On Friday, December 30, 2016, while attending Marvelous Nerd Year’s Eve in Dallas, TX, the newest convention experience from Geek Expos, I was able to interview an actor that our fans at Geeks Under Grace should know greatly: Kevin Sorbo. In the 1990s, with his breakout role of the titular hero on Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (as well as appearances on that show’s spin-off, Xena: Warrior Princess, and their animated adaptations), Kevin became an international television star known the world over after the series, introduced by several TV movies, became a smash-success, surpassing the ratings of Baywatch to become the most watched series in the world and airing in 176 countries. Its success led to the creation of Young Hercules, introducing the world to actor, Ryan Gosling. In 1997, Kevin accepted his first leading film role in the fantasy film, Kull the Conqueror. He has since made many appearances on TV, most notably as Captain Dylan Hunt on Andromeda, which ran in syndication from 2000 to 2005. In addition to TV and film, Kevin has voiced characters in video games, such as God of War III and The Conduit. He has also authored True Strength (available by following this link), an autobiographical recounting of how recovery from health problems changed Sorbo’s life. In 2014, Kevin starred in the faith-based film, God’s Not Dead, from Pure Flix Entertainment; it grossed well over $100 million worldwide against a budget of $2 million, showing that there is definitely a market for films with a Christian message. Since then, Sorbo has starred and been involved behind-camera in several films that are Christian-focused, including those mentioned in the interview below, Let There Be Light and The Pastor, both unreleased at the time of this publication. Other great family, faith based films of Kevin include What If…, Abel’s Field, & Avenging Angel, each available on DVD, VOD, or as autographed copies purchased on kevinsorbo.net.
It was obvious to me in my discussions with Kevin that he is trying to make a difference in his films beyond just making money. I was impressed by how genuine of a person he seemed to be, even with his fame and wide social media presence. Sorbo was very gracious in his time and discussion with me, and I thank him for his openness and genuine kindness in allowing me the opportunity to interview him for Geeks Under Grace.
Q. Were you a Christian when you worked on Hercules (The Legendary Journeys)?
Kevin Sorbo: Yeah, I’ve been a Christian, pretty much all of my life. I mean, I don’t remember a time when I really wasn’t, but I think, as I got older, when I was fourteen, I went to a Billy Graham Crusade in St. Paul, Minnesota, and I think–because I was getting older–that it just sort of made more sense, so if you want to say “reborn,” that’s when the time would have been.
Q. How old were you then?
Kevin: I was fourteen then. Yeah.
Q. Now, on that show, of course, you were the demigod, Hercules. Was there ever any issue within yourself reconciling that, or was it just fun playing the character?
Kevin: Playing Hercules? Oh no. I just looked at it as mythology. I know “demigod” is in there, but I didn’t ever think of anything about, you know, something that’s blasphemous or something that was negative. To me, they always had good stories. I loved mythology as a kid when I was growing up, and I understood–I was smart enough to understand–why mythology happened for people who couldn’t explain hurricanes or tornadoes or why the sun came up, so they created all these different gods to make themselves feel better. But for me, I like messaging in the movie because they always had pretty good moral messages in the movie, and I remember getting a letter from the TV Guide editor at the time, saying “It’s the one program the family watches together.” And I took that as a compliment.
Q. We (my family) loved it growing up. Of course, we’re at a “geek” convention, and they are increasingly popular. Are you a “geek” for anything in particular, like when you have spare time?
Kevin: I love the original Star Trek series. I love the original one, and it’s funny that, when Hercules became the huge hit that it was, and I would do cons now and then, I only had time to do maybe one or two now and then, because I was living in New Zealand. But to meet Leonard Nimoy and to meet Shatner–that was a “geek” moment for me. Now, I do cons with Shatner all the time. I did Captain Dylan Hunt, the first Captain he (Gene Roddenberry) created after Captain Kirk; he wrote the series back in 1969, Gene Roddenberry (the original Star Trek creator) did. And so, for me, it was pretty cool just to be a part of that program (Andromeda).
Q. Are there any books that you like? Are you a comics fan of any kind, or do you really not have time?
Kevin: I never really was a comic fan. I guess, as a kid, I used to read Spider-Man and Batman, but I never really got into the Comic-Con world that much.
