Hugh Jackman, who will soon play the Apostle Paul in a new epic-drama, has now declared himself a Christian.
Patheos.com shared that in this week’s issue of “Parade” magazine, actor Hugh Jackman offers a variety of fascinating insights about his life while promoting his latest movie, “Pan.” He discusses his mother leaving his family when he was eight, the Wolverine-type anger that produced inside him, the peace that acting provides, and why he’s sensitive to the cause of adoption as both the sibling of – and parent of – adopted children.
Jackman also discusses his religious faith:
When did you know that you were meant to be an actor?
I’m a Christian. I was brought up very religious. I used to go to different evangelists’ [revival] tents all the time. When I was about 13, I had a weird premonition that I was going to be onstage, like the preachers I saw.
Setting aside the money and fame you earn, what does acting give you that you really need?
That’s the best question I’ve ever been asked. Peace. There are things driving me that aren’t all healthy—[needing] approval and respect to fill some hole who-knows-where in me. Am I worthy? All those fears. Through acting, I’m able to find a level of bliss and peace and calm and joy. And it feels natural.
Bliss, peace, transcendence: It sounds religious.
I’m a religious person. This is going to sound weird to you. In Chariots of Fire the runner Eric Liddell says, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.” And I feel that pleasure when I act and it’s going well, particularly onstage. I feel what everyone’s searching for, the feeling that unites us all. Call it “God.” Before I go onstage every night, I pause and dedicate the performance to God, in the sense of “Allow me to surrender.” When you allow yourself to surrender to the story, to the character, to the night, to the audience, transcendence happens. And when that happens, there is nothing like it on the planet. It’s the moment people experience when they fall in love, which is equally frightening and exciting. That’s what it feels like.”
As I share in the article Hugh Jackman, Meet Jesus, The story of Paul is different to the stories of Moses, or David or Noah. These Old Testament narratives have become another “fantasy” genre in Hollywood. They make for great spectacle. They move the Christian masses. But they stay away from the ultimate message of Scripture.
However, making a movie about the Apostle Paul is a whole other ball game. This is the story of a religious man (a murderer and a terrorist) who has an encounter with the glorified Christ and ends up writing 40% of the New Testament. His story is the Gospel in its purest form.
It has a life of religion and sin, transformed to a life of revelation and sacrifice. It’s the story of a man who thought he knew the truth, until Truth Himself knocked him out in love.
Hugh Jackman gets to play this role. And as all great actors do, he will immerse himself into the life and writings of Saul of Tarsus, the Apostle Paul.
And I have no doubts in my mind, God is getting ready to knock Wolverine out too.
It seems like the guy who was a declared student of transcendental meditation is returning to his Christian roots.
I’m excited for the upcoming movie and all the conversations it will initiate, but more than anything I’m exited for Hugh to continually re-encounter the faith of his father.
And I pray that our hearts stay open to see the trend of grace.
Because Jesus is saving radical muslims in the Middle East. God is reaching Justin Bieber, Chris Brown and so many other in Hollywood. His Spirit in moving radically in China. Oh yes, our Savior is by-passing our religious messes and He’s encountering people right where they are.
Time for the church to join His agenda of mercy and grace.
* Other articles of Jesus in Hollywood:
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