In real life
by Warren L. Maye
Ser’Darius Blain’s faith in Christ has helped him survive abject poverty, the tragic loss of his brother, and a seven–year bout with depression. The Haitian American film and television actor is best known for his role as Anthony “Fridge” Johnson in the “Jumanji” film series. Most recently, he played NFL football star Mike Hudnutt in “American Underdog.”
In an exclusive interview with SACONNECTS, Blain shares how a mother’s love and The Salvation Army has helped shape his life and career.
How did you come to faith?
My mom went through a lot growing up and she preached to me daily. It’s made all the difference in the world in my life. I watched her overcome things that the average person would completely lose their mind over. She’s been the pillar of strength for me as well as her friends and my family. She left Haiti and came to the states to make something out of nothing. She came from the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere to become a business owner—that’s my mom’s journey.
She’s American, but she was adopted after she suffered the loss of both her parents at 19, a miscarriage, near death experiences, and poverty. Dealing with that growing up, gave me a different perspective on life. I think it made me stronger and allowed me to count my blessings a bit more.
Where do you want to take your career?
Oh man, I want to take it as far as I possibly can take my dream. I’m a big believer that our gifts and our blessings are not meant for only us. God gives you a talent. He gives you blessings meant to be shared, and it’s meant to impact others. So, I hope that my gifts can continue to impact others. I want to save the world. I say it all the time and I mean it, even if that world is just the three closest people to me. I also want to make a lot of movies before I go.
Do you want some type of ministry onscreen or offscreen or both?
I hope what I have been doing up to this point has been ministry. I hope that the gifts that God has given me have been a blessing and a ministry to others. I’m a big fan of walking the walk rather than just talking it. Hopefully my ability to tell stories has helped people through laughter, thought, and conversation.
What has been your connection with The Salvation Army?
In the 90s, my mom forced me to give away some of my favorite clothes twice a year to The Salvation Army. So, we’ve always donated. She would always say, “give your best. Don’t give people your worst. If you give out of your need, God will bless you.” So, The Salvation Army has always been a big part of our lives. “It’s a wonderful life” is one of our favorite movies. We watched it every year for Christmas, and you know, The Salvation Army is in that movie. She would always say, “see, I’m telling you, they’re doing God’s work!”
Is there anything else that you want to say?
My brother was shot and killed in Miami. He was only 30 years old. He lived a tumultuous life. I think his mental health was the biggest issue that ultimately led to his demise.
After that, I went through a tremendous depression for seven years. Depression is a mental health issue as well. I also dealt with a lot of insomnia since that happened.
Without faith and the people who helped me get this far, I would be nowhere. I think it’s important that we go out of our way to be kind to each other. God never meant for us to be selfish. If so, He would have put us here, one person at a time. That’s not what he did. We’re all here together. So, there’s a reason, you know, we’re on this planet.
How do you share your faith? What works for you?
I’m a “walk” guy more than a “talk” guy, I would rather lead with integrity, honesty, hard work, and be an asset to everyone. I think that is a part of the way I show my faith walk. I do it for me, I do it for God, I do it for you, and for my family.
Oftentimes, that leads to questions about my faith. I do my best to not cross the types of people because I know they don’t want to be preached at. I do my best to pick projects that I feel have a significant message that aligns with my beliefs.
My basis is Christianity, but I have friends from all walks of life, and I do my best to respect them. If you’re doing the faith properly, it’ll cause people to want to know the God they see in you.