He plays a bad guy really well, but Neal McDonough just won’t do some things he believes are wrong.

Turns out McDonough stood up for his religious principles and was canned for it by ABC, though he’s moved on to the next thing anyway. Interesting story

…how he was suddenly replaced 3 days into the filming on the ABC series Scoundrels in a move officially explained as a casting change. But, in fact, McDonough was sacked because of his refusal to do some heated love scenes because he’s a family man and a Catholic, and he’s always made it clear that he won’t do sex scenes. And ABC knew that. Well, a lot of people who applauded Neal wanted to know what he’ll be doing next. Of course, he’s co-starring in Marvel’s Captain America movie currently shooting in London. But now I hear McDonough has co-created and will executive produce and star in VIGILANTE PRIEST, a one hour drama for Starz which is fast-tracking the project.

We’ll see where that one goes…

But McDonough has a history of standing by his principles, a frequent test in the entertainment industry.

Because he also didn’t get into action with Nicolette Sheridan on the network’s Desperate Housewives when he played her psycho husband during Season 5. And he also didn’t do love scenes with his on-air girlfriend in his previous series, NBC’s Boomtown, or that network’s Medical Investigation. “It has cost him jobs, but the man is sticking to his principles,” a source explained to me. You can’t help but admire McDonough for sticking to his beliefs, even if he’s poised to lose as much as $1 million in paydays for Scoundrels…

It kind of bombed anyway.

There are some interesting comments posted on this piece. Like this reminder:

Patrick Mcgoohan was originally offered the role of James Bond but it went against his religious beliefs to play someone so sexually bankrupt that he turned it down and made The Prisoner himself. Retrospect is a good way to judge whether you were true to yourself. When asked if he regretted his decision to not play 007, he smiled and said, “Never.”

That witness to values obviously lives on.

And then there’s the poster who reminds “all you pro-choicers out there” that this is…after all…McDonough’s choice.

UPDATE: STARZ is not exactly fast-tracking Vigilante Priest. They are looking at it as a potential future show, along with many others, which may or may not happen. Look for McDonough to appear, however, in other films and/or series. Strong character.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....