Kristoffer Polaha On Fatherhood, Faith and Film: ‘It’s Important To Ask, Does This Movie Speak Life?’

Photo from Kristoffer Polaha’s Instagram

Kristoffer Polaha On Fatherhood, Faith and Film: ‘It’s Important To Ask, Does This Movie Speak Life?’

By Cooper Dowd, Senior Staff Writer

Although actor Kristoffer Polaha is known for major motion pictures such as WHERE HOPE GROWS and WONDER WOMAN 1984, he recently shared what motivates him to pursue smaller projects.

The outspoken Christian offered insight into some of the questions he asks directors before accepting a role.

“I feel like every time you get cast, one of the first questions I’ll ask is, ‘Is my character a Christian or not? If he’s not, what are the choices he makes? If he is, what are those choices that he makes?” Polaha told Movieguide® in a recent interview. “The other thing I’ll ask is, what is the story? Is it speaking life into the world or is it speaking death into the world?”

“I think it’s important to ask of any story that you tell, ‘Are you speaking life into the world to the people who are going to read it, to people who are going to watch it, or are you speaking death?” he explained. “If you can break it down to that simple question, does this movie speak life or does this movie speak death? Then you can make the choice pretty quickly, of do you want to be part of the project or not.”

Polaha, 45, said that while he always pursues uplifting projects, there are not always explicitly faith-based.

“If you were to look at my resume and go and watch all the films, pretty much all of them speak life,” he said. “That’s sort of what I’ve been drawn to. I feel like that’s kind of my calling.”

“As an actor and as a storyteller it is how do you tell stories that are encouraging? Some may not speak life specifically, but the project itself might speak life,” he added.

Despite his extensive resume in popular movies and a list of Hallmark movies, Polaha said he recently acted in a student short film called LAST SEEN ALONG THE VERDE RIVER, directed by high school student Grant Seat.

“I just worked with a young man, Grant Seat, who is a student at my kids’ high school,” Polaha explained. “I said, ‘Tell you what, my son and I will be in your Western, let’s make this thing happen. It doesn’t specifically have a Christian message, but the actual project itself was speaking life into this young man and giving him an opportunity to have a really cool experience and to see what kind of chops he’s got. And it turned out wonderful.”

The father of three said the student project allowed him to act alongside one of his sons, a family activity that Polaha said began early in their childhood.

“We make these little random movies at home, so they’ve grown up with dad in their movies and singing and all sorts of goofing around,” he said. “But as far as something that other people can watch and something that has been polished and really well directed and worked on, this is like our little debut as father and son and it was awesome.”

“It was really cool being in the movie with him and I’m so proud of him,” he added.

In the past, Polaha shared what fatherhood means to him and the priority it takes over his acting career.

“I’ve been called a lot of things in my lifetime, but ‘father, daddy, papa, and Dad’ have been some of my favorites,” he wrote on Facebook under a photo of him and his three sons. “Boys, you’ve given my life a purpose I never knew to expect until I had you and since my first was born, my life’s goal has become, that my fatherhood and the love I show you would be a reflection of the Holy Father’s love for us, to be an example of what the Father’s love is like. You keep me on my toes, boys, but I’d have it no other way.”

“Thank you @juliannepolaha for the gift of their lives and for walking along side of me as we raise these boys, and thank you boys for the gift that is your lives,” the post concluded.

Read Also: How Faith Motivates Actor Kristoffer Polaha: ‘I Would Rather Remind People of Jesus When I’m Acting’