Hercules and Serena on faith and film
Jordan Raynor sits down with Kevin and Sam Sorbo, Film and Television Actors, to talk about why we must focus on mastering our crafts before we push any particular agenda, Kevin’s conversation with Johnny Depp about watching your own work and, how to “put miles on the car” on the path to mastery.
[00:00:05] JR: Hey everyone, welcome to the Call to Mastery. I’m Jordan Raynor. This is a podcast for Christians who want to do their exceptional work for the glory of God and the good of others. Every week I’m bringing you a conversation with a Christian who is pursuing world-class mastery of their craft. We’re talking about their path to mastery, their daily habits, routines and how their faith influences their work.
Today, I'm so excited to bring you this conversation with my friends, Kevin and Sam Sorbo, better known as Hercules and Princess Serena in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Yes, the mega hit TV series from the mid-90s. At the time, Hercules was the most watched TV show in the world. This is when Baywatch was on TV. That’s a mind-boggling stat.
Today, the Sorbo's are producing family-friendly films such as God’s Not Dead, which grossed as astonishing $64 billion globally on $2 million budget. Kevin and Sam and I recently sat down. We talked about why we must focus on mastering our crafts before we push any particular agenda and what the implication of that is in the “Christian film industry”.
We talked about Kevin's interesting conversation with Johnny Depp about watching your own work, and we talked how to put miles on the car that leads to the path of mastery in your vocation. I think you guys are really going to enjoy my conversation with Kevin and Sam Sorbo.
[00:01:51] JR: Kevin and Sam, thanks so much being here there.
[00:01:53] KS: Good to be here.
[00:01:53] SS: Yes. Thanks for having us.
[00:01:55] JR: TV icons, of course, best known for your roles in Hercules. I love television. I write books, but TV is my favorite medium. I got to ask you guys now that we’re spending more time at home in this coronavirus crisis, what are you guys watching right now?
[00:02:10] KS: It’s a mixture of things really. I mean, I love watching movies back from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. I'm introducing my kids now of age really to be able watch some of the movies that I watched, and that’s been kind of fun. It’s been interesting. We’ve kind of made a movie night at least probably 4, 5 nights every night. A lot of popcorn going here.
[00:02:33] JR: I love it. That’s a good way to spend this crisis. I want to talk about each of your career stories. Kevin, let's start with you and then we’ll go to Sam. Kevin, you grew up in the Midwest. One of things I find interesting in your stories, you had an interest in both sports and acting. Take us from there all the way through your career.
[00:02:51] KS: I grew up in a little town outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota called Mound, Minnesota. It’s about 25 miles west on the beautiful shores of Lake Minnetonka. Our little towns was home to Tonka Toys. That’s where they made them, like Minnetonka. Get it?
I was always a sport nut. My little town was, I would say about 7,000 people, 5,000 would show for football games and our basketball games and it was very supportive community for sports. When I was 11 years old, my mom was a chaperone. We went to the Guthrie Theater. Very famous here in Minneapolis. A lot of people from Broadway perform there, and saw The Merchant of Venice. It was Shakespeare. I was blown away by the actors on stage. I didn't understand what they were saying, because I was a lot young. It was Shakespeare. But it stuck with me and I’ve made a mental note and said, “I’m going to be an actor one day.”
I did really start dabbling until I got into college really, because I felt the peer pressure that we always do, where as a jock made fun of the people in the drama class even though I wanted to be there myself. You go to college, learn to sort of reinvent yourself and be more true to yourself I think.
My double major in marketing and advertising, but I minored in drama. I started doing commercial. Minneapolis is host to a lot of big companies. A lot of people aren’t aware, international headquarters in Minneapolis are BestBuy, and Target, 3M, and Honeywell, Hillsberry, General Mills. I did a lot of commercials. That all-important screen actors’ guild card.
When I finished up in college, I was going to leave straight for LA, but got sidetracked going to Dallas for a couple years and then got sidetracked even more, and three months in Europe, turned to 3-1/2 years living in Europe. Lived in Milan, lived in Munich, lived in Vienna, lived in Paris. It was a wonderful 3-1/2 years. It really made me grow up as a person. I did a lot of print work, a lot of commercial work.
