Actor Neal McDonough Relied on Faith After Hollywood Blacklisted Him For Christian Ethics
By Movieguide® Staff
Veteran actor Neal McDonough, known for roles in iconic TV series like BAND OF BROTHERS and movies like THE MINORITY REPORT and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, recently shared the role his faith played after Hollywood blacklisted him.
In 2010, production fired McDonough from the ABC series SCOUNDRELS because he refused to do on-screen sex scenes.
“There was a time when I wasn’t working,” McDonough told Fox News Digital. “I couldn’t get a job because people thought I was this crazy religious guy. 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.”
McDonough is open about his faith, which he won’t compromise on for the sake of a role.
“I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman,” he said after pressure to perform on-screen kisses.
In a separate interview, he added from 2020: “I won’t mention the Lord’s name in vain, and then I won’t kiss another woman,” McDonough said. “Sex scenes aren’t in it for me. And I think, gosh, there’s enough sex scenes out there, and me being in my 50s, I’m not sure if anyone wants to see me doing that stuff anyway, but it’s a comfort level.”
Despite not working in the industry that he loved, McDonough said he relied on his faith in God.
“I remember falling to my knees and saying, ‘God, why have you forgotten about me? Why am I being punished so much?'” McDonough said. “And as soon as those words came out of my mouth, I realized what self-absorbed questions those were. God has given me so much. We all experience challenges in our lives. I should be grateful – and thankful – for all the blessings I’m given.
“I came out of it on the other side,” McDonough continued. “I’ve been working so much in the last several years, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I thank God every day for all the blessings I’m given, even during challenging times. Everyone always says, ‘Why do you work so much?’ My response is always, ‘They keep asking me, so I’m not going to stop.'”
McDonough’s second chance came after his role on 2012’s JUSTIFIED.
“God gave me this gift of being an actor, and I’m not going to waste it,” he said. “I’m now in a position to produce movies with my wife. I’m able to co-create projects. And I get to continue pursuing my craft. I couldn’t be in a better place in my career. Every step I’ve had along the way, every challenge I’ve faced, has built this moment. And this is a moment I’m really cherishing. I’m proud of my work and what I can accomplish.”
McDonough recalled a story from the set of BAND OF BROTHERS, where Tom Hanks encouraged the cast and crew to show honor to the men and women who serve, and have served, the United States.
“I remember we were doing ‘Band of Brothers,'” he recalled. “We were about five days into filming. We experienced this grueling boot camp where we were getting beat up. This guy comes in from a helicopter. He had a long beard and long hair. It was Tom Hanks with his ‘Castaway’ beard and hair.
“You hadn’t seen him in several months. But he steps out and does this speech explaining why we owe it to all these men and women who died for us. How World War II allowed us to have the freedoms we have today. How it is our job to never give up and try our very best. How we much give 100% of ourselves for the next 10 months to ensure we honor the men and women who died for us.
“He was so emotional, and it meant the world to him,” he continued. “Then he got back on the helicopter to go back to whatever island he was on shooting ‘Castaway.’ To be around a guy like Tom Hanks, you can’t help but be a better artist. Tom’s an artist, but he’s also a family man. He understands the position that he’s in and loves his life … He takes pride in his work. Tom lives in the light. We should all be more like Tom Hanks.”
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