'Frasier' Star Kelsey Grammer Reveals How His Christian Faith Guides His Career
Actor Kelsey Grammer says his new role as Pastor Chuck Smith in the movie “Jesus Revolution” allows him to tap into a deep well of faith audiences might not know he has.
Grammer is best known for playing Dr. Frasier Crane on the TV sitcoms “Cheers” and “Frasier.”
In a recent interview with Fox News, he said despite his years in the public eye, there is much about him that remains private.
Grammer said he had “always been a bit of a prude” but was “famously a wild man as well, you know, that’s been part of my life. So I’ve been out in the desert, let’s say, some of the time. I made my way back in time.”
The actor said his career and his faith have been aligned.
“I think that my focus on my career has always been to sort of elevate the human experience, and I think my understanding of religion is supposed to be the same thing,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean you’re going to have an easy time. It doesn’t mean you’re going to not have days when it’s hell. But it does give you something to point toward.”
Grammer, who said he was raised as a Christian Scientist, paraphrased a passage he recalled from his youth:
“Do not become a sluggard in the race. Don’t falter. Get back up. Stand up. Keep fighting. Because that’s where your reward is. Your reward is in the doing of it. And do not be weary and well doing.”
“That’s it. That’s — I still believe that,” he told Fox News.
Grammer said his private life was the foundation he needed for his role as Pastor Chuck Smith in “Jesus Revolution,” which is based on the true story of a Christian awakening in the 1970s.
“It strikes me, you know, I probably have been preparing for this all my life, honestly. It was a pretty seamless transition into playing Chuck,” he said.
“I’m kind of a Bible guy. I’ve been reading the Bible all my life. I turn to it for prayer, for reflection, for information, and I just always have. It’s just always been sort of at my fingertips throughout my life, ever since I was a boy,” he told Fox News.
“So I have a relationship with the Word of God, as they call it, that it was probably akin to what Chuck Smith’s relationship was with it,” he said, noting that does not consider himself a biblical scholar.
In the film, Pastor Chuck stuns his congregation by making friends with hippie minister Lonnie Frisbee, played by Jonathan Roumie, known for his role as Jesus in “The Chosen” television series.
“I lived it. I lived in that same time,” Grammer said. “I lived throughout that period in the ’70s and stuff and what he accomplished, I saw on some of the faces that I met in my life. I didn’t know it was, you know, his footsteps, but I was walking alongside him in many things. And so when this role came along, it was just slipping into a nice suit.”
The actor said the film might connect with audiences in terms of how it portrays faith amid societal upheaval.
“I hope what the audience can take away is the sense that there might be something to it, might be something to this movement that happened then, and maybe it’s worthwhile to think about … the way we’re positioned in terms of faith and society,” he said. “A great society can embrace a great faith and probably enhance both. And that’s what I’d like to see happen.”
Grammer noted that having faith does not mean being perfect when life goes wrong.
“Well, honestly, there were times when I lost it. I mean, there were times when I didn’t hold up so well,” he said, pointing to the 1975 murder of his younger sister, 18-year-old Karen Grammer.
“I’m writing a book about that right now, about my sister and stuff, and how to sort of navigate that kind of shock in your life, that kind of horror … that so many encounter, and they lose their faith and don’t know what to do, and to climb back out is very hard,” the actor said.
Grammer recently revealed the series “Frasier” will be returning. The Paramount+ reboot will have Crane going back to Boston, the setting for “Cheers.”
“There is an element of stepping back into the world of ‘Cheers’ for Frasier because that’s why we went back to Boston. He feels like he has unfinished business there, like part of that life did not fulfill him enough to get to the place he had dreamed,” he said in an interview with “Jake’s Takes.”
“He may not go back into that bar. There are a lot of things we would have to do in order to secure rights and blah, blah, blah, and business,” Grammer said. “That is an overlay that sometimes stops us from a certain path creatively.
“But that path is in this show, of coming to terms with Boston for him, of coming to terms with a life he didn’t live in Boston and the one he wanted to live.”
“Jesus Revolution” debuts in theaters Friday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.