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Mike Norris, Son of Chuck, Shares Testimony

Dan Wooding : Sep 7, 2012 : Assist News Service

And talks about his new project, "I Am . . . Gabriel," about divine intervention in daily life and the power of prayer to make things new.

(Dallas, TX)—Mike Norris is an American actor who has appeared in over two dozen films. He is the son of the legendary actor and martial arts champion Chuck Norris and starred in the 1986 drama film Born American and the 1991 action film Delta Force 3: The Killing Game. He also wrote, directed and starred in the 2009 Christian film, Birdie & Bogey.

Now a veteran actor and director himself, Mike Norris grew up well acquainted with the Hollywood scene, but the Norris family purposefully lived outside the LA "bubble."

Mike and his wife In an interview for my Front Page Radio show, Norris told me, "I was raised outside of Hollywood in the south bay area of Palos Verdes," he said. "I was born and raised there and even as my father's success kind of grew, in my teen-age years we stayed out of the Hollywood lifestyle. It wasn't really until I grew up got on my own that I jumped into the Hollywood way of life, but my parents did a great job of keeping me sheltered and grounded as a kid."

Was he a rebel in his early days?

"I was and let me tell you what's really sad, and possibly encouraging, is that I accepted Christ as a child—and when you accept Christ you are in Christ. However, through my late teens to my early twenty years, I just got caught up in a really bad life style, running with bad people and doing bad things.

"But yet, in my mind, I kept asking myself why I was doing all these crazy things. Fortunately, I was able to get out from under the bondage of the drinking and all that stuff that happened in my early years and eventually was able to really dedicate myself to Christ and to the ministry.

"I've always wanted to create and little did I know that something that was in my heart some twenty-five years ago wouldn't actually come to fruition for fifteen years. So it's funny how you pray and pray and until it happens, you never know God's timing, but God's timing is perfect."

Mike said the turning point in his life was when he met his wife Valerie at the age of 21. He said that he had seen so much dysfunction in marriages he had seen that he didn't want his to turn out like so many others in the movie business.

"We were standing in that church and I meant it when I said in front of everybody—also in front of God—that I was marrying my wife for life! I realized that I had been a party boy, and that and being married wasn't going to work. So at that point, there in the church, I said to myself, ‘Mike get your act together. Be a man. Be a Godly man, be a Godly husband.

"So that's really when everything started to change for me in a drastic way."

Now, flash forward to Justin, Texas, in 2011—about as far from Hollywood as you can get. A small group of friends knew nothing about the film industry and wanted to make a movie about the power of prayer.

So they were connected with . . . you guessed it: Mike Norris, who by that time was living in the Dallas suburb of Flower Mound and acting and directing in faith-focused films through his production company 2nd Fiddle Entertainment.

I Am Gabriel The result is: I Am . . . Gabriel, a film about divine intervention in daily life and the power of prayer to make things new. Norris co-wrote the film with Kaci Hill from an original story by Neal Odom. It tells the tale of Promise, Texas, a hardscrabble, drought-plagued town, where residents feel cursed since a tragedy a decade earlier.

Then a young boy appears, wandering out of the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on his back, a prayer mat slung over his shoulder and a message of hope for the town: God knows and God cares. I Am . . . Gabriel weaves the effects this young boy has on several townspeople (Norris portrays one), each facing difficulty, each ultimately forced to choose to believe God wants to help them or to reject that help. Norris may have left the Hollywood scene behind, but his film industry knowledge helped him realize the need for recognizable names . . . and he got them. Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) is Sheriff Brody, the most skeptical of the town's skeptics and the man whose disbelief finally forces the young boy to reveal who he really is. And John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville), increasingly well known for rolls in faith-focused films, is Doc, the conscience of the town, present at the tragedy that seemed to start things downhill, faithful all along and finding relief at last.

During my previous with Norris, he said, "Everybody has a choice and I made a choice that when I got married and had kids I decided to get out of LA. I have no need to be famous to be a celebrity or any of that stuff. It means zero to me. My time here on earth is so short and my time in Heaven is going to be forever. So for all of us, our time here on earth, is just a blink of an eye. I was just twenty years old in Hollywood and was acting a fool. Now I've got a daughter in Europe right now on a mission's trip. I couldn't be more proud of her.

"I believe if a child authentically sees their parents acting good or bad, they then decide on their own how they are going to act when they grow up. They are at an age where they can decipher that properly and by the grace of God I have three children that I know I will be with for eternity and also with my lovely wife.

"So I've won no matter what else."

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