After Losing Major Role for Refusing Sex Scenes, Actor Neal McDonough Finds New Successes

Standing up for his religious and moral beliefs has paid off for Neal McDonough, Hollywood actor and family man, who was fired back in March from a television series for refusing to perform steamy sex scenes. Far from ending his career, the actor’s career is moving along with a role in a major Hollywood film and the lead in a new television series called “Vigilante Priest.”

Although the dominant attitude in Hollywood regarding sex scenes is that “everybody’s doing it,” Nikki Fink of reported that McDonough lost his role in ABC’s TV series “Scoundrels” by not caving into demands from ABC executives on Day 3 of shooting that he perform a sex scene with Virginia Madsen.

McDonough said “no,” saying that would violate his Catholic faith and his role as a husband and father, which he takes seriously. He is married with three children. For that stand, Fink said McDonough may have lost as much as $1 million in pay.

Besides playing Buck Compton in “Band of Brothers,” McDonough has performed in the series “Desperate Housewives” and “Boomtown” – but again, his characters stayed clear of sex scenes.

Fink reports that while McDonough has lost job opportunities for his stand, he is now producing the pilot for a one hour drama on the Starz channel about an ex-cop turned Catholic priest. McDonough plays the title role and his character, reportedly, takes an unconventional approach when it comes to cleaning up the crime ridden streets of Los Angeles “one sinner at a time.”

Starz is fast-tracking the project, which will have Walon Green from Law & Order as an executive producer and writer. Depending on the success of the pilot, it could turn into a new show for McDonough.

McDonough is also co-starring in Marvel Comic’s film production of “Captain America” as Dum Dum Dugan, an agent of the fictional international espionage and law enforcement agency SHIELD. Dugan is known in the Marvel comics universe for his trademark bowler and excellent marksmanship. The movie is currently being filmed in London, and is scheduled for theatrical release in July 2011.

McDonough has acted in several movies, including Star Trek: First Contact, Minority Report and The Hitcher.

For McDonough there is a bitter-sweet irony in the whole situation – while ABC execs may have forced him to walk off the set of “Scoundrels,” the life-expectancy of the show is looking very short. After just eight episodes, the summer television drama fizzled, with last night’s finale brining in just 2.84 million viewers, which Broadcasting & Cable news reported as a 38 percent audience drop from its June premiere. It is not expected to run another season.

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Actor Neal McDonough Sacked for Refusing Sex Scene

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