Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Interview: Kevin Sorbo of “God’s Not Dead”

posted by Nell Minow

It was great to catch up with Kevin Sorbo to hear about his new role as an atheist professor with a student who is a committed Christian in “God’s Not Dead” from Pure Flix.

The last time I talked to you, you were playing a preacher!  Now you’re playing a professor who not only does not believe in God, but will not allow his students to believe.  Was that a challenge for you?

Not really.  It’s always in the script.  Great writing on this and a great story.  I was hooked as I read it for the first time.  I have met enough atheists in my day to get a grasp for the character anyway.

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People always struggle with the eternal question about where God is when bad things happen.  What does this movie want them to know?

Free will.  God gave us that.  Can’t have good without evil.  Evil will always be there.  It is how we act and react to evil that defines who we are.  Life is all about choices.  We know what is right and we know what is wrong.  We don’t always make the right choice.  So what we do after we fall is what builds, or destroys, one’s character.

Why did you want to play this role?

Loved the script.  As an actor I am drawn to many personalities and this one just seemed like a chance to show people no matter where you are in your life, you can make find a place and time to redeem yourself and find the hope you either shut out or thought was no longer available to you.

Poster @Pure Flix

Poster (c)Pure Flix

Preachers, professors, and actors all perform in front of an audience.  How did your experience as an actor help you create this character’s classroom persona?

As i said… was in the wonderful script.  I have done the college life and I drew from professors in my past.

You have worked with David A.R. White before — what does he bring to a film?

This was the first time David and i worked together as actors.  I shot a movie he produced a few years ago called “What If….” and I did a Christmas movie called, “Christmas Angel.”  David is a pro and was easy to work with on and off the set.

Who should see this film?

I hate to preach to the choir, so I hope the choir comes to see this movie just because it is a wonderful family film.  I really want the fence sitters out there to come and form their own opinions about if there is a God.  I would love atheists to come and see this film as well.  I realize we can’t change everyone’s mind out there, but hopefully we make some of them reflect and wonder.

What do you hope families will talk about when they see this movie?

This movie will create dialogue.  That is good.  It means it has struck a chord with people enough to make them bring up the issues this movie exposes.

Hollywood is producing some big Bible stories this year.  Why does this seem to be the moment for these films?

People want these movies.  Simple as that.  They want to have movies that have a positive message and the whole family can watch.  I don’t think its going to slow down anytime soon.


  • Katie

    Good interview. Minor, but “cord” should be spelled “chord” here.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Katie! It’s fixed. Much appreciated

  • kim cook

    Why didn’t the Movie Mom rate “God’s Not Dead” on Jeff and Jer today??

    • Nell Minow

      Hi, Kim! The movie was not shown to critics, so I haven’t seen it. I hope to get a chance to see it later.

  • Scottie

    Saw the movie today (excellent!) and wondered what Kevin Sorbo really believes. He usually plays a nice guy and/or a hero. This time he was bitter, arrogant, condescending and controlling. He chose the role for characterization, but also for the chance for redemption at the end. Christians worship the one true living God. He loves us and always wants us to choose His moral way, so all things work together for good.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Scottie! I’m glad you appreciated the film. As you can see from the interview, Sorbo is a very committed Christian and appearing in movies that inspire others to faith is important to him.

  • Nelson Hernandez

    Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Do people actually know athesit? Do people actually read/speak with and about atheist.
    The portrayal of the atheist is this movie is horribe. Why would an atheist be upset with god? We do not believe in god. It would have been a much better movie if the professor actually had some solid arguments against theism.
    Instead what we have here is a christian construct of how they think an atheist would or should feel. I will not say that there are not people who profess atheism out of anger because of loss of a family member or such events. But this does not represent the whole body of atheist.
    The majority of atheist come to atheism due to, in our view, a lack of evidence for the supernatural or god(s).
    Now a proper representation is if the teacher had qualms about christian doctrine being incorporated into government laws or discrimination against other religions or non believers.
    THIS is what atheist are upset about. We consider dieties to be on par with santan clause, easter bunny, etc. Why don’t we discuss these things? Because no one is trying to create laws and a standard of living based only on their own religious poit of view.

    • Nell Minow

      Thank you, Mr. Hernandez. As I have said before, particularly in my review of the Christian film “Irreplaceable,” if you cannot describe the other side’s arguments in terms they approve, you automatically lose. You are entirely right that the portrayal of atheism in this film is slanted, as is the conversion. But this is from believers to believers and not an effort to engage in a respectful conversation.

      • William Maddock

        As I already said above…

    • Jennifer

      I know someone in real life very much like Kevin Sorbo’s character in this movie. He was an angry atheist, discontent with mere disagreement, he felt the need to insult when he stated his disagreement. He was an otherwise nice, friendly, decent guy, so it was clear there was more going on, and there was…and his story was almost exactly like the movie character’s (what happened when the character was 12…trying to avoid spoilers here). A single character in a movie can’t possibly speak for all people, nor should it try. That would be called stereotyping, I believe. Should a white character represent all white people? A black character all black people? A Muslim character all Muslims? His character was a single person’s story, and an absolutely authentic one, regardless of whether it’s the same as your story or anyone else’s, or representative of the majority who hold his beliefs or a tiny minority.

      • Nell Minow

        Thank you, Jennifer. I agree entirely. But that does not take away from Mr. Hernandez’ point that this is a movie by believers for believers and that its engagement with atheism is slanted. An atheist character does not have to represent all atheists, unless that is the purpose of the film, which I believe is the case here. Otherwise, there would have been a more nuanced and complex and authentic character.

        • William Maddock

          In my own experience, both as an atheist and now as a believer, the movie is in no way slanted, but offers a reasonably accurate portrayal of the know-nothing-know-it-all atheist. When they’re around, all I need to do to get attacked is walk in the room, and those who try to dismiss such treatment of Christians by atheists as stereotypes are simply being dishonest.

          • Nell Minow

            Thank you for sharing your experience, Mr. Maddock. Of course, you may be surrounded by atheists who keep their views to themselves all the time and not know it. In any event, I believe it is always wrong to attack anyone’s views or even to try to persuade them unless explicitly asked for guidance. And I do not believe this film is designed to do anything but reassure the people who are already believers.

  • words_and_music

    “News bulletin: You did kill Jesus.” Nell, I have to ask: Does it trouble you to promote, in this case, an actor whose beliefs are genuinely reprehensible? (re: I found this Q&A fascinating, and I’m always intrigued to learn what outspoken religious filmmakers are aiming to accomplish (even though I’m 100 percent aligned with Nelson Hernandez’s views), but Sorbo’s statements seem outside the boundaries of civil discourse. —Matthew B

    • Nell Minow

      I was very sorry to see that Sorbo had made such an appalling statement. I imagine we will see yet another apology from him as we did for his equally appalling comments on Ferguson.

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