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.


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.

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.


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

Copyright Russ Beckner Pictures

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a women’s ministry leader, popular media guest, and award-winning female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. Her filmmaking efforts have been recognized with dozens of accolades including the AFA “Shibboleth Award for Visionary Leadership in the Field of Christian Film Making”, four prestigious ICVM Crown Awards including Bronze “Best Picture”, a finalist in the Christian Retailing’s Best Awards and dozens of “Best Writer”, “Best Director” and “Best of Fest” festival awards. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture.


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