VAMPIRE DIARIES Actor: ‘God Looks at Our Pain and He Uses It as a Platform for His Glory’
By Movieguide® Staff
Actor Nathaniel Buzolic, known for his roles in THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and HACKSAW RIDGE, is candid about how his faith in God gives him purpose.
Buzolic, better known by his 2.8 million Instagram followers as Nate Buzz, did not always have such a strong passion for leading others to Christ.
“I wasn’t always a Christian, obviously,” Buzolic said in a recent interview. “I became a Christian, actually, when I first started working on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, which is probably the show that gave me the most attention on a social media platform.”
Although Buzolic grew up in Sydney, his mother was a refugee who fled from Egypt. His grandmother left Croatia after the Second World War. Buzolic, 37, said that growing up poor and wanting to start an acting career in the U.S. did not seem like a possible dream. However, Buzolic credits “God’s good grace” for allowing him to move to America at the age of 24 and start his acting career.
In retrospect, Buzolic saw that those open doors were God calling him to Himself.
“When I went to Atlanta and started working on THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is when I got exposed to the idea of the Gospel, and Jesus,” Buzolic recalled. “I already knew about who Jesus was, I went to a Catholic school, but I never really understood the story, it never really got explained to me in a way that kind of got into the keener parts of my heart.”
“Going to a conference called Passion conference made me ask the question ‘what was my life really all about?'” Buzolic continued. “In a very Ecclesiastes way, it kind of made me look at my career as an actor in everything that I was chasing, it kind of made it feel a bit meaningless and empty, and that there had to be something more, and that’s when I sort of decided to become a Christian. That was a 27. I don’t think I worked out Christianity on any level until I was about 33. So six years of really just going ‘What is this? what does that look like?'”
Buzolic said that his relationship grew exponentially through reading God’s word.
“The more time you spend in your Bible, the more you realize like I can give more, and I can know Him more,” Buzolic said. “It really took me six years to go ‘is Christianity something that I want to do forever?’ And once you realize that Jesus is the greatest gift you can ever have, you’re kind of like, put the earring on, I’m in, I’m lifetime now.”
A critical moment came when Buzolic was at the lowest point of his life. Although he did not contemplate ending his life, the actor said that he would be in planes, praying that they would go down so his pain would end.
“I was at rock bottom,” Buzolic said.
But in learning of the civil war in Syria, Buzolic reached out to a non-profit to serve in Iraq.
“I reached out to a nonprofit called Preemptive Love run by Jeremy Courtney and I said ‘I want to help the organization I want to support you guys,'” Buzolic explained. “I was in a refugee camp and I was sitting by myself on a dusty field after spending a whole day with these kids and hearing the stories. In the heartbreak, I felt like God was challenging me… and that’s when I changed.” Buzolic said. “That’s when I was like, ‘oh well this is 100% complete surrender.'”
“God looks at our pain and He uses it as a platform for His glory,” Buzolic continued. “Because of the gift that He’s given me on social media, and the ability to reach so many people, I think my story probably had to be a little bit more radical because I put myself in situations where I’m like, I’ve got to be all in.'”
To see how God uses Buzolic and his testimony to share the Gospel, watch the full interview below!