Beyond red Kabbalah bracelets and the ever-present "thank you's" at awards ceremonies, there is often little room for celebrity and religion to mingle in the spotlight. In filmmaker Peter Rodger's visual odyssey of a documentary, Oh My God?, however, celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Ringo Starr and Seal get the chance to speak honestly about their personal views of God and the great beyond.
"If I'm constantly reminded by those access points, then I need look no further," Seal says candidly in the film, referring to his wife, model Heidi Klum, and their four children. The singer, 46, says that he has "chosen to see God in people" over the years.
His voice will join those of an entire cast of interviewees, ranging from everyday people to spiritual leaders to celebrities, all speaking from various cultural and religious backgrounds. Says Rodger of the project, which began (initially self-financed) in 2006: "My goal was to find out what this entity that goes by the name of God means to people."
"I was fed up with the childish schoolyard mentality that permeates this world, what I call the "My God is Greater than Your God" syndrome. By throwing out the question in an interview as 'What is God?' instead of 'Who is God?' it makes the interviewee look at God from the outside in rather than from the inside out."
Says Jackman, star of Broadway's current A Steady Rain, and one subject in the film: "If you put Buddha, Jesus Christ, Socrates, Shakespeare, Arjuna, Krishna at a dinner table together, I can't see them having any argument."
Originally premiering in July 2009 at the Jerusalem International Film Festival, Oh My God? will come to select theaters stateside in November.