Popular actor/karate expert Chuck Norris has been in the headlines lately for his political statements but BREATHEcast caught up with his son, well established film director, Mike Norris to discuss his faith based film 'Mission Air' and upcoming bold political thriller 'AmeriGeddon'.
Norris wrote and directed the faith-based movie 'Mission Air' that released in 2014. He said his children going on mission trips and his partner Gary, buying airliners to deliver Bibles to third world countries, inspired him to make the film.
"It's kind of like a bowl of gumbo," he said of 'Mission Air', "There's a lot of little experiences from a number of different people that kind of went into the creation of mission air."
"The genesis of the idea came about 15 years ago. I'm a private pilot, I like flying airplanes and I was looking through my notes and saw a treatment about a thing I had written about a wing and a prayer, and I just kind of revamp that idea and turned it into 'Mission Air'," he said.
Norris said he has never shied away from capitalizing on his dad's celebrity in Hollywood. "I was definitely inspired to get into film because of him," he said of Chuck Norris.
"When I was about 13 or 14 years old my dad was a karate teacher. We'd go on weekends and do karate demonstrations, fight scenes," he explained, "It wasn't until he lost all of his karate schools and he was teaching Steve McQueen private karate lessons and Steve goes 'just become an actor.'"
Norris said one of the coolest things is that he got to witness first hand his father becoming an actor. "I got a front row seat to seeing at one time the biggest star in the world being born, the process of that happening," he stated.
Norris went directly into film work after graduating. "I started as low as you can go and just kinda worked my way up," Norris explained. "I did a lot of acting because back in the late '80s or late '90s and there were so many movies being made. So [they'd] make a movie and put NORRIS and in little tiny letters Mike," he laughingly said, "I'm a huge believer in nepotism."
Norris was not so much raised in a Christian home and said it was his grandmother that led him to Christ as a child. The actor got into making Christian movies after taking part in a faith-based version of the 'Walker'. "We were the first ones to use the name of Jesus in a fictional kind of way on primetime network TV. I was fortunate enough to be the one who directed that."
He said it was during his time working on 'Walker' that he thought about what he would do when it ended. "I knew I didn't want to go back to California, I know had a family, a wife and three children," the director shared, "I enjoy Dallas, I think it's a great place to raise a family, we were in a good church. So I just decided I'm just going to make it happen here."
"I wanted to do films that glorified God but the passion hadn't come out yet. So there's been a lot of trial and error in it," Norris confessed, "That wasn't so much from my father, that was something I wanted to do. Getting into the film industry though was definitely because of my father."
Although faith based films have done exceptionally well at the box-office Norris said he does not think it means Hollywood is embracing the gospel.
"I personally don't think that there's a shift in our culture at all. I think our church is dying to be quite honest. I think the four-wall church is dying," he maintained, "I think America has let the enemy root in and sink its disgusting talent within the fabric of our society within our children, within me. I pray for my children. We're living in such ugly times right now."
"Is there going to be a shift, honestly I don't know. All I can do is try to know that I'm an heir to Jesus Christ and just try to keep my mind and heart open to what he tells me to do and continuing doing what we do," he said.
Norris will continue making entertainment to impact society and with his film 'Mission Air' he certainly will. To read Part 2 of our interview with Norris stay tuned in the coming days. To purchase a copy of 'Mission Air' or for more info visit pureflix.com