“PSYCH Up!” For Another Run Down 25 Hill
Continuing our great conversation with inspired filmmaker Corbin Bernsen
SCH – You have commented that your earlier film RUST had a major impact on your spiritual life. What specific event or turn of events flipped that spiritual switch for you?
CB – In that film the take away for me was WOW! Something special has brought me to this project through these twists and turns of my life. I just opened up my sails to catch its wind and you go with it riding the wind and allowing it to take you there – wherever there is. It’s a metaphor for my own life experience. Coincidences occurred that became winks or signs and fuel cells that kept pushing me forward. Certain things unfold and this keeps you moving. You buy into it and you go with it. It’s like the Nike slogan — Just Do It! You embrace it and then it just takes you there.
SCH – What was the process you encountered in your walk to the spiritual mountaintop?
CB – Well the process is pretty simple. I don’t think I’ll ever reach the mountaintop because I believe it’s always a step to move forward with that mountaintop always being something you hope to reach. I’ve always been pretty spiritual. My mother is Cherokee Indian. There is something about that which I embraced regarding her core beliefs about the earth and the Great Spirit and something larger in life. There’s something much greater at play. That’s always something that’s been with me. It was after my father’s passing that made me explore it more. That was the middle act of the path as it were. My father had died and I was left there standing with his ashes in my hands. This thought crossed my mind: Is this all there is? Is there something better? It doesn’t end here does it?
Okay, I thought, I’m going to reset my character to zero as if I knew nothing. This is what inspired me to write RUST. Through the making of this movie is where I found and discovered this great reawakening of my spirit and reconnection with God. It was the making of the movie that truly took me to that place of transformation from this rediscovered spiritual awareness and new found enlightenment.
SCH – How has this renewed spiritual awareness and enlightenment that you have embraced affected your family life?
CB – I’m nicer to my dog! (Laughter ensues on both ends!) Let’s just leave it at that . . . But, if you take this picture and put it in the mirror, what do you have? God . . . It’s how I see it in my life’s mirror now.
SCH – How has this rekindled spiritual awareness affected your business relationships in and outside the entertainment industry?
CB – It made it exciting for me. I’m enjoying the people that I’m surrounding myself with. I’m about the story. This is exciting in my life. We’re at a time where we need a little faith in life because the world is so upside down. Being in a business that is thriving because of effective storytelling and also to be profitable doing it to do good and spread the word in telling stories is fulfilling to me. It’s fulfilling the American Dream. Not just for the sake of jumping on some trending bandwagon, but for what truly lies at the depth of this story telling process regarding faith.
SCH – Was your thespian’s walk the result of growing up in Beverly Hills amid the glamour and glitz of Hollywood, or was this your own early attraction and dream when you were a child?
CB – It’s the family business and it’s been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. I had a brief period of uncertainty as to whether or not I would pursue my parent’s interests. I saw what they encountered with that harder side of the business and it made me ponder my family life’s direction in acting and the entertainment industry. I wrestled with it for awhile, but moved past it and as a result, it’s where I am today.
SCH – Was there any one writer, director or actor, or a mix of these that inspired you?
CB – Paddy Chayefsky, Preston Sturges and Rod Sterling as writers inspired me. The Beatles musically, also wrote about boundaries in a weird, wonderful celebrated way of life that had quirk and humor to it and sort of had the faith to be a little bit different. I observed and learned a great deal in Jack Lemon who had the ability in a single instant to be both dramatic and comedic. He’s my biggest inspiration. Jimmy Stewart is another. The guy that really influenced me the most though was Jack Lemmon. What Jack Lemmon did, the way he lived his life, showed you how life is a full package. There’s a lot to learn inside that full package and I do my best to learn as much as I can because of what I saw in Jack Lemmon.
My parting thoughts . . .
Somehow, I have been granted the privilege and honor to have become acquainted and friendly with individuals whose inspired passion is tied to creative content. Both in a literary sense — and/or by their actors, directors, producers and filmmaker gift as with Corbin. I am always amazed at what these individuals bring to life’s equation. The interview that I shared with Corbin was passionate, yet relaxed, friendly, humorous and engaging, and came from the heart of a man who truly knows what God is capable of doing in someone’s life — without being “churchy” by staying to the spiritual side where it belongs.
Corbin is truly one of Hollywood’s “good guys.”
Not only did I come away with a wonderful experience from this opportunity that allowed me to look that much deeper into a portion of the life of a long time acting son in Hollywood — of which only a part of, I was able to share with you, the reader — but I was blessed to have experienced a relational bond with another creatively gifted, like-minded spiritual sojourner. You want a great takeaway? This was it for me.
This great conversation has now spread its wings, taken flight, and is soaring to another lofty mountaintop perch. When it arrives, its gaze will look out upon other infinite possibilities that lay in the rich, fertile valley floor below.
What a vision!
What will grow from this other newly experienced view from the top? Who can say? That’s all in God’s hands anyway. Corbin — thanks for the gracious embrace and openness in what you shared with me and our SCH readers. We will have to do this again when the creative sails of your next project are filled and it gently reaches its shore! And remember:
COMMIT-TO-BELIEVE!! It’s a process… JUST DO IT!!!
Featured Image: Courtesy of Home Theater Films Archive
Read Part I of the interview with Corbin Bernsen, 25 Hill – Rolling on Faith and Courage
Watch the Official Trailer for 25 Hill
To learn more about author Kevin “James” Richardson visit Commit To Believe