Q. What advice would you give Christian geeks in today’s culture? Because, of course, you could just kind of look around (at the convention floor); there’s all kinds of things people can get into. Is there any advice you have for caution?
Kevin: You know, that’s actually a very good question, but I think it’s above my pay grade. To me, I’m a “live and let live” kind of guy; I don’t sit there and try to force my religion, but I’ll talk about it with anybody. I don’t back down from this. It’s funny. I have people bash me on the internet, of course, because people are very brave in their world, in the darkness of their apartments.
Q. Bravery behind the keyboard.
Kevin: Oh yeah, but I have never had people walk right up to me and say, “I’m an atheist, and I hate you” or something like that, and I’m sure I’ve passed them. But they’re too afraid to come up and say it to my face.
Q. Well, I mean: you are Hercules!
Kevin: (laughs) I guess. Could be it.
Q. Do you have a favorite Bible passage, favorite book/verse for encouragement?
Kevin: I think “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10), so I think people have to realize… I always tell my atheist friends, “So you’re going to tell me: something came from absolutely nothing.” I don’t care; you can do the chicken/egg thing all you want with me, but somebody had to start all of it, something had to start all of this. It doesn’t just happen. You can’t get something from nothing.
Q. I know we’re pressed for time, but as far as a testimony goes: it all kind of clicked when you were fourteen. As far as a testimony–because I would consider you to be “one of us” (Christian) in a place (Hollywood) where there isn’t a lot of influence–what kind of got you to where you are here, because I heard you just finished directing a movie, a faith-based movie. Of course, there’s God’s Not Dead–one of the most successful that there has ever been yet. As far as a testimony goes, to get you where you are now, to be a voice on social media, to be a voice in the movies, do you have any words on how and why God has got you here now?
Kevin: You know, I try to be a good person, I try… I always pray, “Thy Will be done,” because it is the truth. It is “Thy Will be done.” So, to me, it’s like I will not back down from social media. I try to use it in a positive way. I go, “Guys, this is facts. This is truth. This is reality.” And we live in a country that’s getting more secular by the minute, unfortunately, and I think a lot of it is in our public education that the indoctrination goes on. Kids that manage to make it through kindergarten, through 12th grade, still have a belief, but they get to college, and it’s taken away? That’s weird to me. People going to college are supposed to go there to learn, not to have these professors try to tell them how they should live their lives in a non-religious world. I’ll say, if you’re stuck in a really bad neighborhood somewhere, and you see four kids: black, white, Hispanic, I don’t care what, walking at your car at 2:00 in the morning, are you gonna be more scared of them if they have Bibles in their hand as they pass you? Probably not. Why is that? Ask any atheist that question: “Why do you feel more safe?” Because if Christians were out there doing the beheadings, not radical Islamic Muslims, would there be a bigger uproar in our media? Tell me about it. It’s weird, what’s going on.
Q. Let There Be Light is a project you have coming up. Any other future projects you would like our “Christian geek” readership to look forward to?
Kevin: I’m about to start shooting a movie called The Pastor. I play a cop in this movie. It’s pretty interesting. They’re hoping to make a TV series out of it, but really, Let There Be Light is the biggest project where my mind is at right now. We’re gonna do a long, grassroots effort to let everybody know about this, and it will come out around Thanksgiving next year. So, I hope people check it out.
Q. Do you have any advice for broadening the “Christian” market, because you are a part of it. How can it be made bigger? Should it be any bigger, because it might lose something in being bigger?
Kevin: Here’s the key: people that want movies that have values, let alone strong moral values, have to support these movies that come out–these movies that are good, bad, or indifferent. It doesn’t matter.
Q. Yes, through ticket sales.
Kevin: You need to send the message to Hollywood, because it is called “show business,” that there is an audience out there that wants movies that have great character development and strong values and strong morals; and we need, not just Christians, even just people that have strong moral values. There’s plenty of agnostics out there that have strong values
Q. That can say a lot.
Kevin: Yeah, get out there and support these movies, because more will be made.
Q. Thank you for your time.
Kevin: Thanks, buddy.
To keep up-to-date on all that Kevin has in production, be sure to look him up on IMDb, or visit his official website at www.kevinsorbo.net. If you would like to follow Kevin Sorbo online, he is on all major social media outlets:
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