We were so excited to recently interview Sam Sorbo about what it was like to fall in love with “Hercules” Kevin Sorbo, her heart for homeschooling, and her upcoming new film!
An education freedom advocate, actress, author, speaker, radio & podcast host, and homeschool mom whose mission is to help parents and their children emancipate from our modern school system. Recognizing the brokenness of our institutional system led Sam to understand there is much more to education than academics. As a prolific author, podcast, and radio host, international public speaker, and mentor, Sam is dedicated to teaching families how to “educate…differently.”
- Sam, you are a strong advocate of homeschooling, an author of books on the subject, and you teach your children at home. Why did you make this decision?
Homeschooling was the furthest thing from my mind, initially. My son attended first and second grade. But over the school year, I noticed changes in him and in our family dynamic. I recognized some problems in the classroom, as well, about which the teachers seemed impotent. I didn’t like the homework they sent him home with, and I thought, while I was begging him to complete his homework, “I’m homeschooling him. I’m just doing it at the end of the day, when we are both tired and cranky and hungry!” It was worse than being the substitute teacher!
So, I thought more and more about homeschooling. It helped that there were some people I knew who had or were currently homeschooling their kids. I had some exposure to it, so I decided to try it on, like a coat. I walked around wearing it for a few days, picturing it, thinking about it, and praying about it.
But really, what finally happened was, I said to my husband, “I think I could fail at homeschooling and he’d still be better off.” And that’s the truth – which is why no children should have to attend school.
2. Have your children ever attended school at any point?
My two younger children attended the cute little kindergarten at our local public government school. It was really sweet, except they didn’t take any of the children’s best interests into consideration, like when I asked for morning kindergarten for my second child, because he liked to nap (and I liked that he napped – I think children are largely sleep-deprived these days!)
About a month ago, my 17-year-old daughter confided in me that kindergarten, that cute little fun classroom where they do fingerprinting and put on the Thanksgiving play, was where sh learned that she was stupid. Imagine that. The teacher called her up in front of the class to do some sight-word reading. Well, she got stymied and anxious, and didn’t read them well, and the class laughed, and from then on, she thought of herself as stupid. It took her a long time, she told me, to rethink the way she thought about herself. And I believe the teacher didn’t even know she’d done that terrible thing to my daughter. She probably thought it was cute.
3. How do you view the current school environment? Do you believe that teachers and the government are imposing a woke agenda on children?
Of course, they are – it’s what they believe. They would be betraying their very core beliefs if they didn’t. But that’s the point. Don’t send your children to some complete stranger for that stranger to influence them more than you ever will, because they will get to spend far more time with them in school than you will as the parent not there, and also because in the school they claim both the superior knowledge and authority and the moral high ground.
Also, let’s face it, government believes in government. Government schools are churches of government where children are taught to worship government as god, so they graduate socialists who believe that government is the answer to every problem. It was easier way back when, when common sense dictated that you needed to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, but once you train people to depend on government generation after generation, you get folks who believe that government is the only answer. And that’s a very sad thing.
4. Could you tell us a bit about your career as an actress? How did you enter the film industry?
I began my professional life as a model in Europe, primarily Paris. It was a fantastic introduction to the world, foreign language, and earning money, and I was very successful at it. All my educational life I’d been told I couldn’t become an actor because nobody succeeded at that. So, when I reached basic financial independence and realized that the “experts” of the academic world were wrong, I figured I might as well try the thing I really loved – acting. So I moved to LA and started to act. I did several movies and TV shows and found my way onto “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” starring Kevin Sorbo and fell in love with him.
It’s truly a very romantic story, about how we met and our first scene, on the drawbridge, at night, with the mist wafting up and the enormous glowing lights breathing down on us, me in my princess gown with a long flowing wig, and Kevin dressed as the hero in his Hercules garb. It was a kissing scene goodbye, our first scene together, and Kevin kept forgetting his lines! I thought he was playing some kind of practical joke because he was laughing at himself, but I also figured he was really unprofessional (outrageous!)
That was the first time he kissed me no one else has kissed me since! 😉
5. Did you meet Kevin on Hercules? How was it to work alongside him?
Initially, working with Kevin was terribly distracting, although it was also a lot of fun! He was a jokester on set – loved to laugh – and he really was the consummate professional (making that first encounter even funnier.) I loved to watch him work. He would do all of his own fight scenes and learned them like a choreographed dance. Being severely uncoordinated, I was in awe of how smoothly he moved, and just adored watching the stunt guys fake the hits!
Now we produce movies together (and books and other things, like children!) and we really enjoy it. We are very much alike, except he sees the big picture and I see in detail, so we also complement each other, too. I produce and he directs, which means I’m his boss on set, kind of, but I also act, so that makes him my boss, too… it’s complicated, but it works for us!
6. Let’s talk about Miracle in East Texas? Can you tell us a bit about the film?
Miracle in East Texas is a tall tale inspired by an absolutely true story! It’s the story of the East Texas Oil strike, the largest of its kind! But we tell it as a comedy because the characters involved in this were all basically larger than life. It’s a lot of fun, and the movie has won a diverse assortment of awards at film festivals: Best Romantic Comedy, Best Family Film, Best Drama, Best Director, even Best Actor! Mainly, I hope people leave the theater with the theme of redemption in their subconscious. Every sinner has a future and every saint has a past, as they say. Hope is available to all.
7. Have you ever experienced any type of rejection in the film industry for acting in movies with Christian themes?
Kevin has dealt with that more than I have. His manager and agent separately called him in and fired him after he had become somewhat more vocal about his beliefs. He says he’s like a “double leper” being Christian and Conservative. But seriously, the folks in Hollywood and the media that just came out as supportive of child sex trafficking have given all of us a lot to question about their choices.
I stopped acting when he got sick, during Hercules, right before we were wed. He needed someone to look after him (he almost died!) so I stopped acting to be with him. It was a clear choice and I’m so glad I made it and am not sitting here with a far-reaching career and no family life!
8. Do you think there’s prejudice against Christians in Hollywood? Why?
Absolutely there is prejudice in Hollywood against Christians and Christianity. People are lost in their sin and they hate anything that exposes them, like Christian ethics and morals do, even if they don’t understand them. I’m not convinced they know why they dislike it, except that it is different from them, holds a distinct view on right and wrong, and they want freedom to do whatever they want, despite often knowing it is wrong.
Have you ever wanted the bowl of ice cream at 10:30 at night, and you knew it was wrong – you didn’t really need the extra calories and the sugar wasn’t a healthy choice – but you just suspended judgment long enough to eat it, enjoy it, and then regret it?
I think a lot of them live in that regret-cycle but deny it, by self-soothing with other bad behavior, none of which is condoned by Christianity.
This of course doesn’t apply to everyone. Some just don’t know any better and have been raised in government schools to disdain Christianity out of habit, as well as other religions. Let’s face it, Christianity doesn’t have a lock on religious persecution, although these days it seems we are very much in the lead. But that’s more because it is the founders’ religion and frankly, what made this nation the most productive, most prosperous venture the world has ever seen in history, a blessing on the entire world, and is unlikely to be seen ever again.
9. Were you born into a Christian home?
I was raised in an atheist home as a Jew, but we celebrated Christmas (Santa Claus) and Easter (the Bunny!) I quit the synagogue’s Saturday school at age 12, declaring I was an atheist. I went on a search during my early 20s for meaning in the universe and I found order, which indicated to me there was an order-maker, a creator, and that sent me into houses of worship to find Him. I found Him at church – or He met me there.
10. What do you hope people take away from Miracle in East Texas?
I hope with my movie to breathe a little bit of the essence of the virtues back into the culture. Forgiveness is a theme of the movie, and seeing the redemptive elements I hope will remind viewers we all need forgiveness, and if we offer it, we set ourselves free, both from shame and from the oppression of unforgiveness. We live in a very unforgiving culture – called cancel culture. This is a disaster and we need to turn it around, now. That’s really why I want folks to see the movie.
And we developed a homeschool-type resource, free, for parents to ’try on’ what it really is to homeschool your kids. We make so much of school being education, but it isn’t. School is tremendously damaging to kids. Education should be fun, so that’s what this homeschool packet is – fun for both the parents and the children, and it’s just another way to give back, for me. I want families reunited and strengthened. Home education is the best way to accomplish that.
Any final thoughts?
Pray for those who persecute you. That is the hardest thing to do, but that is true freedom.
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