HOLLYWOOD — Actor Kristoffer Polaha revealed how exploring and testing religion led him back to Christianity and a true relationship with Jesus Christ.
The Christian Post attended the Los Angeles premiere for “Run the Race” last week and sat down with the longtime television actor and his co-star, Frances Fisher, to talk about his involvement in the Tebow film production. During the interview, Polaha took the opportunity to share his own personal faith.
"For me personally, I grew up in a Christian household, my dad was Catholic and my mom was Pentecostal so any tent revival that came through Reno Nevada, we were there, speaking in tongues,” Polaha told CP.
At age 17, Polaha had already gained some fame in acting so he decided he would pray a “prayer of pride.”
"I remember very distinctly, I had a very pretty girlfriend at the time, I was the lead of these plays and I thought to myself, ‘Is this you God doing this for me, or is it me?’” Polaha recalled. “I said, ‘I'ma find out, I'm not going to pray for like six months. I'm just going to kind of go off into the wilderness.’”
Polaha’s six-month test turned into six years of him off on his own without true communion with the faith he was raised in, until “something happened.”
"I went on a Semester at Sea and went around the world, I learned about Shintoism Buddhism, Hindu, Muslim, Judaism — I wanted to understand religion. I wanted to look at my faith not as a tradition but as a choice that I was making,” he explained.
While on his journey, the Hollywood star said that beyond all the lip service he did truly believe there was a God in the universe that loves everyone. The Nevada native said he truly believed God had a purpose for each person.
“He (God) met me one night and He knocked on my heart and He said, ‘I want you back,’” Polaha testified. “For me, that was the Christ narrative. It made the most sense and it was the one that I just related to.”
"Being in a relationship with a God that I believe loves me kind of changes the whole narrative because it lets me know who I am. It's not Hollywood, or my agent. It's not anything that's going to define who I am,” the husband and father added.
In “Run the Race,” Polaha plays an alcoholic father alongside Tanner Stine ("NCIS," HBO's "Here & Now") as Zach; Evan Hofer ("Kickin' It") as David; Mykelti Williamson ("Fences," "Forrest Gump") as the boys' coach; and Frances Fisher ("Titanic") as their surrogate mother.
"Run the Race" shows the bond between two brothers whose dream of a new life seems lost.
The hope of getting a college football scholarship and moving to a new town seems out of reach for brothers Zach and David, who feel abandoned by their father after their mother's death, after a fight leads to a life-altering injury that renders Zach unable to get back on the field.
Polaha said he loves the movie because like his testimony, the faith-based film journeys through similar narratives.
“The two brothers — you've got one who's all ambition and the other one who's just this kid whose full of faith and belief and love. You get to see how it plays out. So it's cool. It's a great message,” he concluded.
Produced by Tim Tebow and his brother, Robby, “Run the Race” hits theaters Feb 22.
For more information on the Chris Dowling ("Where Hope Grows"); Jake McEntire, and Jason Baumgardner film, visit RuntheRaceMovie.com.