Finally made my way to LA. I studied with three different acting coaches over the next six years that were really well-known acting coaches. That was huge for me to take those classes and apply my time and craft. I never had to work another job. I never had to bartend or wait tables, do any of that stuff that most actors are doing to make ends meet. I work very well commercially.
Then obviously got my break in Hercules, what’s supposed to be five two-hour movies down the beautiful country of New Zealand turned into a seven-year hit show that became the most watched TV show in the world, and that obviously propelled me to get the lead role as Capt. Dylan Hunt in Andromeda, which was five years on that series.
Then since then I’ve shot over 60 movies. I've just been real busy and with a very fortunate career that I think hard work and luck and timing and all those things mixed together can pay off for you if you're willing to put in the time and the effort.
[00:05:23] JR: Yeah. You got to put it in the time. By the way, when we met up for tea a couple months ago you, mentioned that Hercules is one of the most-watched shows.
[00:05:30] KS: It was the most-watched show in the world. We passed Baywatch.
[00:05:32] JR: That blew my mind. Yes. What were the other shows in this time period? Baywatch? What else was on air?
[00:05:37] KS: There was Baywatch. There was – Gosh! What was on that time? I can’t remember. By the time our third season rolled around when we did become the most-watched show in the world, as typical Hollywood, if anything is successful, everybody copies it, right? Tarzan came out, Beastmaster came out, Conan the Barbarian, Robin Hood, Sinbad, all these copycats shows came out. But we were the first out of the gate and we just kind of held on to that title.
Universal Studios wanted to go another three years, go do seasons 8, 9 and 10, but I got an offer that was too good to refuse from the sci-fi channel and Gene Roddenberry to do Andromeda. I’m a big Star Trek fan. To play the first captain after Capt. Kirk was pretty cool for me.
[00:06:17] JR: That's awesome. Sam, let’s talk about your story. I love that while you were getting started in modeling, you are also earning a degree in biomedical engineering from Duke. Could you pick up your story from college and what led you to choose modeling and acting over biomedical engineering?
[00:06:34] SS: Oh, well. That's pretty easy. I was working on [inaudible 00:06:36] in college. I was just so stressed out, because I just put a lot of pressure on myself. I decided I needed to take some time off. I had already learned Swedish as a second language and I decided I wanted to learn French, and then it turned out that I could model in France and learn French. When I realized that I could model and then I could segue back into acting too, it was just a fairly easy choice for me.
[00:07:08] JR: Then your path led you to Hercules. Kevin, how did you guys meet on the show? How did this all come about?
[00:07:14] KS: Every two weeks, they sent down a pretty girl for me to work with. It was a great dating service for me. Sam, it just hit it off right away. We hit it off right away. I had to beat her down a couple times verbally, not physically, to make her go out with me.
[00:07:28] JR: Thank you for the clarification. Yeah.
[00:07:30] KS: [inaudible 00:07:30] to go out with me, and we had an amazing first date, unusually strange and amazing first date.
[00:07:36] JR: Wait. What was the first date?
[00:07:37] SS: We went to see a movie and we got there early, so we sat in an empty theater and waited for the movie to start. For some reason, Kevin told me where he was going to be married, because that’s what everybody dreams of, wedding chapel. He said there's this little chapel in the Swiss Alps, and I said, “You mean in Garmisch?” He looked at me like I was crazy. He said, “Yeah, how did you know?” I said, “I have a picture of it on my wall in my apartment.” Then he said, “Well, yeah. I want to get married there and I'm getting three kids boy, boy, girl,” and I said to him, “That’s so odd. That’s what I'm having, boy, boy, girl.”
[00:08:14] JR: Bizarre.
[00:08:15] SS: It is a bit bizarre.
[00:08:16] JR: From the first date on, you’re like, “All right, this is just a matter of time.”
[00:08:19] SS: Me?
[00:08:19] JR: Yeah.
[00:08:19] SS: No. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.
[00:08:23] JR: I love it.
[00:08:24] SS: This is too perfect. What’s wrong with this picture?
