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I Talked Politics with Kevin Sorbo from Hercules

Hercules’ absence from your TV could be more about politics and less about ancient Greece.

I was practically raised by Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. That’s a lie. My mother was a wonderful caregiver, but even she had to go out and catch a show sometimes. Her guardian of choice was Kevin Sorbo, star of the endlessly re-run TV show Hercules. Later in life the internet would give me the opportunity to haunt my formative moral compass on social media, where I quickly noticed he is a loud advocate for the righter side of life. Given I’d always thought Hercules would be a Lefty, I had to know why. Sadly, for a guy who’s been off the mainstream radar for almost a decade, it was really hard to get him to sit in front of all his football memorabilia and talk to me on Skype. “I’m busy doing movies nobody sees,” he deadpans, “but I’m still busy.” VICE: Hey Kevin. I miss you on TV.
Kevin Sorbo: I miss it too, man. It’s been almost nine years since Andromeda finished. I tell ya, I’ve been runner-up to a lot of different roles lately over the last eight years. It’s been frustrating getting down to the last two or three guys, but hey. I had two series in a row that ran 12 straight years, I can’t complain too much. It’s the nature of the beast. Sometimes Hollywood says, “You’ve done enough. You don’t get anymore TV shows for now.” I don’t understand why they’d feel like that about you.
I don’t get it, either. There are two Hercules movies that are out now! One just came out that Renny Harlin directed. The other one is being directed by Brett Ratner with Dwayne Johnson—you know, The Rock—in a role that I made iconic! We called him up and said, “Hey, my show’s still on all around the world, people are watching it. Here in America it’s on Netflix, it’s on Hub television, it’s on Encore cable. I’m getting all these under-15-year-old kids that weren’t around really when it was on the air watching it now, so it’s go this whole new life. And it’s called show business. So why wouldn’t you put me in there? Even as a cameo, for a joke. Put a wig on me or something.” Both studios said, “No we don’t need you.” Maybe you need to scratch more backs. Isn’t that how people in Hollywood roll?
Yeah you know they do, and I actually met with Will Ferrell for the first Anchorman that they did. Small part, I figured I had it. It was only two days of work. What does he do? He books one of his best friends Vince Vaughn. He didn’t need that role. They bring in Vince to work a couple days on it, and you know, I can’t compete with that. These guys,  Ben Stiller likes to use the same guys over and over again, Seth Rogen does too. It’s hard to break into those frats. They get really successful, and just use the same guys over and over again. You sound a little disenchanted.
I don’t know about disenchanted. I still love the business. I still love being on the set, I still love to work. I appreciate when people call me to work. Would I like to get in some bigger movies? Of course I would. Of course I would. I know Kevin Costner, you know. Could he put me in one of his movies? He probably could. Here’s the thing: I don’t put myself out there a lot, so if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. You definitely put yourself out there a lot on your social media.
Um, well. It’s interesting, because my political point of view is quite different from Hollywood’s. I don’t believe in socialism as a whole. I think capitalism is still the way to go. America was built on individuals, it was never built on government, it was built on individuals. Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett—all these rich billionaire guys, they created jobs. Government doesn’t create jobs, they just tax you.  I thought Hercules would be a Democrat.
[laughs] Oh, look. I am all for certain social issues. I’m all for helping people who truly need help. I don’t believe in throwing people out there, but we’ve got 100 million people out of 320 million people in this country living off the government. You can’t tell me 100 million people need to live off the government. A third of the country, a lot of people are taking advantage of the situation. A lot of people just don’t wanna work. You look at President Obama. Here’s a guy that never, ever would’ve been re-elected prior to 2008 with the record he had from 2008 to 2012. The mere fact that he got re-elected shows you where this country’s going. We’re going the same way that Greece, Italy, France, and those countries are going. Germany’s really the only capitalist country left there. I believe capitalism is not perfect, but it’s the best system out there. It’s always worked best. So you think Mitt Romney would’ve been a better choice?
Oh heck yeah. He would’ve been a very good choice. He’s a business guy. The whole thing about Obama, he’s never run anything in his life. He’s never run any kind of business in his life, ever. He was a "community organiser," whatever that means. He was raised as a true Marxist. He was raised that way. His stepfather was a true Marxist, he lived in Indonesia for a very long time. He is certainly a very hardcore socialist, there’s no question about him. So to me it’s like, well OK, show me where communism has worked. I went to Moscow. I was just there for a week after Christmas, and good lord, after a hundred years of communism that country’s got a long way to go. It’s pretty sad. Going off your Facebook page, you seem to be fascinated with Muslims right now.
