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'I Put God and Family First': How Hollywood Punished Actor Neal McDonough for Taking a Stand

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You may not be able to recall this actor's name, but you would probably immediately recognize Neal McDonough's face.  He's appeared in several popular movies and television series over the past several years, including Band of Brothers, Flags of Our Fathers, Minority Report, Desperate Housewives, and Justified.

But even with his success, he found out quickly that taking a stand as a Christian in Hollywood can cost you.  In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, McDonough, 52, reveals that his "no love scenes" policy cost him a role on the ABC primetime series "Scoundrels" back in 2010. Dedicated to his wife, model Ruvé Robertson, he said "no" to doing sex scenes with actress Virginia Madsen.  It was a move that reportedly cost him $1 million, according to  McDonough says his firing also labeled him as a religious zealot in tinsel town for several years. 

"I was surprised, and it was a horrible situation for me," he told the magazine. "After that, I couldn't get a job because everybody thought I was this religious zealot. I am very religious. I put God and family first, and me second. That's what I live by. It was hard for a few years."

"I won't kiss any other woman because these lips are meant for one woman," McDonough told the outlet about his wife and the mother of his five children. 

He was going to give up on his Hollywood dream and move back to his hometown of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, when he got an unexpected phone call.

"I got a call from Steven Spielberg that he wanted to see me for 'Band of Brothers,' and it was off to the races," he said.

In his latest role, he appears in the History Channel's new series Project Blue Book.  He plays a 1950s Air Force general determined to keep all of the UFO sightings by the public under wraps.  

When asked about his character in the show, McDonough said: "He totally believes the US is the greatest country ever, as do I."

McDonough will also be joining Kevin Costner's series Yellowstone  next season and also has six movies in which he will appear. When asked about his work ethic, he simply replied: "Because I have to."

"That's what I'm supposed to do," he said. "God gave me this talent of being an actor, and I'm not going to waste it. That's just who I am. I love working, and with five kids and a fantastic wife, I want to make sure I'm taking care of everyone. That's what my dad did, and that's what I'm going to do."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of