theistic curricula and professors. In your view, though, are there any other factors which might be causing this decline in traditional belief? We all know that some believers talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, for instance, and the revelations of child abuse in the Catholic Church over the past couple of decades come to mind in particular as a poignant example of religious hypocrisy. Do you think that plays a part? What are the greatest challenges to faith in the modern world, as you see it?

KS: I really think the greatest challenge is to stand up — we need to reach a tipping point, in cases like this, because it’s just ridiculous. I think pastors need to preach, and to not join the politically correct world, like so many of them have. They need to say, “Hey, look, this is wrong, and that is wrong,” and not cut corners about it. Christians just seem to me to be getting softer and softer. As for hypocrisy, I mean, I’m not the most perfect person in the world, and I know that, but that’s one among many reasons that I’m thankful for God and Jesus in the first place.

I have to admit, though, that it’s kind of strange to see where our churches are going, and I think pastors really just need to get back to basics and get back to giving a little tough love to their congregations. Sure, the Catholics definitely took a hit, but I think there are bad apples everywhere, regardless of which side of the faith spectrum you’re on. There are bad people everywhere, but I don’t think they’re the majority in the world of Christianity. Nevertheless, it’s definitely easy to run with that idea, and I’m sure the atheists of the world really relish in religious hypocrisy, but, really, they’re suffering from hypocrisy just like anybody else and just like any other group which contains a lot of people. And honestly, to me the anger of people like that seems to come from something that they do believe in, rather than the failings of people of faith which allegedly cause them to doubt. I think that they believe there might actually be a God, but they just hate the fact that something far more superior than them is judging how they live their lives.

GALO: That certainly seems to be the case with Professor Radisson.

KS: Yeah, for sure.

GALO: You seem to be just as active now as you have been throughout your career. I understand that you’re in the process of filming a few movies currently?

KS: Yeah, I actually shot five movies this year. Two of them were bigger movies, and the others were more like cameo appearances. But I’ve been doing quite a mixture of things. I just sold a TV series with the Hallmark channel called Can’t Get Arrested. I’ve got a faith-based series called Miracle Man that we’re out there pitching right now with my old bosses from Hercules, Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, and we hope to get it off the ground.

We’ve got strong interest from a couple of different studios and networks, and, hopefully, we’ll have a great faith-based TV series on a regular basis again, much along the lines of Touched by an Angel, Highway to Heaven, and 7th Heaven. So, there’s a huge audience out there, obviously, with the success of God’s Not Dead, which with a $2 million budget grossed $62 million in America alone, $80 million overall, and the profits are still counting, really. I think that with all the DVD sales and theaters in other countries this thing may pass $100 million. It’s far and away the most successful faith-based movie ever, and by far the most successful movie in Hollywood this year, dollar to dollar.

GALO: It seems like it’s really gotten a lot of attention. Congrats!

KS: Yeah, thanks, it’s really incredible.

GALO: Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

KS: I love for people to follow me on Facebook. I challenge people on Facebook; I don’t put up funky stuff like a lot of actors do. It’s the Kevin Sorbo official Facebook page. And my Twitter is @Ksorbs and it goes through Also, [I’d love for people to check out] my book True Strength — it deals with the illness and the strokes that I suffered on Hercules and my recovery.

GALO: Thank you so much, Kevin. We really appreciate it.

KS: Appreciate your time, take care.

Video courtesy of “God’s Not Dead: The Movie.”

God’s Not Dead” is currently available on DVD, Blu-Ray Combo pack, and Digital HD.

Featured image: A still from the film “God’s Not Dead.” Photo courtesy of © 2014 Pure Flix Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.