Kevin James Talks Fighting, Faith, and Making Movies for the Whole Family

Comedian Kevin James opens up to Beliefnet about the importance of education, why he loves Mixed Martial Arts fighting, and how he hopes his new movie can impact others.

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This is such a hot button topic, do you have any hope that this movie will make people consider where they stand on education issues?

You know, we never get too deep politically, we want people to enjoy it. What I really would like to do is shine a light on great teachers, salute them, because I would love for the kids to have opportunities to play, I never played an instrument growing up and I realize how important it was to a lot of my friends and to a lot of other students to play an instrument and I believe kids should have that opportunity to play. We should be able to work it out where they shouldn’t have to lose their music program. I just wanted to really salute great teachers and shine a light on bad teachers, absolutely, they shouldn’t be there. It’s that simple.

You created the character of Scott Voss, how much of yourself is in this character?

You always try to put a little bit of yourself in every character, I try to bring what’s unique about me into every character I play, but look, like most people in life, I’ve become complacent in my job, or whatever part of life. At home, in relationships, everybody becomes complacent and it’s about stepping back, waking yourself up, and saying “you know what, I’ve got to put a little effort into this and maybe I can make a difference.” That ripple effect can effect so many others you don’t even realize.

Part of your life experience in this character is that you have trained in MMA, what is something you’ve learned from that experience?

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That I don’t want to do it professionally (laughs). It’s a tough, tough way to make a living, it really is, these guys are extremely dedicated athletes. I dedicated myself to get in shape to be realistic to the movie, but it’s really a hard life. It was a tough life for me, but if you love it and it doesn’t feel like work to you then who am I to say? It’s just not for me, but to find your dream you do what you do.

As you’ve moved forward in your career you’ve moved away from the edgier comedy to more family friendly films. What has led you in that direction?

Number one I want to do projects that hopefully, more and more, glorify God. I don’t feel like that means every movie I do I have to be playing an angel or a priest, or what have you (laughs), but the movies I do have to show that everybody’s faulted, we have to show good and evil. You can also just make people decide for themselves, you don’t have to be so heavy handed, and it being a good movie will show people this is the way you should be to be a good person. I want to slowly get away from the gratuitous stuff, and I never really found myself too much in it, but I just want to make better movies and expand my range with that. I also want to be comfortable with my children sitting there with me and be able to look back on my career and say I feel better about the choices I’ve made.

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