February 11, 2010

Orthodoxy and Hollywood

Russian Priest Provides Spiritual Care for Hollywood Staff

Moscow, Russia
February 9, 2010

Rector of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, Archpriest Alexander Lebedev, has provided spiritual care for actors and staff members of the world “dream factory” for almost thirty years.

“Many of our parishioners work in film studios as directors and actors. There’ve always been many actors in our parish who actively participated in church life. Such famous actresses as Natalie Wood and Sandra Dee were my parishioners. I was familiar with Yul Brynner, who was a parishioner of an Orthodox church in New York.”

Fr. Alexander told an Interfax-Religion correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, today several Hollywood stars, including Jeniffer Aniston, adhere to Orthodoxy. Tom Hanks, who is also an Orthodox Christian, is an active guardian of St. Sophia Church of the Constantinople Patriarchate.

Fr. Alexander noted that many Americans converted to Orthodoxy after marrying to Greek or Russian nwomen. As, for example, famous baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

Russian actors and directors living in Hollywood are also Fr. Alexander’s parishioners. The priest said that an active member of his parochial community, actor Pavel Lychnikoff, had recently invited him to consecrate a film studio before filming a new film there.

Orthodox faith inspires some Hollywood actors to lead a less bohemian lifestyle and overcome temptations, the interviewee of the agency said.

“Certainly, we try to help them control themselves. So that women participating in movies observe proprieties and chastity. Sometimes there’s a possibility to influence their choice in favor of scenarios of moral character,” Fr. Alexander said.

For more on famous Orthodox Christians, including some listed in this article, see here.