Actor Stephen Baldwin is convinced his devotion to Christianity cost him his Hollywood career.
"The Usual Suspects" star became a born-again Christian after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, and he has been outspoken about the lengths he would go to stay true to his faith ever since. But Baldwin insists his religious beliefs have made him unpopular in the industry, revealing that no filmmakers want to work with him because he is often considered too controversial.
He tells "Good Morning America," "I'm getting ready to direct two or three movies next year that are faith-based films. I'm kind of full-blown faith-based right now, and that's just where I'm at in my walk of Christianity. But isn't it weird, that as a Christian, I had a casting director come up to me two years ago and say, 'I'm really sorry, because I've brought your name up in castings for a while now, and they all just look at me like I'm crazy."
Reporter Amy Robach then asked, "Is it possible to be successful in Hollywood and be an outspoken Christian?" and Baldwin responded, "Sure doesn't seem like it now, does it?"
Religion has been a hot topic in Hollywood as of late -- teenage "Two and a Half Men" star Angus T. Jones made headlines earlier this week after publicly calling the comedy "filth," following his recent spiritual awakening. He has since apologized.
I'm not surprised that Mr. Baldwin is having such trouble. Hollywood has been hostile to the faith for a long time. One only has to point to most TV shows. You'll have a character identify as one or another religion, but out of them all, only one truly practices his faith, and ironically enough, that one is a Muslim. Christians are always portrayed as being Christian in name only; if they are faithful, there's usually an element of mental instability involved. Hollywood seems to believe that faith doesn't "sell;" is that why "The Passion of the Christ" was such a blockbuster? Why faith-based movies like "The Bells of Saint Mary's" and "Song of Bernadette" are all-time classic favorites?
Martyrdom doesn't necessarily involve torture and death; it can involve marginalization, too. Mr. Baldwin, you are in good company. I use a worn-out phrase from the sixties in a manner that would probably have its coiner spinning in his grave, metaphorically speaking: Keep the faith, baby!
Christianity may be the reason. But, remember, God closes one door to open another. Focus on that. There are many actors that are Christens and they are still acting.