I love that actor who played a Catholic priest in a movie and, as a result, became a Catholic.
I am of course talking about Alec Guinness.
That priest he played was Chesterton’s Father Brown in the 1954 “The Detective.”
In his biography “Blessings in disguise” he writes:
“I hadn’t gone far when I heard scampering footsteps and a piping voice calling, ‘mon pere!’. My hand was seized by a boy of seven or eight, who clutched it tightly, swung it and kept up a non-stop prattle. He was full of excitement, hops, skips and jumps, but never let go of me. I didn’t dare speak in case my excruciating French should scare him. Although I was a total stranger he obviously took me for a priest and so to be trusted. Suddenly with a ‘Bonsoir, mon pere’, and a hurried sideways sort of bow, he disappeared through a hole in a hedge. Continuing my walk I reflected that a church which could inspire such confidence in a child, making its priests, even when unknown, so easily approachable could not be as scheming and creepy as so often made out. I began to shake off my long-taught, long-absorbed prejudices.”
“If I have one regret (leaving aside a thousand failings as a person, husband, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend – and my lazy, slapdash, selfish attitude as an actor) it would be that I didn’t take the decision to become a Catholic in my early twenties. That would have sorted out a lot of my life and sweetened it.” ( p. 560)
Now if you were thinking of another actor playing a priest who just became Catholic and is currently in the news, well then I heard that Shia LeBeouf was influenced by Dietrich von Hildebrand’s “Transformers in Christ”🙂