What It’s Like Being A Christian In Hollywood

This is an excerpt from GQ magazine, with an interview with Chuck Star Zachary Levi, on what it is like being a Christian in Hollywood. (He swears, so don’t read it, if you don’t like things of that sort.)

GQ: Hollywood is such an areligious place, but you devoted a lot of your time talking about your religion.
Levi: You know, Hollywood is a very interesting town—always has been, always will be. There are a lot of people who consider themselves “spiritual” but that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. I don’t really talk about it that often, because there’s too much talk in the world. Especially with Christians, there’s more proselytizing than there is actual living proof of it. That’s kind of sad. I don’t not talk about it for fear of repercussions, but people have been burned by Christians or religion in general—I know I have, so I know the kind of taste people have in their mouths with that word. On both sides of the fence, people who preach open-mindedness and tolerance are the most close-minded, intolerant people I’ve ever met. I’m like, “Do you even see the hypocrisy?” If I can feel like I can have a respectful, spirited debate about religion, then rock and roll, but Christians especially love throwing who they are on other people. Why? They think they’re doing God’s work, but God never asked them to do that…

People don’t talk about religion a lot in Hollywood because it’s not an incredibly safe place to do it. There are a lot of people who want to go toe-to-toe with a Christian just for being a Christian. If I ever have to do that, I can hold my ground. I don’t approach religion with, like, putting the blinders on and, “Blah blah blah I believe! I believe!”…

All I know is, I’m here right now. There have been millions of people, lives lost, wars fought… I went and saw 300, and then the Discovery Channel had this thing about the story behind it. I was glued to the TV because a) it was fascinating, and b) this shit happened so long ago. [More excited] And it was monumental! These 300 Spartans and thousands of… the other guys, I can’t remember! It was huge! Imagine if that happened now! And it’s all forgotten. What does everyone care about now? Brad and Angelina and all their kids. It’s sad… Then I go, “I’m a speck. I’m on a television show, who fucking cares?” How many stars are on the Hollywood walk of fame, and you don’t know who they are?…

A lot of people, especially Christians, want to put you in this box of being a Christian actor, and I don’t believe in it. You do yourself and everyone else a big disservice when you start thinking about it as “Christian art.” That’s why most Christian art is bad. They don’t put a premium on the “art.” They’re banking on it being Christian art, which I think is abusing faith.


2 thoughts on “What It’s Like Being A Christian In Hollywood

  1. Thanks for posting this. Love Zach Levi, but would never have seen this, being a non-GQ-reader myself. He says a few really great things (love what he said about being a speck), but overall, the interview felt kind of disjointed to me. Like, after reading it, I still have no idea where he stands on faith. I thought the interview he did in Relevant Mag a while ago was a little more clear.

    I resonate with the struggle to not wanting to identify with other Christians. There are so many angry, closed-minded, hurtful ones. How do you distance yourself from that kind of Christianity but not from Christ himself when you talk about faith? Is there a way to communicate love for other Christians, even the ones who don’t get it?

  2. […] Tweet ShareIn celebration of the return of Chuck on NBC tonight for its final season, let me share a link to Mike Friesen’s blog. Mike shared an excerpt from an interview in GQ with Zachary Levi, the actor who plays Chuck, about what it is […]

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