George Lopez: God and Golf
George Lopez stars in WALKING WITH HERB and Risen talked with the actor about why he loves golf and how it changed his future, a time in his life he knows God showed up, and what faith looks like to the comedian.
Interviewed for Risen Magazine
Risen Magazine: I know that you are an avid golfer, been playing 40 years now for you, what do you enjoy most about the game?
George Lopez: So golf is a game that you keep your own score and if you cheat at golf, you move the ball or you write down the wrong score, you really are only cheating yourself. And it’s not an easy game to learn and no one’s ever really going to be good. So it’s a recreational game. So you can’t expect any more out of it than it being recreation. But when I was in high school, my baseball teacher who, I loved baseball, and he and I got into it and he really kind of nailed me to that point that when things got tough, I would quit. And he was right. And the only way that I realized that he was right is when I started playing golf and it got hard. I would get frustrated and quit while all the other guys kept playing.
And then one day when I left, I could see the guys playing, they looked like they were having fun. And I left because I was frustrated. And the voice of my coach came into my head and I went back to the school and I apologized to him for the way that I behaved. And I thanked him for telling me what was true. And then finally realizing that myself. I could not have gone forward in my life, I know that for a fact, had I not gone and apologized to him, man-to-man for the way that I behaved and the disrespect that I gave him.
RM: One of the themes in the film that’s so powerful is forgiveness. These are definitely things that are applicable to all of our lives. And what struck me so much too about your character is that he shows up when he’s needed most. It’s kind of personal, but we all have this in our life, so for you, when is a time when you know God showed up for you?
GL: Well when I was married, unfortunately a lot of the times we thought we were having a child, it didn’t happen. And it’s interesting when people would say to me, “I thought you’d have more children.” They don’t know the situation, but I have one daughter and I know that God gave us this 25 year old girl now, who is just the best. And growing up and not ever really knowing what it is to love somebody immediately. That’s the only time that I think I really fell in love with something that you saw for the first time. So in a hard life, it was God-given that this child would be mine.
RM: Thank you so much for sharing. I saw that you had kind of done a Holy-land trip and a few years back, what does faith look like when you were younger?
GL: I think, the biggest mistake that I made was to consider something a dream and not a goal. I think a lot of kids say, “My dream is to be a doctor.” Well, that’s not really a dream. It’s a goal. And I think we have to teach kids or even understand as adult that really nothing is inconceivable, that it all can be achieved, but also if you wanted to be a flying doctor, now that’s a dream. But if you wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer or whatever you want it to be, it’s a goal. And, in order to get anywhere, I come from a culture that relies on other people to be around in order for somebody to do their best. But I learned because of the time I spent as a very solitary figure, that the only way I was going to do it was to be by myself and all of those things that other people needed to get their work done, I was able to learn early that I would do it by myself.
WALKING WITH HERB premieres April 30, May 1, and May 3 for a three-night nationwide Fathom Events limited engagement.