Actor Kelsey Grammer revealed he took the role in the film “Jesus Revolution” after spending a night praying and then experiencing an apparent sign from God.
Kelsey Grammer is known as one of the few conservative actors in Hollywood. So, it was no surprise to see the veteran star in a major role in the film Jesus Revolution. Grammer decided to share a very personal experience that led to him taking on the role of Pastor Chuck Smith in the 2023 film.
During his interview on the Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon asked Grammer what drew him to do the faith-based film. “The truth is I was having sort of a meditative evening one night in my home, and I was up pretty late. It was about 3, 4 in the morning,” Grammer said.
“And I started to think, ‘I want to do something worthwhile, something that has a bigger purpose than just me,'” Grammer continued to explain. “And I was kind of saying a prayer, I guess. And the next morning the script lands on my door. And I read it and I said, ‘OK, that’s it. I’m doing this Jesus story.’” Fallon believed that it was a sign. Grammer seemed to agree, saying, “It’s pretty cool.”
Grammer plays Southern California Pastor Chuck Smith in Jesus Revolution, which a story is about the last great spiritual awakening in the United States. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions came to faith nationwide during the Jesus movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, and Pastor Smith played a prominent role in it all.
The 1966 Time magazine cover asking “Is God Dead?” and the 1971 title “The Jesus Revolution” are seen in the movie to illustrate the arc American culture made in a few short years after the revival happened. Other important characters in the film include hippie pastor Lonnie Frisbee (played by Jonathan Roumie from the popular series The Chosen) and Greg Laurie (portrayed by Joel Courtney).
Grammer told NBC’s Today show that shooting the movie took him right back to his teen years in the late ’60s and early ’70s when all of this was happening. “In our time, the love, the sense of community, the things that we all had, it was real, and I miss it,” Grammer said. “Who knows? Maybe this film will bring some of that back. But the light in people’s eyes then was genuine and sincere, and there was a connection of faith that was extraordinary.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Jesus Revolution shocked the big studios by coming in number 3 overall in its first weekend by grossing $15.5 million while showing on less than 2,500 screens across the country. CinemaScore also noted Jesus Revolution grabbed a rare A+ grade from filmgoers after seeing the movie. Top Gun: Maverick and The Woman King were the only two films to grab such a score in 2022.
Grammer spoke about his take on the man he played in the film. “What [Pastor Chuck Smith] did went back to one of the basic precepts of Christianity, which is inclusion,” he said. “He thought, ‘Well, I’m doing it this way, and people aren’t listening,’ so he finally surrendered. He said, ‘You show me a hippie, and I’ll listen.’ It became a great adventure, which is still going on.”
Kelsey Grammer shared his personal testimony about his faith. “I’ve had hiccups. I’ve had some tragic times. I have wrestled with those and worked my way through them,” the conservative actor said. “Sometimes rejecting faith, sometimes rejecting God even, in a period of being pretty angry about it, like, ‘Where were you?’ That kind of thing. But I have come to terms with it and have found great peace in my faith and in Jesus. It’s not cavalier – Jesus made a difference in my life. That’s not anything I’ll apologize for.”
Grammer was asked if he was a “square” or a “hippie” growing up in the 1960s. “I celebrated with my peers the idea that we could love each other and love well, and that it would enhance our lives,” he said. “I think that’s the most attractive part of this movement still. There’s a religious component of it through Christ, but Christ was the first hippie. ‘Love your enemies’ – I mean, that’s extraordinary stuff.”