Religious Actor Explains How God Helped Him Navigate Through Entertainment Industry Pressures

Religious Actor Explains How God Helped Him Navigate Through Entertainment Industry Pressures

A Christian actor sheds light on his experience as a faithful in the high-pressure environment of the entertainment industry.

Actor Neal McDonough, who is known for his TV roles in "Band of Brothers," "Arrow," "Legends of Tomorrow," "The Flash," and "Suits," has long been vocal about his Christian faith and how it impacts his acting career. The 56 year old thespian recently opened up about how his faith helped him through the entertainment industry pressures, specifically the drought he believed he faced in 2010 due to his religious views.

Fox News reported that in 2010, McDonough appeared in the ABC series "Scoundrels," in which writers wanted him to perform an on-screen sex scene. He did not agree to it, a decision he believed caused him to be blacklisted from the industry.

"There was a time when I wasn't working. I couldn't get a job because people thought I was this crazy religious guy," McDonough told the media outlet. "But that wasn't the case. I love my wife, but I love my acting too. I was hopeful that, at some point, someone would give me a chance again."

This was not the first time McDonough turned down intimate on-screen scenes. From 2008 to 2009, the actor appeared in "Desperate Housewives," where he played Nicolette Sheridan's husband. At the time, he also upheld his no-kissing rule, which prompted the show's creator, Marc Cherry, to work around that set of parameters the actor set up for himself and the showrunners.

"I won't kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman," McDonough, who married his wife Ruvé in 2003, declared. But after he was fired from "Scoundrels," the actor said he experienced "a hard few years" trying to find work while remaining faithful to his religious beliefs.

"I remember falling to my knees and saying, 'God, why have you forgotten about me? Why am I being punished so much?'" McDonough recounted, as reported by Faithwire. "And as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I realized what self-absorbed questions those were."

McDonough admitted that God had "given [him] so much" and that he must be "grateful and thankful" for the blessings he had been given. At that very moment of realization, he received a call from screenwriter Graham Yost, with whom he worked with in 2001's "Band of Brothers." It was then when McDonough was offered the role of the villain in the first two episodes of "Justified." The actor agreed and later on, on set, Yost offered him the role for the rest of the season.

McDonough said that he was really "determined to give a really great performance" and later on realized that he had perhaps taken his acting for granted. He remarked, "Perhaps I wasn't dialed in enough in terms of what I could really do as an actor."

The Christian actor had been receiving roles regularly in the last several years, for which he remains thankful. When asked why he worked so much, he said that it was because the producers kept giving him work, so he was "not going to stop." McDonough admitted that his career flourished after 2012's "Justified." Now, he stars in "Boon," the action-packed sequel to "Red Stone."

But McDonough knows his priorities. As he said a few years back, "I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second. That's what I live by."