Kevin Sorbo, a neighbor and upright family man, has just made headlines for landing a role as a mystery villain on the hit TV series Supergirl. Sorbo will make an interesting villain, as he’s known for playing heroes, most famously Hercules. But I think he’d make a pretty impressive John Galt if Atlas Shrugged were ever turned into a TV mini-series. Here are five reasons why:
1) Sorbo has already played a John Galt-like character in an indie film called Alongside Night, based on a 1979 novel by Neil Schulman. Writing for HollywoodInvestigator.com, Thomas M. Sipo observes:
“In the near future, the U.S. government grows ever more oppressive as it tries to avert economic collapse due to its excessive taxing, borrowing, spending, and regulation. Meanwhile, a morally principled group of anti-government cadres prepares for a freer, post-socialist America.
“The two films do differ on some ideological points. Atlas Shrugged promotes Ayn Rand's Objectivism, a philosophy that supports small government. Rand expressly rejected anarchism. By contrast, Alongside Night advocates Agorism, a school of anarchism founded by Samuel E. Konkin III.”
2) Sorbo has got his act together. Objectivism holds that a man’s life is his standard of value, and by that metric, Sorbo has a lot of virtues that have enabled him to live a productive, independent, loving, and full life.
I first met Kevin and his wife Sam through mutual friends when I worked at Dole Food Company, and they lived a stone’s throw from our headquarters in a sprawling house in Westlake Village, California. I ended up getting to know Sam better, and was awed by how this gorgeous, vibrant women managed to homeschool her three children while continuing her acting career and hosting a radio show. But I’ll never forget the time that I my old Porsche has broken down for the umteenth time, and Kevin gave me a ride to the repair shop. Distractingly handsome, he turned all the Hollywood stereotypes on their head, with a quiet, modest presence and genuine benevolent interest in others’ well being.
A man of faith, Sorbo is not an Objectivist, and likely doesn’t know and wouldn’t care about the label anyway. But he sure does seem to live his life according to at least some Objectivist ethics, which hold: “Man must choose his actions, values and goals by the standard of that which is proper to man—in order to achieve, maintain, fulfill and enjoy that ultimate value, that end in itself, which is his own life.”
In so doing, he’s a better man, a better father, a better husband -- and clearly, a better, more professional, more disciplined actor -- than others who live their lives by whim and wishful thinking.
3) Sorbo, like Ayn Rand, believes in the primacy of the individual and the perils of government control. Check out the interview below, in which he says: “Take public education, you can take post office, the IRS, everything the government puts it hand on they seem to destroy it... This country was built on individuals, never built on government, and I think our forefathers are turning over in their graves.”
In an interview with The Blaze he talked about how this country fails to learn the lessons of history: “I keep asking my far-left liberal friends to show me where socialism works — show me where socialism has ever been successful.” For this reason, he may resonate with the unique gift of Atlas Shrugged and Objectivism, which challenges collectivism on moral grounds.
4) Related, yet not quite the same: Sorbo is an individualist who has repeatedly challenged groupthink and political correctness. “Hollywood screams tolerance, but they’re the least tolerant people you’ll ever meet in your life,” he said in one interview with the Blaze. “The hypocrisy just reeks in this town. Why can’t we all have a point of view.”
That theme -- tolerance, diversity of views, and a spirit of inquiry -- was at the core of a 2014 movie Sorbo starred in, God’s Not Dead. In it, Sorbo plays a professor who demands that each of his students sign a declaration that “God is dead” to pass the class. I can easily see Sorbo playing a similar villain, of a professor requiring students to sign proof of Christianity to pass class. The point is more about freedom of religion and freedom of speech, than promoting an evangelical point of view.
5) Sorbo looks the part -- right down to the coloring Ayn Rand envisioned:
“…he looked as if he were poured out of metal, but some dimmed, soft-lustered metal, like an aluminum-copper alloy, the color of his skin blending with the chestnut-brown of his hair, the loose strands of the hair shading from brown to gold in the sun, and his eyes completing the colors, as the one part of the casting left undimmed and harshly lustrous: his eyes were the deep, dark green of light glinting on metal.”
Rand’s heroes combine forceful character, good looks, quiet strength and extreme masculinity. Roark, Rearden, Andrei, Leo...all these love interests were portrayed as handsome, dominant men who physically towered over their women, as the 6’3” Sorbo does in real life.
So what do you think? Would Sorbo make a good Galt? Who would be your pick for casting the roles in a remake of Atlas Shrugged?
Jennifer Anju Grossman is the CEO of the Atlas Society.