Since yesterday marked Robert Duvall’s 85th birthday, we thought we’d post this interview on Duvall talking faith, film, and truth. If you know much about Duvall, you’ll notice that he stands out from most actors of our time with a legendary, John Wayne-like presence. And if you compare all the characters he plays, they’re all very similar – which leads you to believe that Duvall is playing essentially as himself.

In her article, Adelle Banks focuses on those roles where Duvall’s characters grapple with issues of faith, such as in the movie Get Low (see our review here). Something in the actor seems to have attracted him to these roles. (Note, for instance, Duvall’s devotion to accuracy for his character in the film The Apostle). Banks quotes Craig Detweiler of Pepperdine University, who makes a perceptive observation: “By dignifying seemingly common people, he’s also elevating and humanizing Christian faith in profound ways.” We’ll say nothing of Duvall’s private beliefs (since neither does he), but we appreciate his respectful efforts to create such true-to-life representations.

So, perhaps in celebration of Duvall’s birthday, we’ll go watch Lonesome Dove or Secondhand Lions (see our review here). They’re both well worth your time. Happy 85th, Robert Duvall!

Image Credit: Craig Collins-Young