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‘Mighty Ducks’ star, recovering addict baptized by Greg Laurie on set of ‘Jesus Revolution’

Shaun Weiss
Shaun Weiss appears in costume on the set of "Jesus Revolution" in a photo posted to Instagram on March 31, 2022. |

A former Disney actor who survived a years-long battle with drug addiction could be ready to give redemption a shot after landing his latest movie role. 

Shaun Weiss, best known for his role in the 1990s “The Mighty Ducks” film franchise, is set to make his first on-screen appearance in years in the upcoming “Jesus Revolution,” a biopic about pastors Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie and the 1970s “Jesus movement.”

But according to Weiss, this movie shoot was unlike any other he had experienced.

Weiss told The Christian Post he was filming on location Thursday at Pirate’s Cove in Corona del Mar, California, recreating the scene where “thousands of hippies” were baptized in the 1970s, when Laurie approached him in an apparent divine appointment.

“He came up to me and decided to start a relationship with me, and I ended up getting baptized … in front of the whole movie production,” said Weiss. “It was a very nice process, it was really wonderful.”

“It really wasn’t anything I had been planning on or had thought about, but it made sense the whole time,” he added.

The 43-year-old Weiss first hinted at the role in an Instagram post in which he thanked faith-based filmmaker John Erwin and Lionsgate Films for the opportunity.

According to Weiss, it all started when “somebody” at Lionsgate heard about his story and thought it would be meaningful to have him play the role of a drug-addicted Vietnam vet who is seeking to be saved and ends up getting baptized.

By the end of the movie, his character — which Weiss described as a “small part” — undergoes a complete recovery from drug addiction and a “sort of rebirth and he comes to Christ.”

It’s a remarkable comeback story for Weiss, who served jail time in 2017 for petty theft and was subsequently arrested on charges of methamphetamine possession and, in 2018, for public intoxication.

“I kind of just surrendered things back when I was in that jail cell,” he said. “I found out that my story was public and the only way for me to really deal with it, being just in a really helpless situation, in a jail cell, not being able to tell my side of the story, it was very frustrating. So I really just had to surrender.”

The resulting mugshot of a shockingly gaunt Weiss went viral, shocking many of his fans who grew up on the classic “Mighty Ducks” franchise.

Weiss played goalie Greg Goldberg in “The Mighty Ducks” (1992), “D2: The Mighty Ducks” (1994) and “D3: The Mighty Ducks” (1996).

He took to Facebook in 2018 to share his struggle, telling fans he had checked into a rehab center after he found himself “depleted, weak and shrouded by darkness.”

“I AM going to recover. I’m determined to return to my old self. My mind is set on health and well being [sic],” Weiss wrote.

Following another arrest for shoplifting in 2018, Weiss was arrested again in Jan. 2020 for allegedly breaking into a home in Marysville, California, after a homeowner reported someone broke into a car parked in the resident’s garage.

Marysville police say Weiss shattered the passenger-side window of the vehicle. Officers found a man they later identified as Weiss, who they said “displayed symptoms of being under the influence of methamphetamine.”

The burglary charge was dismissed by prosecutors in Yuba County after Weiss completed a court-ordered drug program, according to TMZ.

After over 1,000 hours of therapy and now with “Jesus Revolution,” Weiss looks to finally put his past behind him.

“Jesus Revolution” stars Kelsey Grammar, Anna Grace Barlow, Jonathan Roumie and is directed by brothers John and Andrew Erwin, who were behind other faith-inspired projects such as “I Can Only Imagine” and “I Still Believe.”

The movie tells the true-life story of the “Jesus movement” that led to the rise of pastors Laurie, who started one of the country’s largest churches, Harvest Christian Fellowship; and the late Smith, who founded the Calvary Chapel movement.

While he added the cast “could not have been more supportive,” Weiss said being back on set wasn’t without its challenges: in one scene, his character was strung out and in bad shape and Weiss said it wasn’t easy to “put himself” back in that headspace.

Despite not having worked in Hollywood for years, Weiss says he felt right at home.

“I was in the makeup chair and my eyes were closed and they were putting makeup on me, and it was like nothing had changed at all,” he said. “Sitting in that makeup chair as an actor, I now had the benefit of chalking that entire section of my life up to research for my part.”

Weiss says that the biggest factor behind getting and staying sober has been what he called “some kind of crazy experience that led [him] to this feeling of God.”

“And when I had that feeling of being connected with God, it was an overwhelmingly euphoric feeling, just this feeling of overwhelming love and compassion,” he said. “So this thing happened. And when this thing happened, it came into my perception that I could feel this high that I was seeking without drugs. 

“I could feel it if I sought God and I strengthened my relationship with God. So that’s how really I’ve been able to resist wanting to feel drugs again because I know that if I work towards it, that feeling is available to me without the substance.”

When asked whether he now considers himself a follower of Christ, Weiss said he’s not so sure.

“I don’t know if I would call myself a Christian,” he said. “When you’re baptized, does that mean you’re a Christian after that? I wouldn’t wear that title right now. I don’t know that I’m ready to announce that I’m a Christian, but I definitely benefited tremendously from the process.”

Weiss said he’s set to visit Laurie's church on Sunday, so “maybe I am a Christian, who knows?”

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