Kevin Sorbo isn’t afraid to turn up the heat with a faith-based action film.
The 61-year-old is starring in “The Reliant” as Rick, a father of five desperate to gather his family after finding himself surrounded by chaos as civil unrest explodes in his small town. But after the family is caught in a deadly crossfire, they retreat to the surrounding forest where their faith is tested. According to the synopsis, the eldest daughter Sophie (Mollie Gray) then begins to question the morality of gun ownership and ultimately comes to understand her family’s Second Amendment right to defend themselves.
“The Reliant,” which is based on the 2017 novel of the same name by Patrick Johnston, will be in theaters for one night on Oct. 24 in select venues across the country. The former “Hercules” star spoke to Fox News about why he was eager to take on “The Reliant,” the message he has for critics and why he won’t stop making faith-based films for fans.
Fox News: What can audiences expect from the “The Reliant”?
Kevin Sorbo: It's about the economic collapse of America. It deals with the dollar being totally devalued, pretty much. Think what's going on in Venezuela right now, and that's what this whole movie is really about. And you see riots break out, looting breaks out, it's the Wild West.
There's lawlessness everywhere. And my family gets targeted by a bunch of bad guys who start opening fire on the house, but we're a family that believes in the right to bear arms, so we fire back. So, they think twice before firing back at us. But... it's a faith movie, it's a family movie. There's a lot of action in it, but it is a hard PG-13. I would definitely question having kids younger than that go see this movie.
But then again, everything I've seen on TV, on cable, I'm going, "Well, if kids are watching that, this isn't any worse than that." But it's a movie that really blends the faith of this family with the different beliefs that they have within the family when this chaos breaks open. And it comes full circle, where their faith brings them back together as a family. But... it's interesting to see what happens with not only them, but what happens with this chaos that's going on.
Fox News: How important was it to discuss the theme of civil unrest in a film like this one?
Sorbo: Well, the movie wasn't meant to be a Second Amendment movie, in a way. I think people look at it that way because all of a sudden this Christian family takes up and bears arms, but every movie that's out there has guns and violence in it. I mean, everything that I see coming in theaters, coming in on television, has that same sort of thing going on.
But it's interesting because this is a family of faith, also, using guns as a weapon. [The film has had] some kickback from some groups. I find it pretty comical because... all these movies out there have so much violence going on, so maybe, overall, we should stop using guns in movies and television altogether. Maybe we might get a different storyline.
Fox News: Some critics do feel “The Reliant” glorifies gun violence. What message do you have for them?
Sorbo: They need to look at every movie that they're being critics of because every movie out there, every Tom Cruise movie I've seen and "John Wick" movie... coming out, there's a heck of a lot more violence in those movies than this movie has, trust me. So, I think, once again, they're deciding who they want to go after and who they don't want to go after. And, in that case, this movie doesn't have any more violence [than] those movies I just mentioned, which have much more.
... Every time there's a school shooting or something like that — which is horrible of course — Hollywood comes out to attack the owners of guns. And I'm going, "Well, these are the same guys that do movies with guns, so maybe they should stop being the hypocrites and stop doing movies with guns. Send out a better message. I'm all for that.
Fox News: Why should we protect the Second Amendment?
Sorbo: The forefathers, they did it for a reason. If you go back to more than 200 years ago, the reason the right to bear arms is in there, it wasn't about hunting, it was about protecting yourselves against a tyrannical government. The British empire was the biggest, the most powerful empire in the world at that time. For us to win our freedom from them with all the weapons they had when we basically had pitchforks and shovels, it's a miracle, and the foresight they had, to me, is unbelievable.
To look down hundreds of years later and saying, "You know, you could have a government sometime in America that wants to take away your guns, wants to take away your rights, let alone guns. They want a bigger and bigger government." America was built on individuals, it wasn't built on big government. So, to me, those guys are incredible that they came up with this, and the whole idea is to protect yourself.
If you're in a house with your husband and kids and somebody breaks in your house with guns, do you think if you just say, "Don't shoot at us," they're going to stop shooting at you? If you shoot back at them, they're going to think twice about it. I think the whole idea is to protect your family. If I don't have a gun in my house and somebody breaks into my house with my wife and my kids, I'm going to throw everything I got on them, whether it's lamps or irons or whatever it may be. And I think most people would do anything they possibly could. Harsh words aren't going to change people's minds if they're shooting at you.
