Kevin Sorbo has had a herculean career in Hollywood, considering the impediment of the Minnesota boy’s deep Christianity.
The Mound native believes his faith has not been a plus out there.
That was one of the subjects I touched on with the guy who played Hercules in the “Legendary Journeys,” Captain Dylan Hunt in “Andromeda” and “Kull the Conqueror” when Sorbo was at the convention center this month for Wizard World Comic Con Minneapolis.
I also asked him an indirect question about the aneurysms, reportedly triggered by a chiropractic neck adjustment, that caused three strokes and a huge health care scare at the height of Sorbo’s career.
It was a nice, quick interview — because his Comic Con fans were waiting — that got a little longer when he realized where I worked.
“Am I still on?” he said after taking off the mike he was wearing for my startribune.com/video interview. “I’ve got to say, for seven years I delivered the Minneapolis Tribune paper. In the rain and the snow and the heat and the cold of Minnesota. With that money, when I got in high school I bought my first car, a 1967 powder blue Mustang. It was beautiful. When you work hard and buy it yourself, you appreciate it a lot more.”
Sorbo also wanted to know the latest about legendary sports columnist Sid Hartman, about whom it’s always easy to have a couple of entertaining current stories. Sorbo got a big chuckle out of my saying that Sid has forgotten more than we’ll ever know.
Q: Is it true that you feel your career has been hampered by the fact that you are a Christian?
A: Yes. No question about that. You definitely can feel a difference in Hollywood for not being whatever. It’s interesting to do these faith-based movies. There has been a kick back in a negative direction.
Q: What roles do you believe you have missed out on because you’re Christian?
A: Honestly, I wouldn’t have any idea. I used to read for 10 new television shows a year. The last four years they haven’t called me for one. With the history that I’ve got and Hercules being a big hit and “Andromeda” being a hit, and I’ve shot about 45 movies in the last 10 years — but none of them in mainstream Hollywood.
Q: I don’t understand how your Christianity becomes an issue. Are you proselytizing on the set?
A: I don’t preach on the set. To anyone. I don’t understand the bash against Christians in Hollywood. It is a mystery to me.
Q: Have you called Kirk Cameron about projects?
A: He lives down the road from me. I bump into him a lot. His kids play in a lot of the same sports my kids play in, so I’ve seen him. We’ve never talked about any projects. He was a fan of my latest movie, “God’s Not Dead.”
Q: There are a lot of Minnesotans out there acting. What accounts for so many Minnesotans wanting to go to a godless place like Hollywood?
A: California has a lot of problems, but weather is not one of them.
Q: In “God’s Not Dead” you played Professor Radison. I know it’s spelled different but was that in any way a nod to Minnesota-based Carlson Cos., which owns Radisson Blu, etc.?
A: I would have no idea. I never even thought of that, until now. Would they give me a discount at hotels?
Q: When was the last time you let a chiropractor crack your neck or any other area?
A: Just before I got my stroke.
Q: Not since then?
A: Nooooo. Not since then. Leave my neck alone. Get my book, “True Strength.” Check out my book.
Q: These Comic Con events are like printing money. Can you hear your bank account growing as we speak?
A: [Laughter] Not like people from “X-Files” and “Lord of the Rings” I can’t. If “The Walking Dead” people were here we’d have nobody in line.
Q: You can only wear one of these costumes for the rest of your Halloweens: Are you Kull the Conqueror or Hercules?
A: I’m Hercules.
Q: Did you ever have a wardrobe malfunction that allowed people on the set to see what your doctors and wife have seen?
A: [Big laugh] No, I can’t say that I have. [Laugh] I would share it with you; I’m not too embarrassed about that.
Q: Who would win an arm-wrestling contest between Xena and Hercules?
A: Hercules. Xena is a myth of a myth. Xena was a mortal woman. Hercules was half-god. I fought her twice. Beat her both times. Took my time with it; didn’t want to beat her up too much. [Laughs]
Q: What is Kevin Sorbo’s favorite sorbet?
Q: Has Pinkberry ever contacted you about naming a product after you?
A: Noooo. But Pinkberry, contact me. Come on, I’m all about endorsements.
Q: One of your parents was a nurse and the other a …
A: … science teacher.
Q: What did they think you were going to be?
A: I’m pretty sure they thought I was going to be a teacher and a coach. I wanted to coach high school football and basketball. But acting was always there, and my dad being an educator, I was actually surprised when I didn’t get any push back when I told them I wanted to be an actor. He looked at me and said, You have to go after what you want to do with your life. They were very supportive, great mentors to me, my mom and dad. My dad, Lynn, passed away two years ago. My mom, Ardis, lives in Henderson, Nevada.; left Minnesota in 1997.
Q: Only your daughter has one of those heroic-sounding names. Did you know you are mentioned by name at Nameberry.com for naming your daughter Octavia?
A: No, I didn’t even know what [Nameberry.com] that is. My wife came up with that name. Octavio, Octavia, that’s male, female. Means eighth child in old Roman. Her birthday’s in October and she’s the eighth grandchild of mom and dad. [http://nameberry.com/babyname/Octavia]
Interviews are edited. To reach C.J. try email@example.com and to see her check out the Fox 9 “Buzz.”