Hollywood actor Dennis Haysbert was recently cast in two roles containing faith themes, one as God for the final season of “Lucifer,” and he was chosen by TBN for their new show “State of Faith.”
The popular Allstate Insurance spokesperson serves as the narrator for TBN’s new show, "Inexplicable" which is the first part of their “The State of Faith” series. The first six episode series, now airing on the network, takes viewers on a journey to discover the role of Christianity from it’s beginning to present day.
In “Lucifer,” however, he plays God and according to the Christian rating site Pluggedin the Fox show doesn’t portray the fallen angel as such a bad guy.
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post's interview with Haysbert where he opens up about both of the new roles, as well as gives a description of his own personal faith.
CP: Can you share what your own beliefs are and why you felt led to loan your talents to “The State of Faith” for TBN?
Haysbert: I love education. I love history. So I wanted to be involved from that aspect of it. My faith is very personal to me. I was raised Christian, in a both Christian and Catholic house. My dad was Catholic, my mom was Christian, so of course, my mother's faith won out because she had the most contact with the kids.
I went to Sunday school from the time I could walk all the way until high school. Then I realized I didn't really need church so much as I needed to understand and make my faith more personal. Basically, what my faith is, is light and love and that's my religion.
I wanted to be involved with this project because it's educational. They contacted us and we thought about it and I said, "Hey, let's pursue this."
CP: What were some of the things that you learned or discovered through narrating such a historic Christian series?
Haysbert: I mean, just to find out that what happened was actually living history. Just understanding how many women were involved from the beginning, how many people lost their lives spreading the Gospel. Finding out that Queen Isabella of Spain was one of the main architects of the Spanish Inquisition. I just never studied that stuff before.
To do it in the chronological order that we're doing it, it's just amazing to me and highly informative. There were times when I was narrating that I had to stop and say, "Whoa, let's stop. Let me absorb this for a second. This happened?"
They have all the scholars that come in and break it down for everybody. So it was very informative for me, incredibly interesting, and I was just blown away by it. So this is something I'm really proud to be involved in. It is important that people understand, especially Christians. It gets bloody, people don’t realize how bloody it was and how divine it was at the same time.
It's going to be one of those miniseries where you have to watch each episode several times to really get it. We're talking 2,000 years in six episodes. I hope it inspires people to look into the history of their particular religion.
CP: You are also playing God in the series "Lucifer." Tell us about wanting to be involved in that TV show?
Haysbert: It's going to be very interesting. I think people are going to see God in a different light because everyone sees God in their own religion. When you think about it, what is God's religion? He's not Christian, Buddhist or Muslim, He's God. He's light and love, He made us all in His image. Does He have emotion, does He love, is He jealous, does He have pain? When He looks down on us right now what does He feel about it? He's given us free will.
Think about this or not, I'm not gonna put anything on it, I'm just saying it was very interesting to play the character. I hope God likes what I've done with it. I think it's the first time that people will see God portrayed in a three dimensional way.
CP: Christians see the word "Lucifer" in a TV show and they tend to stay away. What do you think about that?
Haysbert: When you think about it, who was Lucifer? He was the light bearer, he was an angel. He was sent down to punish the damned. A lot of people have done things in the devil’s name. "The devil made me do it," No, you had free will. You did what you did and then you blame it on the devil.
The show deals with these angels. They deal with a lot of different angels and demons. They have all these different characters in there and it's put a grounding face on it.
Understand, the biggest fanbase of that show are evangelicals from around the world.
CP: Lastly, what is your hope for the series, “The State Of Faith”?
Haysbert: I want all Christians and people of all faiths to watch this and learn and know the history of how all this was brought about. It's really done well and the scholars that they found to break down the history of it, it’s just incredible. For all the things we watch on TV, it's worth the watch.
This is one of those Sunday early evening documentaries that families should sit around on the couch and watch.
Visit the show's website for more information on the docu-series.