John T. Prather is an actor and model with a heart for God, passion for spreading the Word, and helping out kids in the foster care system. With roles in some successful TV series as well as being featured on major national magazines like GQ, People, and Men’s Health, success didn’t come easy for John as he often makes it clear the need to stand for Jesus no matter what. With his recent release of his debut novel, The Nephilim Virus—endorsed by Hollywood actress, Megan Fox, John is set to break new ground which he believes will open doors for Christians to spread the Word through stories that provide a crossover platform to accommodate both Christian and non-Christian readers. John stopped by on TBAP to talk about life, faith, his new book, as well as his work in Hollywood. Take a look!
Miranda ~ Hello John! Delighted to have you visit TBAP today! Please tell us a bit about yourself that we don’t already know.
John: Thank you for having me! Well, I’m married to a wonderful woman, and we have three children. One of them is adopted out of the Los Angeles county foster care system. I’m a big advocate for foster care and adoption, and often write on the subject when I’m not working on a novel or acting.
Miranda ~ When did you first give your life to Jesus and make Him your personal Lord and Savior?
John: I was raised in a Christian family, so I was often in church while growing up; but when I was twelve, I decided I needed to figure out if the “God thing” was for me, or if it was just for my family. I’ve never been a halfway person, so I knew I needed to figure out what I believed for myself and go all-in one way or the other. I chose God. I always say God knew He had to get me when I was young or I would have gone all-in in the other direction.
Miranda ~ What event inspired that particular moment?
John: I was sitting in church. I remember the exact seat, but I have no idea what the pastor was speaking about. I honestly don’t remember anything more than the feeling of realizing that I needed to get exactly what my life was going to be about nailed down for myself. Was I going to chase God or chase selfishness?
Miranda ~ You’re an actor who’s been in successful TV series like Project: Phoenix, Scream Queens & WWE Raw, and also a model who’s been featured on national magazines like GQ, People, & Men’s Health. What principle guides your choice of contracts, and as a Christian, what has this cost you in Hollywood?
John: Having faith costs quite a bit in Hollywood. I often say that when Jesus talked about the gates of hell, He was referring to Hollywood because, it is the voice piece for the worldly way of living. I grew up in the south where belief in God was normal and accepted for the most part, but being a Christian in Hollywood is completely different. Christians face persecution out here because when they live the way Jesus called them to live, they are at odds with the Hollywood system. I’m not trying to compare Los Angeles to places like China or North Korea where Christians are literally dying for their faith, but as far as America goes, I think being a Christian costs more in LA than anywhere else in the States. Personally, I’ve lost jobs, gotten ostracized, and literally been screamed at for refusing projects I felt I shouldn’t do. But the great thing is, Jesus promised us the gates of hell would not prevail. For that to be true, though, Christians have to be out here attacking those gates.
Miranda ~ You have a new fiction novel out, your debut into writing—The Nephilim Virus. Huge congrats! At what point did you know you were going to be a writer?
John: Thank you! Getting a book published was a huge milestone for me, but I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I’ve always loved telling stories. I think I got it from my grandfather who was a wonderful storyteller. I used to listen to him and then try to write my own stories. I have stacks of old notebooks filled with stories I wrote as a child.
Miranda ~ Why now, why this story, and why do you believe it’s the perfect crossover that will invite both Christian and non-Christian readers?
John: I think all great themes such as faith and sacrifice and hope and courage and love are all just small pictures of the great story—God’s story. As a Christian in Hollywood, I wanted to write a book that was all about God’s story, but people wouldn’t realize it until it was too late and they were already hooked. My goal was to write a fast-paced thriller that Christians wouldn’t be embarrassed to give to their non-Christian friends. Actress, Megan Fox, loved the book and was kind enough to endorse it for me, so I hope that means I at least partially succeeded!
Miranda ~ What elements in the story make this possible?
John: C.S. Lewis once famously noted that the world doesn’t need more Christian literature, but more Christians writing good literature. I tried to keep that in mind as I wrote. As a Christian, everything I create comes from that worldview so that I can focus on creating a really fun, fast-paced, enjoyable story, and God will be in that.
Miranda ~ Since you’re already an actor/writer, do you have plans to turn it into a script for film, especially as it has the crossover element in place?
John: I would love to see The Nephilim Virus turned into a film or TV series. I can’t say too much yet, but there are things on the horizon that are very exciting. I hope to be able to share more soon, but I will say that having the endorsement of an actress like Megan Fox is a wonderful sign.
Miranda ~ What advice would you give a Christian presently struggling in Hollywood the way you initially did, but believes God has called them to remain and work there for His kingdom?
John: I would tell them to get used to struggling! Haha. I would also tell them to stay strong. I’ve been out here for eight years, and this last year was the most difficult yet. Los Angeles isn’t an easy city. It’s a battle every day. But if God has called you to be out here, then He will give you the strength to stay in the fight. Count on it!
THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)
Coffee or Tea? Neither! But tea, if I have to choose.
Gym or Outdoor? Both! Man, I’m not very good at this. Haha. I’ll say gym.
Sneakers or Boots? Boots. No contest.
Running or Walking? Running.
Cereal or Fruit? Fruit.
Music or Books? Books. Lots of books.
TV or Magazine? TV. Magazines don’t pay residuals. Haha.
Summer or Spring? Summer.
Rain or Snow? Snow.
Blazer or Leather Jacket? Leather jacket. To go with my boots.
Thank you, John, for visiting today! Thank you so much for having me! I really enjoyed our talk.
About John Prather
John T. Prather grew up with seven siblings in Memphis, Tennessee, on a steady diet of BBQ and southern values. After graduating from the University of Memphis, he moved to Hollywood to try his hand at the entertainment industry. As a model, he has been featured in the national magazines such as People, GQ, Men’s Health, as well as on the cover of Muscle and Fitness magazine, among others. As an actor, he has played characters in TV series such as Scream Queens on the Fox network, as well as WWE Raw. As a writer, Prather has contributed articles top several websites and magazines including Focus on the Family, The Daily Caller, Stream.org, and iBelieve.com. Prather’s wife recently gave birth to twins, and they have adopted their foster daughter whom they raised since she was days old. Learn more about John Prather on his official website.