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Joe Boyd is a pastor turned actor turned filmmaker. He grew up in the midwest, went to Cincinnati Christian University to become a pastor and started a church in Las Vegas, He now works full time as the President of Rebel Pilgrim Productions and part-time as the Teaching Pastor at Vineyard Cincinnati. His upcoming romantic comedy, “A Strange Brand of Happy” releases in theaters this fall. 

So, Joe, what led to you as a pastor getting involved as a film actor?

A few years after planting my church in Las Vegas, I was depressed. Something wasn’t working. My wife saw this and gave me a Christmas gift that changed my life forever – improv classes at the Second City training center. Within two years of that first class I was working six nights/week on the Las Vegas Strip as a comedic actor.

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What are some of the film acting roles you’ve played?

I’ve had a pretty typical acting journey. Lots of small parts in big things and big parts in small things. I had a small recurring role on General Hospital. I starred in the poker-themed comedy “Hitting The Nuts”. Currently I am the lead in “A Strange Brand of Happy”, which I also produced.

What has been your favorite film role?

I wrote, directed and acted in “Hitting The Nuts”. It is an improvised mockumentary similar to a Chris Guest film. By far, the most fun I have ever had in my life. I hired my friends and I think we created a very funny movie. It is coming out this summer through Cinetic Media. It’s not a Christian movie…kind of a PG-13 comedy with a heart.

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Joe on set of “A Strange Brand of Happy”. Photo by Darrin Ballman.

How did you transition to working behind the camera?

I just decided that if I wanted to do the kinds of movies I liked as an actor, I’d need to create them myself. I directed “HItting The Nuts”, but I don’t want to be a director. I am a producer. That’s what I do best…probably even better than acting.  Acting to me is the most fun thing ever…specifically improv and comedic acting. I tell people it is my golf…my dad is retired and plays golf everyday. It’s just fun for him. Producing is what I am best at doing. It’s what pays the bills and keeps me vocationally fulfilled.

How does your faith impact your film work?

Completely. It is sometimes hard to explain but I quit being a full time pastor (twice actually) BECAUSE of my faith. I do better for Jesus when I have a role outside of the walls of the church. I’m a pretty good “preacher” but I am not wired for full time vocational ministry. Making movies lets me tell the story of Jesus in an often covert way.

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What are your goals for the future?

We are looking at producing two or three feature films per year over the next three years. My ultimate goal is to lead a hope-peddling army of storytellers.

How do you juggle it all as a pastor, filmmaker, actor, author, and family man?

Honestly, I don’t try to anymore. I’ve found that if I am who I am, those things fall into place. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, my job. Those things are all related. I’ve got a pretty good life.

 Anything else?

Just please let people know about our new movie www.strangehappymovie.com

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Copyright Russ Beckner Pictures

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