‘GOD GAVE ME THIS GIFT’: Catholic actor reveals how he relied on faith after Hollywood blacklisted him

Neal McDonough claimed that he was sacked just three days into filming the ABC series “Scoundrels” in 2010 because he wouldn’t come to an agreement to on-screen sex acts. While the show only ran for one season, the 56-year-old said he was blacklisted from the industry.

Neal McDonough trusted on his belief to survive with rough times in Hollywood. The actor said that there was a time when he wasn’t working. He couldn’t get a job because people thought that he was this silly religious guy. McDonough said that wasn’t the case. He loves his wife but he loves his acting too. He was confident that, at some point, someone would give him a chance again.

The serious Catholic’s clause wasn’t new. From 2008 to 2009, McDonough starred in “Desperate Housewives” where he played Nicolette Sheridan’s spouse. McDonough had a no-kissing rule that provoked the show’s creator, Marc Cherry, to get creative with his writing. McDonough, who married his wife Ruvé in 2003, has said, “I won’t kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman.”

McDonough revealed that after supposedly getting the walking boot from “Scoundrels,” he experienced a hard few years trying to find work while staying truthful to his spiritual beliefs.

That’s when Graham Yost called him. The star and the scriptwriter had earlier worked together with McDonough on “Band of Brothers” in 2001. Yost asked if McDonough want to play the villain in the first episode or two of ‘Justified and McDonough agreed to play the role. And after the first take, Yost Graham came up to him and said if he wants to play the villain for the whole year?’ McDonough replied to him and said, that is what he is going to do.

After ‘Justified,’ everything was kind of forgotten and McDonough was determined to give a really great performance and he did that. He realized that perhaps he was taking some of his acting for granted. He said that he was working all the time, but perhaps he wasn’t dialled in enough in terms of what he could really do as an actor. He is been working so much in the last several years and he couldn’t be more thankful. He thank God every day for all the blessings he is been given, even during challenging times.

McDonough said his career has only thrived since “Justified” in 2012. The delighted father of five said he couldn’t be more thankful for being given a second chance on his terms.

McDonough said that God gave him this gift of being an actor and he is not going to waste it. He is now in a position to produce movies with his wife and he is able to co-create projects. He said that he couldn’t be in a better place in his career. Every step he have had along the way, every challenge faced, has built this moment. And this is a moment he is really cherishing and he is proud of his work and what he can accomplish.

McDonough is featuring in “Boon,” the action-packed sequel to “Red Stone” where his character Nick Boon must defend the whole thing he stands for.

And this time, McDonough gets to play a decent guy. He said that he has never had the opportunity to really play this kind of character before. There’s a kind of romance on screen with his co-actor but she understood exactly who he was and what he wouldn’t do. He has put that out there. McDonough added that it was truly wonderful working with a cast like this as he felt at ease.

This movie is a journey about a guy running away from his past, but the past will always catch up to you. How do you deal with it when it finally catches up to you? What are you prepared to do? How are you willing to stand up for what is right?”

While McDonough is recognized these days for playing antiheroes on screen, he doesn’t mind overturning the script, when done right.

He said that his character, Nick Boon, isn’t given a superpower. It’s just faith and to him, that’s the greatest superpower anyone can have. If you have faith, you can get through anything. He loves these types of characters. McDonough said that he has always loved Westerns and neo-Western flicks that discover this subject. He said that those haven’t really been done in the last several years, but he feels like they’re finally coming back now. He couldn’t be happier and said that it gives us new opportunities to make these types of films.

McDonough shared that he played the lead, which is a big-time commitment. But he infused a lot of “him” into the character. It explores faith in a unique way and this time around he plays a good guy. And on the film set, they also created a family atmosphere and they made this film with such pride and that was the goal.

Today, McDonough continues to keep eventful taking on new roles and assignments. And throughout his decades-long career, there’s one star he’s venerated over the years.

McDonough explained that he recollect they were doing ‘Band of Brothers” and they were about five days into filming. They experienced this exhausting boot camp where they were getting beat up. This guy comes in from a helicopter, had a long beard and long hair. It was Tom Hanks!

He steps out and does this dialogue explaining “why we owe it to all these men and women who died for us. How World War II permitted us to have the liberties that we have today. How it is our job to never give up and try our very best. How we must give 100% of ourselves for the next 10 months to guarantee we respect the men and women who died for us”.

McDonough said that Tom was so emotional and it meant the world to him. Then he got back on the helicopter to go back to whatever island he was on shooting ‘Castaway.’ McDonough said that to be around a guy like Tom Hanks, you can’t help but be a better artist. He further said that Tom’s a performer, but he’s also a family man. He understands the position that he’s in and loves his life and he takes pride in his work. He continued that Tom lives in the light and we should all be more like Tom Hanks.

Back in 2020, McDonough revealed about certain things that he denied doing in Hollywood. He said that he won’t mention the Lord’s name in vain and then he won’t kiss another woman. He stated that sex scenes aren’t in it for him.  He continued saying that he is not very comfortable doing that.

He said that that’s probably why he plays so many evil characters, because he love acting and he is really good at it.

He believes that it is a God-given ability, so for him to have a career he has to figure out imaginatively, elegantly and wisely how he can keep doing what he does.

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