[00:08:26] JR: Right. You guys have been very busy since Hercules. I mean, that's the headline, right? I think that's how people would recognize you. But, Sam, talk a little bit about the work you guys are doing today by way of film and entertainment.
[00:08:41] SS: We got to know some people and they had a script and he read the script and he said, “I want to play in this movie.” The name of the movies is What If? It was very much a faith-based. I like to say that What If it is the very first unabashedly Christian Hollywood caliber film. It's absolutely a church film and it's absolutely a Hollywood film in terms of the quality.
[00:09:02] KS: I’m going to jump in on What If here, because it's from the same writers that did God’s Not Dead and Unplanned, and Dallas Jenkins directed it. Dallas came to me with the script. We’re friends, families are friends, their kids are the same age as ours. He sent me the script just to look at it. He didn’t offer me any role. He just wanted to get my idea. I said, “Who’s playing Pastor Ben?” He says, “I don’t know.” He threw out a couple names. I said, “Well, I’m going to play him.” He said, “I can’t afford you. This is such a low budget movie.” I said, “I don't care what the budget is. I need to do this movie. I love it. I love the role. I love the story.” I said, “I need to do this movie.” But it's a great, wonderful movie, and once I did that I said, “I want to do more movies like this. I want to do more movies.” I hate saying faith-based, because if you’re an agnostic, an atheist, that’s a faith too.
I wanted to do more movies that had a good message, with hope, with redemption, love, power, something that just had more of a positive messages instead of a negative one that Hollywood keeps to put out over and over and over again. That really opened the door for me.
I know you mentioned Hercules and people recognize me for that. That was the case six, seven years ago, but really 80% of people now come up to me and stop me at airports, at hotel lobbies, grocery stores, whatever and they say, “Really loved God’s Not Dead, What If, Soul Surfer, Let There Be Light, all these movies. Please keep making more like that.” I find that amazing, that the majority of people now stop me say, “Please keep making more movies like you’re doing now.”
[00:10:19] JR: I love that. I want to come back to that a minute, but for a second, I want to go backwards. Kevin, one of my favorite parts of your story is you did like 150 commercials or something like that before you landed your big break on Hercules. What is that experience taught you about just grit and discipline and what it takes to master a certain vocation?
I would assume there was some temptation to not sell out and do commercials or something like that, but like how did you think about that during that period of your career?
[00:10:46] KS: It’s putting miles on. People don’t realize how difficult and how exact they want to do commercials. You’ll shoot 10 days on the 32nd spot. They get really intense, but you’re on camera. You're working on a set. You got costume people and you got sound guys. The same as being on a big budget movie. I mean, there, you’re putting those miles in and being comfortable in front of the camera, in front of people, and they pay the bills. I got to tell you.
To me, I never looked back from that. That got me my SAG card. It’s very difficult to get that all all-important screen actors’ guild card. You need the same card to get a job. If you don't have it, you can't get a job. It's a weird thing. I’m telling you right now, and I know it sounds strange the way I just said it.
[00:11:25] SS: If you need a job to get the SAG card, and you can’t work unless you have a SAG card.
[00:11:32] KS: It's a very strange little frat or sorority to get into. But I’d tell you what, I tell actors all the time for starting out, get a commercial agent, because there is a better chance that you get in a commercial than you get a in a TV series right away.
[00:11:45] JR: I bet there’s a lot of people listening right now who may not be pursuing a career in acting, but feel this this chicken or egg tension. It’s like, “Okay, great. I have this dream job. In order to do that, I need to get experience, but I can get experience because I don't have a pre-existing experience.” Any advice you could apply kind of out of across-the-board of people in those chicken or egg scenarios in their careers?
[00:12:06] SS: I don’t know if it’s chicken and egg, because the reason that you can't get your SAG card unless you've done a couple of jobs is because you don't deserve to have a SAG card unless you’ve done a couple of jobs. The idea is you just start working.
There's a thing called camera time and there's only one way to get camera time, and that's in front of a camera on a real set. It doesn’t count if you’re on your iPhone trying to act. The only way to get camera time is to get jobs. TV commercials are a great way to just amass some camera time, and the camera time then helps you because when you're doing a bigger job, you know what you're doing a lot more.
