Randall Wallace, graduate of Duke University, is an American NYT bestselling author of seven novels, as well as a screenwriter (TV and film), director, producer, songwriter, holder of a black belt in karate, and founder of Hollywood for Habitat for Humanity. He is perhaps best known for writing the historical drama Braveheart (1995), which earned him a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and an Academy Award nomination in the same category, but has since directed The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), We Were Soldiers (2002), Secretariat (2010) and Heaven Is for Real (2014). Mr. Wallace also penned the lyrics to the acclaimed hymn Mansions of the Lord (music by Nick Glennie-Smith), featured in the soundtrack of When We Were Soldiers and performed as the recessional for President Ronald Reagan's funeral.
Mr. Wallace and I discussed the power of art, music and story, his unlikely stint writing songs for an animal band, the profound influence of Biblical stories on his work and thought, the experience of depression, the necessity and significance of sacrifice, the general development of his career as a successful Hollywood writer and director, and his upcoming action movie about the Pope.
This episode was recorded on March 9th, 2021.
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