As her new movie “Shelter in Solitude” opens in theaters, writer, producer, and star Siobhan Fallon Hogan opened up about her Christian faith and how it has played a significant role in her career. The actress, known for her diverse roles in film and television from her days on “Saturday Night Live” and appearances on “Seinfeld” to driving “Forrest Gump” on the school bus and helping Lucy (Renée Zellweger) get acclimated in “New in Town,” shared how her love for God has influenced her work.
Raised in a Catholic family with a strong religious foundation, Fallon Hogan’s spiritual journey was also influenced by a best friend who was a born-again evangelical Christian. This duality of influences shaped her perspective and ultimately found its way into her new film.
“I have my three children, and when my third child who’s now 21 went off to college, I thought, ‘What am I going to do with myself because I’m not domestic, and I can’t cook or clean’,” she said. “I would like to do more than just act a few months out of the year. So, I prayed, and I said, ‘You know, I really would love to spread my faith through film’.”
In “Shelter in Solitude,” Hogan stars as Val, a country singer whose life takes a downward spiral, leading her to run a bar and grapple with her flaws, including excessive drinking and an unfulfilled desire for love. When the COVID-19 pandemic shuts down her bar, she finds herself tasked with overseeing a man on death row during his final days. The film revolves around three central characters: Dwayne (Robert Patrick), a warden whose life has taken a challenging turn, Val, and Jackson (Peter Macon), a prisoner on death row, and the interactions that unfold. Jackson initially rejects her attempts to share Bible passages, but Val persists, embodying her unwavering determination to spread her faith.=
“Val does not give up, she pushes it and pushes it and pushes it,” she said. “She’s like, ‘I’m going to convert this guy if it’s the last thing I do if, at the risk of being annoying or insane.”
Fallon Hogan’s personal experiences growing up with both Catholic and evangelical influences have shaped her perspective on faith. She humorously described how as a child, she didn’t want to attend youth camps without a good knowledge of the Bible, leading her to brush up on its teachings. This unique blend of faith experiences in her formative years continues to influence her outlook.
“I could not write something that didn’t have my faith in it,” she said.
When discussing “Shelter in Solitude,” Hogan highlighted its focus on loneliness and the power of faith during challenging times. She spoke about the film’s ability to inspire kindness and hope, even in today’s divided and contentious world.
“I feel that this movie’s a miracle and I’m an instrument,” Hogan explained. “I get do what God put me on this earth to do. I want to spread the word. I want to make great art. And I want people to know that when they come to my movies, there’s not gonna be any weird surprises.”
Fallon herself has found herself surprised in some of her roles, as her own personal convictions have forced her to drop out because of character changes.
“I’ve had to drop out of some shows,” she said. “That’s why I love movies verses TV. Because if you’re on a TV show that can change your character. You have some funny character, then in an episode, they’re like, ‘Okay, so your character is going to start having an affair with a guy that starts in church.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, you know what? I’m out’.”
The actress credits her “fearless” father with much of her strong moral compass which has guided her through her long and impressive career in the industry. When she was younger, she admits she was more concerned with weaving in and out of roles and maintaining a relationship with God. Now, a few years later, she says, “I don’t care.”
She laughed and said, “I figure I gotta’ get through the pearly gates. I got enough problems without selling out.”
“Shelter in Solitude,” directed by Vibeke Muasya and starring Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Robert Patrick, Peter Macon, and Peter Hogan, releases in theaters today from Emerald Caz Productions and EMFILM. For more information, click here.