[00:12:46] KS: Here’s the thing. No matter what job you’re in, whatever profession you’re pursuing. Don't let anyone such your limitations, especially yourself. Life wasn't made to be easy. Rejection is a good thing. I learned rejection was a good thing. It fueled the fire for me. It wasn't a negative word. Every time I walked into audition, they just basically said no. I mean, it’s tough, because you're your own product. I know people are out there and they’re in different jobs. We’re all in the business of selling something, somehow, someway.
To me, it’s like perseverance is the key. You got to stick with it. You got to work hard to be good at your craft. No matter what that craft is, whatever that job is. You have to want to. There's a lot of laziness out there and a lot of people are just, “Oh, I can do it. I can’t to this day.” Yeah, you can. You just have to want to do it. You got to get past that insecurity. You got to get past that envy, that jealousy, that hatred, that anger, whatever you got going in life that's a negative for you. Get rid of it. Get rid of negative people in your life. Seriously.
Surround yourself with people that have a positive mindset. Don't be around people that want to bring you down to their level, because they're not making it, their life is not working out for it. Too many people do that.
When I started working more and more in Hollywood, a few friends I made initially when I went out there, because I didn’t know anybody. They kind of fell aside one by one, because they weren’t making it, and I was. I realized who was a real friend and who wasn’t.
[00:14:00] JR: Yeah. There’re two things I love about advice you just gave. Number one, in your world, you just took any work you could get in order to get mileage, right? To get on camera. It might have been the dream job. In your case, that was the SAG jobs. But in the context of everyone listening, just take something. Just do something. Work hard at it right and other opportunities inevitably open up.
The other thing I loved, and Sam, you mentioned this. Getting in front of a camera where you're going to get feedback from professionals. Not just standing behind your iPhone camera. Because your iPhone camera, nobody is giving you feedback on that particular role. I think there's a lot of wisdom there. Kevin, did you watch your own stuff to like self-critiquing and get better?
[00:14:44] KS: Yeah. I mean I found it interesting. One time, I remember Johnny Depp in an interview said he never watches his movies. I was at Cannes Film festival. I was doing promotional work with Bethany Hamilton on her life story and the move movie I did with Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt called Souls Surfer. Here we are watching Pirates of the Caribbean 3, or 4, or 5, or 7, whichever one it was. He’s sitting right behind me. I turned around after – We had met a couple times before. He knew who I was. I knew who he was. I said, “I just say our interview a week ago and you said you never watch your own movies.” He just kind of smiled at me.
I think it’s a great way to learn. It's a great way to learn. I’m my own worst critic. People can say the harshest things, whatever, they want about me, but trust me, I’m my own worst critic. I think you can learn a lot. You learn a lot by watching. You learn a lot by doing as well.
I mean, I remember the last acting class I was in was an amazing class with Roy London. He passed away back in the 90s. But I was in the class of Matthew Perry, and Brad Pitt, and Charlotte Ross. It was an amazing class of actors that went on and have really big careers. After two years in his class, I went to see him and I said, “I’m done. I’m going to try a different class now.” He said, “We’re learning so much. You’re doing so well right now. You're breaking the boundaries.” I said, “You know, but I want to get work more,” because you paid a lot of money for acting classes. Acting classes run $500, $600, $700 a month. That's a lot for actors that are just starting out and trying to work and pay their bills.
He worked once a month. I said, “I want to work every week. Not sit in a class three weeks out of the four.” Then he says, “Kevin, you learn a lot by watching.” I said, “You know, that's true, but I watch a lot of basketball on TV and I’m not getting better at it.” You get better by doing.
[00:16:18] JR: Yeah. I love this theme of watching the tapes, right? For me, with the podcast, getting really practical, it's incredibly uncomfortable for me to listen to my own stuff. But it's critical, and I don’t listen to everyone, but I'll pick a few in each batch of podcast episodes I’m recording just to get better and take really critical notes.
Guys, we spend the majority of our time in this podcast talking about this intersection of faith and work and how our Christian faith influences our work product. Kevin, I want to start with you. Hercules obviously was not an overtly evangelical show and yet you were really acting out at least some biblical principles and stories of hope and redemption. Did your faith inform your approach to that show and that role at all?
