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Christian Actor Neal McDonough Reflects on ‘How Blessed I Really Am’ After Playing the Devil in ‘The Shift’

Neal McDonough
Neal McDonough president Jury Fiction during a photocall as part of the 61st Monte Carlo TV Festival in Monte-Carlo, Monaco, on June 20, 2022. Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)

Known for his roles as “Buck” in “Band of Brothers” and as “Dave Williams” in Season 5 of “Desperate Housewives,” Neal McDonough has filled his share of the big screen roles as various villains. However, in real life, this “villain” publicly proclaims being a Christian. McDonough credits his most recent role of playing the devil in the upcoming action film “The Shift” with learning even more about his relationship with God.

Neal McDonough Plays the Devil in ‘The Shift’

While he has played plenty of villains through his acting career, McDonough told The Christian Post, “‘The Shift’ is the first time I’ve actually played the devil.”

When the role of the devil was initially offered to McDonough, he decided it wasn’t for him. However, McDonough’s wife, Ruvé, noticed something was off and asked him about it. After he explained the role, his hesitancy, and his assumption that another guy should get the role, Ruvé replied, “What guy, like you, who’s a villain, also has an amazing relationship with God?”

So McDonough accepted the role. “I’m so grateful that she convinced me to do it because when you play characters like this, you learn so much about yourself and how blessed I am to have [God’s] backing in everything that I do, to have all the gifts that God’s given me in my life,” McDonough said. “My amazing wife, five kids, the movies and TV shows, everything!”

Playing the devil gave McDonough a different perspective on life, both on and off the screen. He reflected, “We all at times have a very mean person in us, all of us; we’re all human. There was only one person who was perfect, and everyone else has been trying. And the harder you try, the more the devil will tempt you with stuff.”

“When I get to play a character like this, that’s the devil, I got to learn so much about myself, about how blessed I really am in my life,” he mentioned.

McDonough, along with the film’s director and staff, tried to make the devil “as human as possible.” The actor continued, “We made him this 8-year-old spoiled little kid who didn’t get that candy bar, and then by doing so, there’s a moment at the end of the film where you see how crushed the devil is that he can’t understand the love that Kris has for God.”

McDonough concluded, “You see, ‘aw, that poor dude, he’s all messed up.’ We all have that every day. We all have that ‘poor guy, that guy’s messed up.’ But it’s how you come back from it. It’s how you dust yourself off after you do something that isn’t really a great thing.”

The actor credits Angel Studios with much of the character development and holistic approach to movie making. McDonough shared, “What Angel does, no one else is doing. And thank the Lord that they’re doing it because it gives us all as viewers a place to go see content that we feel comfortable watching.”

This Isn’t the First Time Neal McDonough Has Shared His Faith

For years, McDonough has been bold in his faith in God. The actor claims that, due to his faith, he has been blacklisted by Hollywood. His relationship with God is so important that he has set boundaries of what he will and will not do on screen.

“I won’t do kissing scenes,” McDonough said in an interview with actor and podcaster Michael Rosenbaum. “I’ve never wanted to do it, and you know, I got crucified about 10 years ago, where they thought I was this religious zealot that I wouldn’t do sex scenes. It was really because I love my wife more than I love my craft, and people couldn’t understand that.”