Fox News: The demand for faith-based films is certainly there. However, it doesn’t seem like we have too many of them in Hollywood. How important is it to have faith-based films now?
Sorbo: Hollywood does [have them], they're doing more and more… Faith-based movies, I think, in the last 10 years, certainly, have exploded. There's more and more out there. Hollywood does them. They don't do them as many as the independent market does, but they're certainly out there.
One of our latest movies that will be out next spring… it’s called "Miracle in East Texas." We've been hitting a lot of film festivals with it. And we got a call from Netflix. It's very interesting in being part of that world. They wanted to open an inspirational division of Netflix, so we have open channels, talking to them all the time to get that ball rolling. They realize there's a market out there.
I get stopped all the time by people. It used to be because of "Hercules" or "Andromeda." Most of the time now it's because of my [faith-based] movies… people want to see more of those movies.
I mean, I like "Avengers" as much as the next guy does, but I also like movies that have a... positive message because there's so much negativity... We have so much hate going on out there. Everybody's looking to be angry about anything and everything right now. It's crazy to me. We need to get to a place where we can talk and have civil conversations than just having just this constant anger that's going on.
Fox News: On the subject of "Avengers," there’s currently a debate going on. Some filmmakers have said Marvel movies aren’t cinematic while others disagree. Where do you stand?
Sorbo: I think they tell a story. It's the fight of good versus evil, right? I mean, let's face it, evil does exist, and how do you fight that? I've played bad guys in movies before, as well, but ultimately, I want good to win. I don't know, I still think those movies still have a message in them.
I mean, mostly it's a visual effect roller-coaster ride, but it's still, ultimately, Captain America. Right? He's a good guy. Iron Man, he's a good guy. All these guys. And they want to get out there and hopefully... I know they're going darker with some of these things, as well, like Deadpool, and there's an audience for that. But... he's taking out bad guys. He's not taking out good guys. And I think at least there's a message... good will defeat evil.
Fox News: It’s been said there are a lot of Hollywood conservatives who don’t speak up out of fear they’ll be blacklisted.
Sorbo: I think there's a lot of Hollywood conservatives out there that don't come out of their closet. I think there's a lot of Democrats that would vote differently for somebody else, but not let anybody know that they're going to vote differently. So, it certainly does exist. It's there. They've admitted to it. I've seen big A-listers and actors and directors and producers say they wouldn't want to work with people that are conservative, so it's out there. And these are the same people screaming for tolerance, and I think that they should look in the mirror, or at least a dictionary, and find out what the definition of what the word tolerance means.
Fox News: Could you describe that moment in your career where you felt some of that backlash?
Sorbo: I noticed it pretty quickly. This is about 10 years ago. I started getting a little more vocal about it, and it wasn't in a mean way, I was just getting out there and speaking in truthful matters, truthful tones and saying that we have this and this and this and this. But that was enough to get me attacked. Hollywood doesn't really owe me anything. I mean, I've had a great career within Hollywood, and since then, I've been doing independent films.
So, I'm not out here to make them hire me. If they want to hire me, I'm more than happy to work with them. I don't cause any problems on the set. I've got a great reputation, they'd be pretty hard-pressed...They couldn't prove that with me. I mean, I've worked in so many TV shows and movies through my 30 years in the business. You'd be hard-pressed to find one person to say that I was not professional in the set. I love to be in the set. I have fun in the set. I joke around with everybody in the set. We have a good time. So, it's easy to throw those labels out there, but most of the time it'd be a hard time to justify it.
Fox News: What's the secret behind your lasting marriage to actress Sam Sorbo?
Sorbo: I just say "Yes," because otherwise, you get nothing but trouble. It's a happy wife, happy life is what they say, right? So, she's a whole lot smarter than I am, but she's a great mom to our kids and I just think... I don't know, we hit our 10-year anniversary 12 years ago. We've been married 22 years, and 10 years ago I told her, I said, "That's like a golden anniversary in Hollywood." So, we're diamond. I don't know. Most actors, 22 years would mean they've had four spouses in their life, so we have a different sort of recipe going on here.
"The Reliant" is in theaters for one night only Oct. 24. Click here to find a screening near you.