[00:17:06] KS: It was there on the writing. They were great to do that. Yeah, it wasn't a Christian show or something like that, but it always had good moral messages in there, and that wasn't my doing. That was the writers, which I loved.
[00:17:17] JR: I've argued elsewhere, other people have argued elsewhere, that films coming out of the “Christian film industry” have pretty little impact outside of the church when the filmmakers prioritize the message over mastery of the medium, over simply telling a great story in a really artful way. You guys produce a lot of films in this category. I'd love to hear your perspective. I think you have something really valuable to share here on how you balance these seemingly competing priorities of advancing a message and advancing the art form.
[00:17:51] SS: It's pretty simple. The way that you make a film is you're telling a story. Jesus never prioritized the message over the story. If anything, the story was the messenger. It was all about the story. Then he left it up to the audience to figure out what the message was.
When we are telling stories, we’re telling stories. The message is in there, but we allow the story to be the Messenger. We’re not the messengers, and the actors aren’t the messengers. Let There Be Light. It’s pretty blatant what the message is. It’s pretty blatant, but it's carried by the story and that's why we had so many people see the film and email us and say, “I don't know. I don't necessarily agree with you, but this is a really good story and it's made me think.”
[00:18:37] KS: For those who haven’t seen that, please check it out on Amazon. Streaming right now, Let There Be Light. It’s a wonderful.
[00:18:41] JR: I saw that the other day. They’re putting a bunch of stuff upstream now with coronavirus. I saw there’s a new. It’s great.
When the three of us got together a couple months ago, the moment I really became a fan of the Sorbos is, Kevin, you told this story about how you were talking with a fellow Christian producer about potentially partnering on a film. You guys really wanted to show the dark side of a particular topic. I think it was prostitution, something like that. The other producer just refused to participate in the project because of that. You guys kind of held your ground about needing to show darkness and light. I think I know the answer to this, but I really want to hear you guys talk about why you think that's important.
[00:19:19] SS: I think what you're referring to is it's not prostitution. There's a scene in Let There Be Lights that features a young woman who is an international supermodel and she's dressed accordingly and we had a producer come and say, “How dare you show this to a Christian audience? It's not appropriate.”
[00:19:38] KS: She's dressed with more clothes on than most women that walked on the Red Carpets at the Golden Globe.
[00:19:42] SS: Right. She’s definitely wearing more clothes than certain performers at the Super Bowl, for instance. You know what I mean? He was simply offended. What’s worse is he basically denigrated the entire movie based on three minutes of the film.
[00:19:57] KS: Three minutes that she’s in the movie. Yeah.
[00:19:59] SS: Despite the fact that the film has an overtly Christian positive gospel message. We weren’t going to change the movie. I think that's part of the problem that you’ve already highlighted that Christian moviemakers sort of all into this trap of I have to be careful of what I'm showing my Christian audience. That's a choice. You choose then, right?
But we think that we can serve the greater audience and continue to serve the Christian audience. Because, frankly, okay, she had a little bit of a skimpy dress on. I thought it looked phenomenal. I was not at all offended by it. You know what I mean? I was like, “Well. Okay.” It makes the point that our main character is living in the world. Very, very obviously living in the world and dating the hottest supermodel and then his transformation becomes much more poignant when you see it.
If you just don't do that, if you're too afraid to show somewhat of the real-world, and we never see them in bed together. We never see them even intimate that they go to bed together. You know what I mean? We e didn't really crossed any lines.
[00:21:07] KS: We don’t even kiss.
[00:21:07] SS: They never kissed.
[00:21:09] KS: Here the thing. I have atheist friends, agnostic friends, and this is what I get from them exactly what this guy did to us about this. They said the trouble we have with you Christians is you try to force it down our throats and you think your way is so much better than ours and you're supposed to be the most forgiving people in the planet and a lot of times you’re the least forgiving. He's right.
I had this from a number of people that I know that are friends that are walking whatever path they’re walking and you kind of go, “Wow!” I told this guy who was a very heavy Christian that got in my face about this and I said, “Well, so then why do you support Jesus?” They looked at me and I said, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Well, Jesus hung around with a prostitute, didn’t he?” I said, “Time to look at the log in our own eyes, right?
