Actress Renee O'Connor once fought ancient gods, warlords, and kings on the '90s hit television series "Xena: Warrior Princess," but she now stars in the Christian film "A Question of Faith."
In an interview with Fox News, the Texas-native talked about her new role in the film, which tells the story of three families living in the same community where they discover God's love and forgiveness.
The film will premiere Saturday, the last day of MegaFest, the four-day faith and family festival in Dallas, Texas, hosted by Bishop TD Jakes of The Potter's House Church.
"I love to be a part of a film that gives a positive message," O'Connor told Fox News. "This was the type of film that I'm always looking for, something that's spiritual and tries to make people feel good or more inspired. The opportunity came up and I really wanted to work on the film."
"I think people look at the definition of a faith-based film and may think it's not for them. ... But I definitely think it's a strong market now and people do want to see more of these films. ... It helps not to judge the genre and instead, step into a movie and learn more about the story and be carried away by something that's bigger than ourselves," she added.
O'Connor played Xena's trusty sidekick Gabriela from the show's inception in 1995 to the series' end in 2001. With two female leads working closely to fight off evil, rumors swirled that Xena, played by Lucy Lawless, and O'Conner's character were lesbian lovers.
But in a 2015 interview with The New York Times, Lawless claimed the two women never knew their characters would have a love story.
When Fox News asked O'Connor if she was concerned that her role in a Christian film would shock her lesbian fan base, she replied: "I think the people who have been following me all of these years, they know that I want to try to help them elevate their experiences. I just want to help people connect with one another. ... For someone to feel that I'm trying to create separation ... that kills me they would feel that way. I would not want them to feel that way at all. That would be sad for me."
"I just think there's a need for more of us to understand each other and have a lack of judgment. I am conscientious of the roles I take and what my fans would think. ... I just happen to be drawn to family-friendly genres."
Speaking about the Christian message in "A Question of Faith," the 46-year-old said: "I think there's definitely a larger audience looking for films with a message. ... People are looking for something that will inspire them, help them connect more with the community, connect with something higher than ourselves."
In addition to the upcoming Pure Flix film, "A Question of Faith," O'Connor previously appeared in the 2015 faith-based drama "Beyond the Furthest Star."
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