Through Thick and Thin, T.C. Stallings' Faith Comes First
He tells Christian Film Blog that 2021 is off to a great start, but that comes after he endured a difficult and painful year in 2020.
T.C. Stallings has to be one of the busiest actors in the business. Not only does he have a new movie out - My Brother's Keeper, which we interviewed him about here - but he also recently landed a role in Vindication, a faith-based crime drama. Beyond his on-camera work, he hosts a podcast, coaches aspiring Christian actors, publishes his own superhero comic book, has an autobiography coming out in June, and is now an executive at the soon-to-launch Christian channel PAX TV.
Oh, and after nine years in Los Angeles, he, his wife and their two children moved to the Dallas area four months ago. Phew, we're talking perpetual motion here!
A mature Believer with rock-solid faith, God is clearly blessing the 43-year old former professional football player and War Room star in his endeavors. But in part two of his interview with Christian Film Blog, Stallings makes clear his journey has not been without times of severe testing, including the death of his mother last year.
CFB: 2020 was difficult for the world at large, but you felt its ill effects both personally and professionally. How did you handle it?
T.C. Stallings: "I lost my mom to COVID and my career came to a screeching halt during COVID. What I read in Scripture has helped me, because I 100% believe in it. And from what I read in Scripture, I know that because my mother knew Jesus that she is in His presence. And that gives me peace. It supersedes the pain that I have from losing her on this earth, knowing that I don’t need to focus on what I lost: I need to focus on what my mother gained. And she gained being in the presence of Jesus. So it’s constantly going to Scripture to help me with anything that’s happening here."
CFB: And the professional challenges you endured?
T.C. Stallings: "I said a prayer and asked the Lord for His leading and His guidance. I wasn’t acting, I wasn’t auditioning; you couldn’t do any of those things through the pandemic. Losing my mother, all these things are happening and I was like, ‘Lord, I want you to get glory out of this. I’ve seen in Scripture where in tragedy you end up getting glory out of it in some way. Just help me to make sure that I’m moving in the right direction so that whatever glory you’re supposed to get out of this, you get it.'"
CFB: How did it work out?
T.C. Stallings: "So what ends up birthing out of this is, while stuck in the house in the pandemic, I shot my first ever feature-length film on my own, which is my documentary 24 Counter, that comes out and it’s doing well. But without the pandemic, I might not have done that. Then, my agent calls me and lets me know there’s a company that wants me to be a host on their new network. And that led to me investigating, what is this new network? And that’s PAX TV. And what started off as me just being a host turned into me becoming an executive, because they found out I was considering moving to Texas. And the whole moving-to-Texas thing was birthed through the pandemic."
CFB: What about the part you landed in the streaming series Vindication, which is also shot in the Lone Star State?
T.C. Stallings: "Vindication wanted me to be on there for just a little in-and-out role, but when they found out I was moving there, they offered me a recurring role. So here I am now in Texas an executive producer for PAX TV, a recurring role on Vindication and I feel so blessed even through all the tough times and the tragedies...I feel like I’m walking right where Jesus wants me to walk, and there’s no better feeling."
CFB: So moving to Texas was something God led you to do?
T.C. Stallings: "We prayed about it and Texas emerged, so we started making moves to do that in faith and right after that, that’s when PAX TV and Vindication came to be, when I was still in California making my decision, but those things came to be. And I was like, ‘Thank you, Lord, for making it clear.’ And that was my prayer: ‘Lord, make it clear. I want to go where you want me to go.’"
CFB: That Pax TV job is a departure from acting. Why go that route?
T.C. Stallings: "I’m an executive producer with PAX TV, which means that I get to create my own content for the network and I am part of the decision-making process in terms of what we do. It’s an opportunity for me to fulfill a dream of mine to not only succeed as an actor, but to also open up doors for other actors that are on the road that I was on, where they don’t want to do any content that might dishonor God, and want to do clean, family-friendly type of stuff. And I’ve always felt we need more creators of that kind of content."
CFB: Back to acting, you've said you'll work on any project that is God-honoring, not just faith-based. What does that mean to you?
T.C. Stallings: "When I say I’m going to do films that honor God, it means if He walked into the room where I was shooting it, I wouldn’t have to be embarrassed, I wouldn’t change my language, I wouldn’t have to go hide because what I’m doing is not something that’s dishonoring to Him. So I will do any film as long as I feel it does not cause me to dishonor God."
CFB: You're a devoted husband (celebrating his 20th anniversary in June) and father of two children. How do strike the right balance between family and work?
T.C. Stallings: "The vice president of Team TC Productions (Stallings' production company), and my manager, is my wife. So we work hand-in-hand with everything. My daughter is the person who is the artist...who does all the artwork for my comic book, Godsend: Spiritual Warrior. So we’re all working together. My son is just the 12-year old superstar athlete (laughs); we’re always together and that’s a priority for me. If I ever get to the point where I am not involved as a dad and a husband, then everything else is going to have to shut down because after God, that’s my next priority."
We at Christian Film Blog certainly hope it never comes to a "shut down," because Stallings is a creative force in the faith-based community. You can find out more about all his projects at his website. We also recommend you catch My Brother's Keeper at your local movie theater. The trailer below will give a sense of what to expect.