Kirk Cameron was thrust into the Hollywood scene from an early age, landing a leading role in what went on to be one of the most prolific sitcoms of the 1980s. Since then, he’s used his celebrity “to advance the good.”
That’s what he explained in the latest episode of the PragerU series “Stories of Us.”
In a wide-ranging video, the 51-year-old “Growing Pains” star — who began acting at just 14 years old — referenced a quote he learned from one of his now-grown daughters. Scrawled on a piece of paper, she wrote: “It’s the same boiling water that softens potatoes that hardens eggs. It just depends on what you’re made of.”
“So the same difficult challenges and influences of Hollywood that turns some people sour and makes them narcissistic and bitter and joyless and afraid to not fit in,” Cameron said, “is the same pressure that actually softened my heart and caused me to embrace gratitude and be thankful for the life that I have and want to use a platform and this Hollywood industry to advance the good.”
“I really think it’s what you’re made of,” he continued. “And if you don’t know what you’re made of, don’t look to your environment or your industry or other people to give you an identity. There was somebody who made you — ask Him. And you can be sure that the ending of the story is gonna be fantastic.”
For Cameron, it wasn’t until he was in the entertainment business that he became a Christian, revealing he actually defined himself as an atheist until he was around 17 years old.
Sitting in his sports car after dropping a girl off at an acting class, Cameron recalled pondering the afterlife, wondering if there really was a heaven and a hell and a creator and a plan for eternity.
“I knew that if there was a heaven, I wouldn’t be going there,” he said, noting he had lived life with a “self-centered, conceited, ‘I’m all that,’ ‘I’m the G.O.A.T.,’ celebrity Mike Seaver guy” mentality, never pausing to consider something outside himself.
It was at that point he decided to pray for the first time, asking God: “If you’re there, would you please show me. … Would you forgive me for all the wrong things I’ve done and make me the person that You want me to be.”
While certainly the most important, coming to Christ wasn’t the only way Cameron changed thanks, at least in part, to Hollywood. He was also introduced to his now-wife on the set of “Growing Pains.”
Cameron said one of his nephews frequently asks him if he “took advantage” and “didn’t waste” the opportunities he had to go out with so many different girls at the height of his sitcom fame.
The actor said he has reminded his nephew he “found something so much better” instead.
“I found a girl,” Cameron said. “She’s beautiful on the inside; she’s beautiful on the outside. I married her and we’ve been married for 30 years. You have no idea how much more valuable that is. I’ve got six grown children who love God and still ask me my opinions about things, who still love to come home and be with me and my wife, and I’m on PragerU’s ‘Stories of Us.’ I mean, the story doesn’t really end much better than this.”
Beginning at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, you can watch Cameron’s full Hollywood story in the video above.