Stephen Collins Portrayed a Pedophile Priest in New Indie Movie Penance

Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins portrayed a pedophile priest in short indie movie Penance, a role which he described this past April as "very intense, very quiet in a different way." Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Paying Penance. Embattled 7th Heaven actor Stephen Collins, who allegedly admitted to molesting several girls in a leaked recording, ironically played a pedophile priest in a new short indie film called Penance.

According to the film's summary, