Is Robert Duvall a Christian?

Answer: No

Disclaimer: It is not our role to determine whether or not somebody is a Christian. We just use our discernment based on the evidence we have found on the internet to come to a likely or best-guess answer. Our answers do not actually determine who is or is not a Christian and it is ultimately between the person and God. Not us.

Serial award-winning actor, movie director, and filmmaker Robert Selden Duvall is an A-list American actor with versatility in martial arts and tango dancing.

Duvall was born in 1931 in San Diego, California, he made a stunning film debut in “The Mocking Bird” playing the role of Boo Radley, and has played numerous key roles in movies. He is talented in inhabiting his characters and bringing them to life. 

Robert Duvall holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and basks in stardom from playing the role of Tom Hagen in “The Godfather” sequel in 1972. The movie credited him with an Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor.” The actor has starred in many movies throughout his lengthy career and has won numerous awards including; Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTA Awards, Golden Icon Awards, Oscar Awards, and Primetime Emmy Awards among others.

Robert Duvall has produced and has also been featured in several religious movies. He played the role of Sonny, a preacher in “The Apostle.” He has been in the midst of various religious discussions and has been tied to several faiths including Christianity. This article will address the persistent debate about Robert Duvall being a Christian.

Is Robert Duvall Religious?

Is Robert Duvall Religious?

Robert Duvall has starred in various religious movies and prominently produced, directed, and acted in a religious-themed movie “The Apostle.” He has been causally tagged as “a religious fanatic.” In 1983, he won an Oscar Award in the religious-themed movie, Tender Mercies, playing the role of Mac Sledge; a bankrupt country singer who finds redemption through converting to Christianity.

The veteran movie actor and storyteller submitted the script for “The Apostle” to many film producers but was turned down because it was religious-themed hence, may not sell. He took it upon himself to produce and direct the movie. His exact words when interviewed by Movieguide in 2007 were:

“I took my script to Hollywood producers, and was met with the same response: ‘Bob, religion is not a subject our audiences want to watch.’ I disagreed. Why wouldn’t audiences want to watch a movie about something that is foremost in so many people’s lives?” 

I wasn’t getting anywhere with Hollywood, yet my work on the movie filled my soul. One Sunday in New York, I visited six churches, ending up at Harlem’s vast Abyssinian Baptist Church. There was a packed congregation before a huge choir when we all began to sing ‘What a Friend We Have in Jesus,’ I found myself connected to the Lord in a way I had never felt before, deep within me.

He continued, “Yes, I thought, we’re all kin through Jesus. Not just what we read about him in the Bible, but who he is. That was the secret to powerful faith, the power I wanted to convey in my movie.”

Duvall revealed that he wanted to portray the church in the light that he saw, and not the adulterated version of what is represented in Hollywood movies. He said: 

“I wanted to show the joy and vitality I had seen with my own eyes and felt in my heart and my life, the sheer, extraordinary excitement of faith. I especially wanted to capture the rich flavor, the infectious cadences, and rhythm of good, down-home, no-holds-barred preaching.”

In 1998, he was asked by the Morning Call whether he is a religious man, Duvall replied, “Somewhat. Not this type necessarily. I do like the saying, ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.’ I don’t like going to church and sitting on my hands. I remember one church where the people told me, ‘We’re not the Frozen Chosen.’ That’s the way they talk. I like that.”

Does Robert Duvall believe in God?

Does Robert Duvall believe in God?

In an interview in 2007 with Movieguide, he revealed the motivation for his movie “The Apostle” the veteran actor said: 

One day I sat at the desk in my father’s wood-paneled den. Studying the walls, I was struck by his innate modesty. A rear admiral in the Navy, he had no plaques or medals displayed, none of his citations or awards for bravery. Everyone knew he was a hero. His career had spoken for itself. He believed in his country,” Duvall declared

“I sat and wondered what I would be remembered for. Looking around my father’s study and suddenly sensing the unyielding passage of time, I felt I needed to do something that had real meaning for me before it was too late. Something I believed in.”

He went on to say, “I took out a legal pad and began writing a story, the one I had wanted to write for many years. A story of a preacher… What was most important to me was to make a movie where Christianity was treated on its terms, with the respect it deserves. Hollywood usually shows preachers as hucksters and hypocrites, and I was sick and tired of that.

He is a believer and expresses this belief as an actor by taking roles that portray God as a supreme being. To go the length of writing, directing, producing, and acting “The Apostle” goes a long way to verifying that he believes in God.

