A film about a priest’s journey to save his church, his community and himself is off to a good start if you can find a lead actor who grew up as a Christian.
And actor John Corbett fits the bill perfectly in the recently-released film All Saints, in which he plays Father Michael Spurlock, an American Episcopalian (Anglican) priest who is sent by his bishop to prepare for sale a Tennessee church with a declining population. When a group of Karen refugees from Myanmar turn up on the church’s doorstep, Father Michael’s life, and those around him, heads into uncharted waters.
While the film certainly traces the journey this group of faithful Christians embark on, Corbett doesn’t want to label the movie faith-based.
“This is not a preachy story,” he told christianpost.com.
“This is just a true story about something that happened where a community got together and showed refugees some love—it’s not a faith-based movie, it’s a good old-fashioned true story.”
Corbett told Fox News that the world needs more movies like All Saints instead of the constant stream of superhero films.
This is not the first time Corbett has played a priest in movies, and his own personal background gave him a head start on research for this role.
“I went to a Catholic school for 12 years and I was an altar boy for about seven of those years,” he told Fox News.
“I spent a lot of time behind the scenes in churches, so this was just like being an altar boy again—I knew where everything was!” he said.
While not aligned to any particular church these days, Corbett says he has a strong belief in God, describing himself as “a guy who reads the Bible now”.
Corbett’s acting career began in 1988 on the television series The Wonder Years, before scoring a five-year role as Chris Stevens in Northern Exposure.
In 2001 he took on the major role of Aidan, Sarah Jessica Parker’s boyfriend in the racy TV series Sex and the City, which provided a unique set of challenges for this Christian actor.
“I turned down Sex and the City three times, because in my first script I was supposed to get naked and I said that I can’t do that. They finally said, “Well, how naked will you be?” and I said that I would take my shirt off but that is going to be it. So they said that’s okay. I guess Sex and the City is the raciest stuff I have ever done,” he told crosswalk.org.
Corbett has stuck to his guns throughout his career, refusing to do scripts that require nudity.
“I don’t think the world wants to see me naked. I mean, my mum still watches everything I do, so she doesn’t need to see me naked, for one!” he reflected with a laugh.
Corbett’s initial career wasn’t acting—he worked in a steel factory for six years until an injury finished him for that line of work. He then trained as a hairdresser, and has been a licensed hair stylist since 1986. It was while he was doing day classes in hairdressing at Cerritos College in Norwalk, that he studied acting at night.
Away from the silver screen he has been in a happy relationship with fellow actor Bo Derek, of Ten fame, since they met on a blind date in 2002. Corbett is also a successful country music singer, having produced two popular albums.
For the multi-talented John Corbett, life is full of faith, films, television, romance and music.