Dad vs. Actor
For James, faith and family are an integral part of his life, so it’s not surprising that he’s careful about what roles he chooses. Inspired by movies from a very early age, it was Rocky, not a funny flick that stayed with him the most.

“It was all about an underdog overcoming the odds, and that really changed me,” James shares. “I’ve always been drawn to movies with an underdog, movies with a positive takeaway, and how Rocky was done was so brilliant. It changed my life.”

What also changed—and shapes—his life is his relationship with God and his family. While his three kids know their dad is an actor, they help keep him grounded because they primarily see him as “dad.”

“If anything, my only fear is my kids think every dad is doing what I do because they know Adam Sandler, too, and that he’s in movies,” James says with a laugh. “It’s really fun getting to make movies like Boom because it’s a movie my older kids can see, and I can sit with them. My daughter is five, so she’s a little too young for this movie. But I think the message is great, and in a couple of years, I’d love to show her the movie and have her enjoy it and really get behind it.”

As for staying true to his faith in the movie business, James admits it isn’t always easy, and he never wants to come across as preachy. But in what he describes as a sea of “empty” movies flooding theaters these days, he’s definitely choosy and wants to be a good example.

And whatever he’s doing, it’s always important to him to be part of something where audiences “can get away from the daily grind and walk away with something positive.” If that means playing more lovable underdogs? Well, he’s in.

For more, check out Jeffrey Huston’s review of Here Comes the Boom on