[00:21:49] JR: Yeah, at the end of the day, mastery is what's winsome to Cchristian and non-Christian alike, just good art. As artists, if you want to tell stories of redemption, you have to show sin and darkness in order to get to the redemptive part.
Lecrae has a great essay in this new book called Uncommon Ground, and here’s this quote I have right here. He says, “By using stories, artists push people toward the master narrative of our creation, our fall, our redemption and our journey through the wilderness with God.” But you got to show their darkness to get to the light, right?
[00:22:25] SS: The devil has no stories. Every story is the story of Jesus. It's up to us to tell it in a winsome way that people can understand. How do we reach people to understand it? We don't present them with some funky fairytale thing.
[00:22:41] JR: When you guessed told me that you hear from nonbelievers who saw and enjoyed God’s Not Dead, I was honestly shocked. Can you guys share a little bit about why you think you’ve been able to create a film with a pretty on the nose evangelical message that seems to be resonating with at least some people outside the church?
[00:23:02] SS: The great thing about God’s Not Dead was the script, and then the second great thing about God’s Not Dead was Kevin, and the reason is because you hate him. You just hate him. Then you feel sorry for him. Then by the end of the movie, you’re in love with him and you're praying for him. You’re hoping for him.
Because of that, he wins your heart and it moves the audience. Once you get the audience on board, then your social media marketing kicks in and other people go see the movie. The movie appeals to Christians, not because it's a Christian story, but they went to Christians, right? They did like a thousand screenings in churches across the United States to build up a desire for people to want to see the film and then they had this phenomenal marketing campaign where people texted God’s Not Dead.
Here's the thing, we have the winning message. We have the winning story. The story is Jesus, right? We’re set free because of it. What better thing than to share that with other people? We’re called to share it with other people. I mean, it's a tug on our hearts to share. Given a movie that’s as powerful as God’s Not Dead mainly because Kevin's performance is so phenomenal and you just hate him, then you don't hate him, and then you love him. It's crazy.
[00:24:20] KS: Here's my take on faith-based movies as a whole. I think the scripts are getting better and better. Production values is as good as anything out there right now. I get stopped by people. I get emails through kevinsorbo.net when people get a hold of me through my fan site saying, “Look, I'm not a Christian, but a friend of my was a Christian took me to see this movie God’s Not Dead, or What If, or Let There Be Light,” whatever it may be.
I may not agree with everything that you think or say or how you believe, but I found the movie interesting. I found it good. I want to do movies that don’t just preach to the choir. I want the choir to support these movies. These independent movies need your support, guys. They want to cross that aisle. I want to talk to the agnostics or the independent voters. Which way are they going to go here? I want to reach out to people and let people come in and enjoy these movies. It really started with God’s Not Dead where people really started to come to me more.
A woman come up to us at the Salt Lake City Airport about a year after the movie came out and she came up to us while we were waiting for our flight. She said, “Are you Kevin Sorbo, the actor, God’s Not Dead?” I said, “Yes, I am.” She’s with her 7-year-old daughter. She goes, “I’m from Iraq. I live in America now, but I’m Muslim. After seeing your movie, I become a Christian and I just got baptized.” How amazing is that? I hear this more and more all time now from people through my fan site. It's incredible.
[00:25:26] JR: I love it. You guys are working on a new film, Miracle in East Texas, which is trying to do what we’re talking about, right? Focusing first on telling a great artful story, but there is a message in the film. Can you guys give us the 30, 60-second elevator pitch for this film?
[00:25:41] SS: The film is based on a true story of the East Texas oil strike about two scoundrels who were wooing widows into investing in their worthless oil wells and then they accidentally struck oil, and it turns out it was the biggest oil strike in the history of the world, and that is God's own truth.
We tell it as a comedy, because the way we tell the story is broad enough to get the whole audience. As we say to go outside the four walls of the church. We’ve we screened it at many places, many film festivals, and it's winning best comedy, best romantic comedy, best faith film, best family film, best narrative feature. It's just crazy.
[00:26:26] JR: You’re cutting across the lines.
