“There’s two rules I have for the screen: I won’t use the Lord’s name in vain and I won’t kiss another woman on screen.” These are the words of Hollywood actor Neal McDonough, spoken in a recent interview with Christian Examiner.
The actor is making headlines for refusing to compromise his Christian morals for film roles that demand he blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality.
Neal, 52, is a practicing, devout Catholic. He is happily married to wife Ruve Robertson, a former bikini model from South Africa. The pair have five beautiful children together.
“Killing people on screen—that’s fake. That’s not real. When you’re in bed with another woman on screen—guess what? That’s real. I don’t like that kind of stuff,” Neal explained, revealing his experience of the perception between what’s real and what’s fake on the big screen.
Whilst a principled man is to be respected, Neal has discovered over the years that his hard line is losing him work in the country’s movie-making capital. Neal’s will was tested on the set of ABC’s long-running TV show Desperate Housewives when, in his role as motivational speaker Dave Williams, he refused to kiss his on-screen wife, Edie, played by Nicolette Sheridan. Dave Williams was later written off in a storyline that had him sectioned at the Boston Ridgegate Mental Facility that same year.
“After that, I couldn’t get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot,” Neal revealed, in conversation with Closer magazine.
Once again, Neal lost his role on ABC’s Scoundrels after refusing to portray romantic acts in front of the camera. ABC cited the actor’s dismissal as a “casting change.”
“I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second,” he bravely asserted; Neal’s religious conviction is somewhat unusual within the Hollywood milieu, especially when it comes to the prevalence of explicit content in major Hollywood movies these days.
However, after a series of setbacks, Neal’s career found its place. He is now starring in the movie Greater, and plays Marty Burlsworth, the older brother of former Arkansas Razorback Brandon Burlsworth. The role was “not an easy thing,” Neal admitted. A grueling role, but an invaluable experience.
And, luckily for Neal, there were no romantic scenes to speak of.
Neal has found equilibrium in his career and has had huge successes over several decades in Hollywood. Ultimately, however, the actor has chosen to preference personal principles over the advancement of his career, and we applaud him for it. “I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman,” the actor told Closer.
His wife is one lucky lady.
Neal has found that playing the “bad guy” often manages to sidestep the issue of having to perform romantic acts on screen. But he is not beyond speculating about the future: “If at some point my career runs out as an actor of being bad guys and I can’t do anything else, then I’ll think of something else to do,” Neal stated, whilst speaking to Christian Examiner. “But for now, I am really enjoying career and enjoying my family, and most importantly, my relationship with God.”
“I hope I’m doing Him proud.”
Watch Neal discussing his love for his family—Neal, we applaud your principles! Be sure to like, comment, and share on social media.