181: Kevin Sorbo is an American Actor who has appeared in over 65 movies plus numerous TV shows including playing Hercules which lasted 6 years

December 11, 2020

Kevin Sorbo

Kevin Sorbo discusses his early background and the moment that he knew he wanted to become an actor. “I grew up in a really small town called Mound, Minnesota on the western shore of beautiful Lake Minnetonka, about 25 miles west of Minneapolis, fourth of five kids. My dad was a schoolteacher. My mom was a nurse, but pretty much a stay-at-home mom since she had five kids so quick in her life. I was 11-years-old and we went to the Guthrie Theater, a very famous theater in Minneapolis. A lot of Broadway plays start there before they move to New York, and it was The Merchant of Venice. It was a Shakespeare play. I didn’t know what the heck they were saying because it was Shakespeare. But I was mesmerised by the actors on stage. I went home and told my mom, ‘You know what? I’m going to be an actor.’”

On this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, we talk with Kevin Sorbo, Actor, Director, Producer, about pursuing his acting dreams after he went to college. “I double majored in Business, Marketing and Advertising, but took a minor in drama. I started doing a lot of commercials. Minneapolis is home to a lot of big companies. I don’t think people realise. They have Best Buy there. They’ve got 3M. They’ve got Honeywell, Pillsbury, General Mills. So, there are a lot of commercials. Target, all of those things are headquartered there. I got that all-important Screen Actors Guild card before I made the big move out to Los Angeles.” 

What You Will Learn:

Kevin Sorbo talks about the evolution of his professional acting career.“When I got Hercules I had to move down to New Zealand. By the third year, that series became the most-watched TV show in the world, in 176 countries. I did my first big budget motion picture Kull the Conqueror. My movie career was really starting to take off because of that series. At the end of season five on Hercules, I had all kinds of problems with my left shoulder. I couldn’t quite figure out what was going on, and these three fingers on this hand were numb and cold, and it was just weird. But, I was blowing it off because I was working 12-14 hours a day. I was lifting weights two hours a day.”

What was the origin of Kevin Sorbo realising he had a health issue? “You know what it was like when you were younger. I was 225-230 (pounds). I was ripped up. I was in better shape in my 30s then I probably was in my 20s, and I was doing my own stunts because my ego said that I could. I went back to the States to do promotional work on my first movie Kull the Conqueror and then I went to see my doctor in L.A. and said I got something going on here. I don’t know what is going on. They found a lump way up here in my left clavicle. They wanted to do a biopsy on it.”

Kevin Sorbo  discusses what happened when his neck was cracked during a health procedure. “A voice in my head warns me, ‘Don’t let him crack our neck,’ over and over again. I’m going, why am I getting this, ‘don’t let him crack your neck?’ He has never cracked my neck. So, while I’m arguing with the voice, he cracks my neck. Well that lump ended up being an aneurysm that had been spitting blood clots down into my arm, and that vicious crack knocked a series of strokes into my brain. I spent the next four months learning how to walk and balance again. It took my three years to fully recover from it.”

What was it like having to recover in rehab? “You know what it is like when you step out of the limelight that way. I wasn’t a pro athlete. But I felt like I was a good athlete in great shape. All of a sudden I’m playing this guy Hercules and I can’t even stand up and walk. I’m in a rehab center with 90-year-old stroke victims. It was tough on my ego. It was tough on my psyche. It was tough on my body. It was just brutal for me to get through this thing. I wrestled with God. When these things happen, we tend to blame everybody but ourselves.”

Kevin Sorbo opens up about how his life was changing during recovery. “I was forced to make a lifestyle change, obviously. It sucked. I will tell you, for two years I had vertigo. It didn’t matter if I was laying down, seated, or standing up, I was always falling back. You get that jerk sometimes like you are falling back. I had that sensation almost 24 hours a day. Halfway through the second year of my recovery there would be like a week window where I didn’t feel that anymore. I would tell my wife that. She goes, ‘See, you are getting better. That gave me hope.”

True Strength

Kevin Sorbo talks about pushing towards writing his book. “My wife bugged me for a long time to write a book and I didn’t want to write the book. But finally, years later I did write it back in 2012. Here is the book right here, and it is called True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life. I call it True Strength because in Hercules, that was a television show, right? I had a bunch of stunt guys making me look like a big stud. But in reality, I had to rely on my own self. I have always been a person of faith. But I never needed faith until this roadblock hit me.”

Too Much Hate

During this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, Kevin Sorbo, “We get so caught up in our lives. Look at all of the anger we have in this world right now, the divisiveness, the hatred, the violence going on. Even in your home city of Seattle. You see all of the stuff going on with these Antifa punks, you know? It is unbelievable that they are just destroying people’s businesses and destroying lives. There is so much hate. I’m trying to go, how can we find a place where we can just help people?”

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