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Dennis Quaid says there’s a ‘spiritual awakening’ amid ‘turmoil,’ reveals his favorite book of the Bible

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Dennis Quaid attends the 31st Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Avalon Hollywood & Bardot on February 09, 2024, in Los Angeles, California.
Dennis Quaid attends the 31st Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Avalon Hollywood & Bardot on February 09, 2024, in Los Angeles, California. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Actor Dennis Quaid is the first to admit his road to redemption hasn’t exactly been straight and narrow. 

In an interview with The Christian Post, the 69-year-old Emmy Award-winning actor revealed how, despite growing up in a Baptist Church, he became “disillusioned” with Christianity at a young age after a Sunday School teacher chastised him for forgetting his quarter for the offering plate. 

“The subject matter turned me off,” he said. “There were probably some other things, too. I started asking questions that didn’t have answers. … I started to question my faith.”

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The actor said this period of skepticism paved the way for a broad exploration of Eastern religious texts, from the Dhammapada to the Quran, marking the beginning of his quest for spiritual understanding.

“I read the Bible cover to cover as well, back then, and I got hung up in the Old Testament, how violent it was. God seemed like a punishing God back then to me. A lot of it just didn’t make sense,” he said. 

To fill the “hole” inside of him as his Hollywood star began to rise, Quaid started experimenting with drugs and soon found himself addicted to cocaine. It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that the Texas native made the decision to get sober — and revisit the teachings he believed as a young child. 

“I went back, and I read the Bible again, cover to cover, and what really struck being that this time were the red words of Jesus and who He really was,” he recalled. “That was the beginning of my personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And that’s really what it’s all about. From there, it’s grown, and it does fill up that hole inside me. I was there all along; my mother taught me that, but we have to learn things for ourselves. It led me right back to where I started.”

With a career spanning over 40 years, Quaid has established himself as a household name, starring in dozens of films, including “The Parent Trap,” “The Big Easy” and “The Rookie.”

In recent years, he’s appeared in several faith-adjacent films, including “I Can Only Imagine,” “On a Wing and a Prayer” and “The Hill.” All of these films, he said, reflect his passion for using his platform for good. 

The actor told CP he’s seeing a “hunger” for positive and uplifting films, adding: “I’ve been actually kind of surprised by that, like by the success of ‘I Can Only Imagine’ — it’s not a Hollywood movie. Hollywood doesn’t understand their audience anymore. People want to go to the movies to feel things and can’t just discount the spirit, and people hunger for that. And so these stories are really getting a lot of traction these days.”

Later this year, Quaid will appear in “Reagan,” the first full-length feature on the 40th president of the United States. He’s revealed he’s also playing a serial killer in the upcoming Paramount+ series “Happy Face,” adding: “As an actor, it’s about understanding human beings, what makes us tick. I don’t restrict myself. I learn things about myself with every part I play.”

Last year, Quaid released a gospel album, Fallen: A Gospel Record for Sinners, which he said also illustrates his desire to bridge the gap between the sacred and the secular. 

The album, which features seven hymns and classics with five original songs, was released by the Gaither Music Group. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Christian/Gospel Albums chart after its July 2023 release.  

“I wanted the album to reflect me; I didn’t want it to seem like churchy, or preachy or, ‘everything is just wonderful,'” Quaid said. “I thought it would work to reach people that aren’t in that world and are in that world because we’re all sinners. And it’s by grace that we’re saved, and that’s free, redeemed. We actually don’t deserve it, but we get it by grace anyway. How that’s what I want the songs to reflect. This record is really the story of my spiritual journey.”

Some of the songs — like “Amazing Grace” and “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” — pay homage to the actor’s early days singing in the choir at the Baptist church.

“There was a lot of reflection in really delving into my own spiritual story and my relationship with God,” he said. 

A television special of the album premiered on March 29 on UPtv and is now streaming on GaitherTV+. During the special, Quaid also sat down with Southern gospel legend Bill Gaither for a wide-ranging interview on his life and career.

As he’s grown increasingly bold about sharing his testimony, Quaid said he’s been surprised by how receptive Hollywood has been — evidence, he said, that there is a “spiritual awakening” happening. 

“I think there’s a spiritual awakening actually going on in our country right now,” he said. “There’s been a lot of turmoil, and that’s what spiritual awakenings look like because of what it takes to get there. I think we’re right at the beginning of it.”

Now, the actor said he’s read through the Bible four times, and each time, he’s learned something new about himself and God.

Quaid said he has a particular affinity for the Book of Ecclesiastes, attributed to Solomon, specifically the author’s profound contemplations on the nature of life, mortality and the pursuit of meaning.

In the New Testament, he profoundly connects with the Gospel of John, valuing its portrayal of Jesus Christ and the foundational Christian concept of “the Word.”

“I think John brings together physics and the Spirit and explains it in a timeless way,” Quaid said. “He points to a bigger truth that we have no words for.”

 Fallen: A Gospel Record for Sinners is now available. 

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: leah.klett@christianpost.com

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