Actor Neal McDonough on How His Catholic Faith Nearly Destroyed his Career

Warning: Going to church every day and being faithful to your wife can be hazardous to your career.

(photo: Anders Krusberg/Peabody Awards)

Actor Neal McDonough for years has talked openly about his faith and how his fidelity to his wife nearly cost him his career in Hollywood. You might not know the name but you'll likely recognize him in the photo above.

You might recall that McDonough was pretty much a constant on TV for years, and then he was gone... for a while. Why? It’s because the happily married man and Catholic father of five refused to love scenes. And BOOM went the hammer! He was fired from the television show “Scoundrels” and things looked pretty grim for a while.

In his own words, he was considered to be a "religious zealot." Yahoo:

“I was [surprised], and it was a horrible situation for me,” McDonough said. “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. Then [Band of Brothers producer] Graham Yost called me and said, ‘Hey, I want you to be the bad guy on Justified. I knew that was my shot back at the title.”
In the end, McDonough said, everything has worked out well for him professionally because the setback pushed him to improve his acting. He’s on the History Channel’s new series Project Blue Book and has several other projects, including the animated Sonic the Hedgehog, in the works. On the personal level, McDonough said, things have been going well for since he met and instantly fell in love with his wife-to-be after meeting her on the streets of England, where he was filming HBO’s acclaimed 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers. “Almost 20 years, five kids and just one heck of an awesome life later, to have her as my partner in everything, I’m just the most blessed guy I know,” he said. “That’s why I go to church every day and say thank you to God for everything he’s given me. And most importantly, thank you for giving me Ruvé, because without her, I most certainly would not be talking with you right now.”

That's pretty awesome. And just to let you know, the show “Scoundrels” was cancelled after like five episodes or something like that. McDonough's career, however, continues to do quite well.