Well, I think they’re fascinated with us. They want to kill everybody. These guys are still living in the Dark Ages. I don’t see Christians strapping bombs to themselves and going into churches and buses and cafes and blowing up innocent women and children. But these guys do it. They would cut your head off just as quick as they’d cut my head off. They don’t care, because you’re not a Muslim. Hey whoa.
I’m not lumping in all billion Muslims, I’m talking about the radical ones. But why are the rest of the Muslims not complaining about the way their religion’s being portrayed? Why are they so quiet? Why are they not marching the streets—in peace—saying, “We don’t agree with what these guys are doing?” They don’t do that. It makes me wonder why they’re not doing it. Why are they keeping so quiet? It’s sad to me that these terrorists can do what they wanna do, and it works. They have Sharia law in London. There’s Sharia law in certain sections where cops won’t even go into anymore. The Muslims have completely taken over. I’ve seen these guys on the internet saying, “We don’t need to kill non-Muslims. We will win the battle through the belly.” And they talk about how they’re having so many kids, which they are.  Are these views maybe why you’re not currently starring in Kevin Costner’s latest blockbuster?
Well I think the 60s are what changed Hollywood. Hollywood used to be a pretty conservative place. The studios, the John Waynes, the Jimmy Stewarts, all those guys, they were conservatives. The ‘60s became a big radical movement, things changed, and I think a lot of Hollywood just falls into that category where they feel they have to be part of that game, because you get blacklisted. You certainly do. On the left, especially in Hollywood, they vote only for the left. They scream for freedom of speech, but only if you agree with what they say. They yell for tolerance, yet they’re not tolerant of me if I have a different point of view. It’s so hypocritical it gets pathetic. I look at some of these very big-name stars, and they can afford to be socialists because they’re worth a hundred million dollars. Are you a pariah?
I still get invited to things. Probably not all the things, but I don’t care. I would love to have discussions with some of the more outspoken liberals, and just say, “Why are you so angry? Why can’t we just have a discussion?” A lot of times when I do get into discussions on a set with some people, they don’t deal with facts. They deal with mirages, and anger, and hatred. I think because they deal more in feelings, because they care so much more. I’m going, “If you look at the amount of money that’s given to charities, Republicans give far more money than Democrats do, as a whole, to charitable, wonderful organisations.” But the media doesn’t want to talk about that. Are you recalling a particular discussion/argument?
I remember I was doing a charity event—see, I do charitable work—I was doing a charity event after Katrina hit. We did a big fundraiser, raised over $2 million on a poker event down in New Orleans. I was backstage with a couple of actresses—I’m not gonna name them—and the welfare system was brought up. And I said, “You know, the welfare system is so broke, it’s so abused, there are so many people who don’t even need to be on it, and yet they just don’t feel like working.” And she looked at me and she said, “What are you? A fucking Republican?” Harsh.
And I went, “Wait a minute. So, if I didn’t feel like working—I can walk, I can talk, I can pick up boxes, I can work, I can do things—if I don’t feel like it, you’re OK with your tax dollars, going to me, just to be lazy?” And she said, “Yes I am.” To me there was no discussion there. How do you get to the point where you believe it’s OK just to not do anything even though you’re capable of working? If I lost that argument to rationality, fine, I lost the argument. But there’s nothing left to say to her when she says, “Yes I don’t care. If you don’t wanna work then fine, I’ll pay for you.” Wow. So what's the answer?
When people complain about high taxes and some of my liberal friends come back and they go, “We should pay higher taxes,” I go, “Why don’t you just give more of your money? Why don’t you just give it away? You don’t have to wait for tax to be raised. If you want, you can give 90% of your income away. Why don’t you do it instead of saying everybody else should do it?” See, here’s the trouble with the liberal mentality, especially in America: They want to be vegetarians, and they don’t want to eat red meat. They want all red meat to go away. The conservative point of view is, OK, I don’t like red meat, but if you want red meat, go ahead and eat it. See they want all or nothing, when more people on the right are more live-and-let-live. @jane_tobes