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Actor and Christian Corbin Bernsen confronts hate and anger

Actor Corbin Bernsen was once Hollywood’s leading man through shows like L.A. Law. Now the veteran actor, who is also a Christian, has a new goal to change what we watch and help repair the damage that the entertainment industry has inflicted on society.

In a recent interview it was apparent that Bernsen believes in the power of faith and forgiveness. Those two themes are central to his new feature film, “Life With Dog.”

“I have an immense belief that, next to love – forgiveness is a powerful, powerful tool, because we are so trespassed in this life,” he said during a recent appearance on PureFlix.com’s “Pure Talk.” “Anger can destroy you, but if you learn forgiveness — it’s this freeing thing.”

Bernsen warned of what happens when one allows hate and anger to fester.

“If we get seeded in that hate and anger, then we end up kind of like what we’re seeing today — chaos,” he said. “It disturbs me.”

Watch Bernsen’s powerful comments below:

And that’s the exact issue Bernsen deals with in “Life With Dog,” a film now streaming on PureFlix.com. The movie centers on main character Joe Bigler, who finds himself struggling after his wife’s death — until he befriends a dog and forms a bond that helps him heal.

Bernsen also shared about his upbringing as well as his powerful faith journey. The actor, who has starred on “L.A. Law,” among other TV shows and movies, came from a Hollywood family. His mother, Jeanne Cooper, starred on “The Young and the Restless,” and his dad, Harry Bernsen, was a talent agent and producer.

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“I wanted nothing to do with it when I was a teen,” he said of the entertainment industry. “We were just all over the place. I thought I wanted something more stable.”

Bernsen had friends whose parents were lawyers or doctors, so he planned to go into law — until his dad offered him the chance at a small movie role and the rest is, well, history. Rather than going into law, he ended up playing attorney Arnie Becker on “L.A. Law.”

“Acting was my passion even when I was trying to shove it down,” Bernsen said.

He explained the importance of having thick skin in Hollywood, noting that there’s “so much rejection.” In his older years, though, he said he’s become more able to recognize that, when something doesn’t pan out, it just “isn’t what [God] has planned” for him.

As for his faith, Bernsen has been on a decade-long journey — a path to Christianity that began after his father’s death.

“I was making a film up in Canada – sitting with his ashes. I had a familiarity with faith, with God with Christ and acceptance – I had it in me, but it sort of went away,” he said. “I was sitting there and I was literally looking at ashes and thinking, ‘Wow, all this life and that is that? Is there some missing link I’m not getting here?’”

Bernsen said he wants to explore bigger issues in future film projects, and he’s hoping “Life With Dog” helps people “think about forgiveness” and consider how it plays out in their lives.