Stephen Baldwin is a well-known actor, producer, and author. He is also the brother of Hollywood star Alec Baldwin and the father of superstar model and the soon-to-be wife of Justin Bieber, Hailey Baldwin. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s also a born-again Christian who has been heavily involved in producing faith-based movies and TV shows since his conversion a number of years ago.
Baldwin has an infectious personality and has committed himself to sharing the Gospel by any means possible.Ã‚Â In a two-part conversation on theÃ‚Â Lucas Miles Show, Baldwin discussed his current and future media projects, as well as his experience of being a Christian in Hollywood.
Since becoming a Christian, Baldwin has had to sacrifice a huge amount of work in the secular entertainment industry, which has resulted in him being labeled a Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jesus FreakÃ¢â‚¬Â by many producers and filmmakers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The fourth hit if you Google Ã¢â‚¬ËœStephen BaldwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is the Ã¢â‚¬ËœJesus Freak of Hollywood,’Ã¢â‚¬Â Stephen laughed as he got the conversation underway.
Sure, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a ham-fisted description, but heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s okay with it. Plus, Baldwin has had enough bad experiences with the pretentious Hollywood types to know that he wants to live differently Ã¢â‚¬â€ he is absolutely determined to treat each and every person he meets with respect and kindness.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“First time I had ever been on an airplane Ã¢â‚¬â€ my brother Alec flies me out to L.A. I get off the plane and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one of the famous guys from Star Trek,Ã¢â‚¬Â he recalled. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I go over, and the guy was inconceivably disrespectful and rude to me. I was 17, and I said a prayer, bro. I said Ã¢â‚¬ËœGod, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re up thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬â€ I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know Jesus, but Ã¢â‚¬â€ Ã¢â‚¬ËœGod if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re up there, if I ever become famous, I will never do what that guy just did.’Ã¢â‚¬Â
Stephen said that he often explains to his PR person that if God is speaking and leading him to speak with someone about Jesus, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gonna do it Ã¢â‚¬â€ even if it means he is going to be late to a Hollywood party!
So what about faith-based films? Are they getting any better?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WhatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happening in Christian cinema is progressively getting better,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin told host Lucas Miles. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But part of my calling is challenging Christians to be sure of their calling when they say Ã¢â‚¬Ëœthe Holy Spirit is calling me to Hollywood.’Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I say, you better be sure about that because SatanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s running Hollywood, brother,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin said.
And what about your life outside of acting and producing?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s quite boring,Ã¢â‚¬Â Stephen laughed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I live north of New York CityÃ‚Â on aÃ‚Â farm. I go to Calvary Chapel. Those guys stick to the Word pretty close. When IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m working from the house, I just wanna be there to serve my wife and daughters.Ã¢â‚¬Â
A committed father, the actor explained how he is often checking up on his kids, albeit lightheartedly.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“My daughter Hailey, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just text her: Ã¢â‚¬Å“ten fingers, ten toes?’Ã¢â‚¬Â he said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“and sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just be like Ã¢â‚¬ËœIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m good, Dad!’Ã¢â‚¬Â
What are you working on at the moment?Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve made about 110 films in 30 years, so the Lord is always giving me ideas,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin continued. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Film is so natural to me, I have to stay in touch with the Holy Spirit. I get ideas every day for, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s say, a Christian version of CSI or Law and Order.Ã¢â‚¬Â
But Christian media must be produced Ã¢â‚¬Å“with excellence,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin stressed.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We need to give it more crossover potential, make it more attractive so we can get the Gospel message across!Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Stephen noted that he had some pretty Ã¢â‚¬Å“wildÃ¢â‚¬Â ideas in the pipeline.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I have a project called Ã¢â‚¬ËœVeritas,Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ which is kinda Ã¢â‚¬Ëœroad warrior meets the Matrix,’Ã¢â‚¬Â he said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s based on Revelation.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Baldwin said that Christian material should be just as good as anything youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d find on Netflix and that the production quality must be up there with the very best in the business. The actor also noted the recent release of his new docu-series, titled, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Great American Pilgrimage,Ã¢â‚¬Â and talked a bit more about the vision behind the intriguing production.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s me in my RV, with my three dogs, driving across America, interviewing about Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwhat is America to you?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in the can and is airing on Russia Today (RT),Ã¢â‚¬Â he explained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the wake of this election and all the protests that are going on, I said to myself Ã¢â‚¬ËœI wonder what would happen if I start a conversation with people.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢tÃ‚Â matter who you are, where youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re from, what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re political opinion is, your religious persuasionÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã‚Â I wonder what would happen if I was to start a conversation where I am willing to do a lot more listening than having to say to somebody Ã¢â‚¬ËœIÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m wrong, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re right,’Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
The great motivation was to Ã¢â‚¬Å“do unto others, what I would have them to do unto me, which is not judge me before they get to know me,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin explained.
Despite the whole project being done very light-heartedly, the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Usual SuspectsÃ¢â‚¬Â star revealed that many profound conversations were sparked out of the relatively simple meetings with everyday Americans.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Brother, I did all that in the realm of comedy. But then these moments happened in the show where I had these true conversations with people that were so amazing,Ã¢â‚¬Â he told Miles. Ã¢â‚¬Å“My heart was to sit down, do a lot more listening, and not judge each other before we get to know each otherÃ‚Â Ã¢â‚¬â€ thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the reason for the divide.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Baldwin noted that, on one occasion, he was having a heated debate with someone over immigration. But instead of going back-and-forth for hours, he decided to take the discussion in another direction, realizing the pair had way more in common than they thought Ã¢â‚¬â€ including young adult daughters.
As it turned out, just sharing something as a simple as the desire to be great parents was enough to bridge the gap in other areas.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dealing with real life, but trying to humble ourselves a little bit,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said of the show.
Baldwin also noted that Christians must be leading the way when it comes to ridding the country of the unhealthy division.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There is gonna be a powerful movement, but there will be some bad apples,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said of this next season to face the United States. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There will be some Christians who will push back and try to be unrighteous toward the opposition,Ã¢â‚¬Â he explained. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the way to do it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Baldwin encouraged believers to Ã¢â‚¬Å“crush hateÃ¢â‚¬Â by Ã¢â‚¬Å“loving on people.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The love of Jesus Christ is the only way,Ã¢â‚¬Â he concluded.
Do you share your faith with people in Hollywood?
Stephen explained how he has a massive tattoo on his arm that simply reads: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Worship Jesus.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The tattoos are really stories of my life that I use as opportunities to communicate,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin said, adding that when Ã¢â‚¬Å“somebody least expects a conversation to come up about eternity, I always have fun with it Ã¢â‚¬â€ every chance I get.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a sense of urgency,Ã¢â‚¬Â Baldwin noted of his compulsion to share the Gospel with the people around him. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Jesus is coming back.Ã¢â‚¬Â