“I wanted to show the joy and vitality I had seen with my own eyes and felt in my heart and my life, the sheer, extraordinary excitement of faith. I especially wanted to capture the rich flavor, the infectious cadences, and rhythm of good, down-home, no-holds-barred preaching.” 

Is Robert Duvall a Christian?

Is Robert Duvall a Christian?

Robert Duvall has been exposed to various religions since he was a child. His father was a Methodist and his mother was a Christian Scientist, which helped him tilt toward the faith.

Later in 2006 he was interviewed by Jeffrey Hildner and asked, “You still follow Christian Science?” His reply was, “That’s all I’ve got. That’s all I’ve got.” He goes further to buttress the doctrine of the religion:

“I think Christian Science is the final revelation. So Mary Baker Eddy’s message and Jesus’ message, for me, are equal. But sometimes I forget that. I think that what she taught me if I can hold on to it with a certain sense of faith, I’ll be benefited in some way. I was reading in the Bible Lesson about, you know, what comes out of you. You can defend yourself ‘against aggressive mental suggestion’ and be a law unto yourself so things don’t come in.”

The religion believes miracles occur through fervent prayers and faith. Duvall remembered his mother fervently praying for him and his family during World War II after attending a church service. According to him:

One Sunday as I strolled down the main drag I noticed people flocking to a simple white clapboard building, the local Pentecostal church. All sorts of folks, young and old, were going inside, where I could hear the clink of tambourines, the rap of a snare drum, and organ music rising. Might as well check this out, I thought. I slipped in and sat in the back,” Duvall said.”

He continued: “I grew up in a churchgoing Navy family. During World War II we lived in Annapolis. While Dad commanded a destroyer escort in the North Atlantic, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with German U-boats. Occasionally Mom woke up in the middle of the night with the overwhelming urge to pray for him. One morning at the breakfast table she told us of the trouble she had sensed Dad was in. Later we learned he had narrowly escaped being blown sky-high by a German torpedo during the night.”

“I knew about the inner life of the Spirit, but I had never seen such an extraordinary outward expression of faith as I witnessed in that Pentecostal church. I had never seen a church like that. People could barely contain the joy of their faith. Their faces were alive with it, imbued. Folks were on their feet, singing praise and clapping, shouting to God! The air crackled with the Spirit,” he recollected

“It was nearly impossible to be a mere observer. I wanted to sing and shout with them. I couldn’t explain it, but I knew the people in that church had a gift, a story to share. Somehow, someday, I would tell that story.”

Christian Science is a cluster of convictions and practices which are associated with members of the “Church of Christ, Scientists.” The religion was founded by Mary Baker in 1875 through her book Science and the Health With Key to the Scriptures, outlining the belief in Christian Science. The text is used as a guide for religion in conjunction with the Bible. The teaching of the faith is tied to primitive Christianity and its lost element of healing

Is Robert Duvall Baptized?

Is Robert Duvall Baptized?

Baptism is a Christianity rite that hovers around purification. It involves being submerged in water or sprinkled with it by an official of a specific church. Baptism for Christian scientists is different. Baptism is practiced without the water ceremony. Science and Health, the textbook of Christian Science, which includes a chapter entitled “Atonement and Eucharist,” discusses baptism as a precious and sacred sacrament. 

Robert Duvall hasn’t disclosed if he is baptized or not into Christian Science or any other religion. The veteran actor only mentioned that he does not sit on the fence as Christian Scientist, but he is truly committed to the faith which implies that he might be baptized.

What did Robert Duvall Say about Jesus?

What did Robert Duvall Say about Jesus?

Christian Science also uses the Bible as a religious text, hence they acknowledge Jesus Christ as the son of God. Duvall recognizes this assertion too and relayed his thoughts about Jesus Christ while speaking on the motivation for his movie, The Apostle. According to him:

Yes, I thought, we’re all kin through Jesus. Not just what we read about him in the Bible, but who he is.”

Final Thoughts 

The nonagenarian, Robert Duvall has written his name in the sands of time. The veteran actor has been mentioned among the top American actors, seasoned with a variety of acts, and winning several awards.

Raised by a Methodist father and a Christian Scientist mother, the fashionable American actor and filmmaker tilt his religious beliefs to the Christian Science religion. Hence, the actor is not a Christian.

Think we were wrong? Write your reasoning in the comments and prove us wrong!

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