[00:26:28] SS: What I love is Christians see the movie and they go, “Wow! That’s just an amazing story of redemption.” Non-Christian see the movie and go, “That was just a lot of fun.”
[00:26:36] JR: You guys have a legit cast behind this, right? John Ratzenberger?
[00:26:39] SS: Yeah, he's awesome.
[00:26:40] KS: Louis Gossett Jr. is in it, Tyler Mane. He’s a WWF guy, but he's known probably more now for Sabertooth on the X-Men movies.
[00:26:48] JR: Louis Gossett Jr. won an Academy Award, right?
[00:26:50] SS: That’s right.
[00:26:51] JR: He did for An Officer and a Gentleman, yup.
[00:26:52] JR: Yeah, there you go. That’s amazing. All right, guys. Three questions we love to wrap up very conversation with. I’d love to have both of you answer these questions. Which books do you guys find giving away the most to others or recommending most frequently throughout your life?
[00:27:07] KS: I’ll do mine right away. Anything with Bill O'Reilly. I’m a big fan of Killing Kennedy. I’m reading Killing England right now. Killing Lincoln was phenomenal. I love history books. These books are just really, really well known.
[00:27:19] JR: I was surprised to find that those books were as well done as they were. I read Killing Kennedy. I don't read fiction, but I imagine this is what fiction reads like, but its history. It’s factual. That's a good answer. What about you, Sam?
[00:27:31] SS: Yeah. I give away the book I wrote called They’re Your Kids: An Inspirational Journey from Self-Doubter to Homeschool Advocate.
[00:27:37] JR: Who would you most like to hear talk about how their faith influences their work? I'd love it if you guys said answers from Hollywood, but these can be from anybody.
[00:27:46] SS: It's weird. The only name that comes to my head is Whittaker Chambers.
[00:27:51] SS: I’d say Jim Caviezel. That’s not going to shock anybody.
[00:27:53] JR: Yeah. No, that’s a good one. That's a good answer. Guys, one parting piece of advice for this audience of Christ's followers who are just trying to do great work, whether they’re actors, or entrepreneurs, or writers, or whatever. They're trying to do great work for the glory of God and the good of others. What one nugget of advice do you want to leave them with?
[00:28:10] KS: Don't let anyone set your limitations, especially yourself. You have to put in the time, put in the effort and have the faith and belief in yourself. Don't listen to those bad, negative voices.
[00:28:21] JR: Put miles on the car. Sam, anything you want to leave our audience with?
[00:28:24] SS: Yeah. It's based on our book True Faith. I really like the phrase embrace adversity, and I think it's Paul who says, “Be grateful for your challenges. When we can adopt an attitude of thank you God for the challenge that is before m, because I know that it will stretch me, but I know that I will improve.” You’ll find life gets a lot easier, even in the hardship it gets easier.
[00:28:47] JR: I'm currently reading through Philippians, which Paul wrote in relative isolation. We’re at a time of social distancing right now. So very applicable, and just talking about how his chains in prison served to advance the gospel. Adversity can serve to sanctify us, make us more like Christ and even to advance the gospel.
Hey, Kevin and Sam, I want to commend you for the great work you do. Thank you for thinking really hard about how to make great films that serve people first and foremost to the ministry of excellence and then tell really redemptive stories.
Hey, if you want to keep up with the Sorbo’s work, you could follow them on Twitter @KSorbs and @TheSamSorboShow. Guys, thank you so much for hanging out with me on The Call To Mastery podcast.
[00:29:31] SS: Great chatting.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[00:29:34] JR: I’m really glad the Sorbos did that. They were great sports to listen. I was purposefully asking some more difficult questions than I usually do. I think this is a topic that needs exploration. I'm always skeptical of people making “Christian films” if there can be such a thing. After all, films like businesses don't have souls. I was honestly grateful for their perspective. I think they bring a really interesting perspective to a conversation that we need to continue to be having in the church today. Really grateful for them, really grateful for the heart, for the Lord and for just making great art that serves audiences really well and sometimes can point to these redemptive themes.
Thank you guys so much for tuning into this episode of The Call to Mastery. I’ll see you next time.