Andrew Keegan has traded in his scripts for a particularly out-there world of scripture. Once the leading man in teen rom-coms like 10 Things I Hate About You, the actor, 36, is now one of the leaders of a nontraditional California-based congregation called Full Circle, and regularly preaching the church's benefits.
"Full Circle is an experiential environment that aims to elevate the individual while connecting us with each other," Keegan says in a release on the organization's official website. "Much spiritual development is inner-focused. We certainly offer that, but people are also looking for a way to authentically connect with others around a higher purpose. We operate according to a co-creative model, encouraging individuals to seek individual enlightenment while aligning their talents with forces larger than themselves."
New York magazine caught up with Keegan and profiled his unexpected second act from Venice, Calif., where the Independence Day star spends his days. Keegan recalled his early days with a spiritual group called the Source, as well as his ensuing exit following his realization that the religion's beliefs were "not in alignment" with his own.
The introduction started Keegan on a path toward Full Circle, setting up the community in a decades-old former Hare Krishna church. "I was clear that if there was ever an appropriate time to be in the service of the temple, I would be," he told the magazine.
Keegan's "experiential environment" is far from a traditional temple, however. According to New York, the services open with Keegan telling the 50-some congregants, "Hi, I'm Andrew," to which they respond, "We love you, Andrew!" He then tells the group, "I love you all too; today, I’m here to activate high vibes," and leads them all in a declaration of the words, "And so it is."
Amid the chanting and call-and-response affirmations, a Full Circle service includes music from a didgeridoo, hand-holding, references to the spiritual power of quartzes, and one of Keegan's fellow believers, who preaches, "If a mosquito bites you, that mosquito was meant to bite you. If a fly lands on your arm, it’s there as a messenger." Keegan tosses around the word "flow" to describe particularly offbeat moments in the church.
While Keegan is still booking small acting gigs, his on-screen career has taken a bit of a backseat to his spiritual endeavors with Full Circle. His church may be his main focus, but fans continue to recognize him as the heartthrob from their teenage days.
"I had this girl come up to me not that long ago and say, 'I used to just love you!'" he spilled. "It’s always past tense now. And I’m like, ‘Can’t we just always love each other and everybody in the world?'"
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