In the glitz and glamour-filled world of Hollywood, it’s so easy to get caught up in everything decadent and worldly. From competing for the best dressed title on the red carpet to going for plastic surgery every other month to ensuring that the photographers always capture your best angle, superficiality practically shoves itself into one’s botox-filled face.
It’s not just about looking good that distracts you from the essentials. There’s also the matter of the types of films the actors star in. So many have to compromise their values to star in films with themes laden with sex, violence and corruption.
Things that happen behind the scenes are just as toxic to folks in show business as what happens in front of the cameras. Sleeping one’s way to get a role, strong-arming others with less influence to hurry up a production, having affairs with co-stars when one is already married. The list goes on and on.
Luckily, there are those actors who make a commitment to uphold their values, despite their fame and fortune. So how does one stay grounded and hold fast to their values in Hollywood?
Ensure that loved ones are priority. Quantity time sometimes trumps quality time and some actors know that and continue to have a strong and loving family life outside their careers. That includes staying faithful to one’s partner!
Give back. Many actors use their celebrity status to give back to others by being ambassadors to charitable organizations, setting up foundations that help others, and participating in charities for a good cause.
Lastly, reflect, meditate or pray. It’s always good to take a step back, re-evaluate one’s life, and acknowledge a higher being out there. There are a few actors who, to the surprise of many, are actually quite religious.
10 Angus T. Jones: Seventh-Day Adventist Christian
The young star of the syndicated TV show, Two and a Half Men became the highest paid child star in television in 2010, due to the popularity of the sitcom. However, the actor ended up biting the hand that fed him. A controversy arose when Jones, a newly baptized Seventh-day Adventist, made some derogatory statements about the show, saying it went against all of his morals and values as an Adventist. It was likely due to these overzealous statements that he was relegated to a recurring character on the hit show.
9 Natalie Portman: Jewish
Many know A-list actress Natalie Portman as the beautiful girl who played Queen Amidala in Star Wars and later on, as a tragic ballerina in The Black Swan, which was the movie that garnered her an Oscar win. There are a few who also know that she has an amazingly high IQ that made her qualify to study at Harvard University, where she graduated with a degree in Psychology. However, many don't know that she holds dual citizenship from the U.S. and Israel. She was born in Jerusalem to two devout Jewish parents and has said that she wants to raise her son and any other future children in the Jewish faith.
8 Mario Lopez: Roman Catholic
TV host and actor Mario Lopez has made many female fans swoon. Aside from being gorgeous, well-toned, and absolutely charming, he’s also very devout to his faith. He comes from a large Mexican Roman Catholic family and his parents raised their children to be practicing Catholics. Lopez is very vocal about his faith, stating that despite his very hectic schedule, he makes it a point to attend Mass every week and feels disappointed when he’s not able to make the Sunday service due to unforeseen circumstances. He says he goes to Church on his own, as it’s his private time with God.
7 Katherine Heigl: Mormon
Fans of the medicine-themed hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy know Katherine Heigl as Doctor Izzie Stevens. Despite being written off the show because Heigl decided not to renew her contract, this role is what she is most known for. Her family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when her brother died in a car accident and her parents were searching for comfort and answers. Heigl said in an interview that the Mormon community has greatly helped her and her family not just in getting through her brother’s death, but in their spiritual growth thereafter. She and her husband didn't live together when they were still dating, with Heigl stating that it was against her beliefs and she wanted to keep marriage sacred.
6 Stephen Colbert: Roman Catholic
Due to his brash remarks and crass behavior when he’s in character for his satirical news show, The Colbert Report, those who don't know Stephen Colbert may tend to regard him as a mean and nasty person. Although unbeknownst to many, he is actually a devout husband and father of two and is a practicing Roman Catholic. Having been raised a Catholic by two very devout parents, Colbert has made the decision to continue practicing his faith and instilling it in his children. He is a regular church-goer and even teaches Sunday school at his parish!
5 Angela Bassett: Christian
Angela Bassett is best known for her role as Tina Turner in the singer’s biographical film What’s Love Got to Do With It, where Bassett received critical acclaim for her performance. This Yale graduate has it all: great movies under her belt with roles that have catapulted her to the A-list set; an impressive Ivy League education; a husband she’s been married to for 17 years; two wonderful children; charity work that she’s passionate about; and her faith. She’s open about her Christianity, saying she firmly believes in Jesus’ divinity and regularly attends West Angeles Church of God in Christ.
4 Steven Seagal: Buddhist
Action star and martial artist Steven Seagal has always stood out in Hollywood because of his distinctive looks. While his mother and father are Irish and Jewish respectively, he said that one of his grandparents is actually Mongolian by blood. Hence, Segal’s exotic features. It’s likely because of his Mongolian heritage that he took an interest in Buddhism, which is the predominant religion in Mongolia. He is now a practicing Tibetan Buddhist, his current wife being Mongolian and a fellow Buddhist.
3 Stephen Baldwin: Evangelical Christian
The Baldwin brothers are an integral part of Hollywood, as the band of brothers are composed of four extremely good-looking men. They were even referred to collectively by Alicia Silverstone’s character in the movie Clueless, using the term “he’s definitely a Baldwin” to describe Paul Rudd’s character, whom she found attractive. Alec, Daniel, William, and Stephen Baldwin have all made the rounds in Hollywood films and television shows. They were raised Roman Catholic, but the youngest Baldwin, Stephen, became an Evangelical Christian after the 9/11 attacks in 2001. He’s very vocal about his faith and even founded a Christian ministry to help extreme sports athletes.
2 Alice Cooper: Born-again Christian
Alice Cooper is the ultimate testament that we should never judge a book by its cover. When you take in his appearance and find out his music genre is shock rock, you automatically assume that he’s an alcoholic, drug addict, and womanizer. However, though he may have had his bouts of alcohol once upon a time, Alice Cooper (born Vincent Damon Furnier) turned a new leaf and became a born-again Christian. In fact, he helps others overcome their addiction, citing himself as an example of someone who was able to win against his vices and wipe his slate clean as a renewed Christian.
1 Mark Wahlberg: Roman Catholic
Who would have thought that young and hip rocker Marky Mark would grow up and become the Mark Wahlberg that we know today? As a rapper in his teenage years, Marky Mark had numerous run-ins with the law, including a drug addiction, and ended up in jail. He said that it was his faith that got him through his darkest days and spurred him to clean up his act. Today, the A-list actor and producer is a devout Roman Catholic in a loving marriage with four beautiful children. He says he goes to Church every day. He’s one religious person who’s earned respect and admiration the world over because he’s vocal about his faith, yet he doesn’t impose on anyone to follow his lead.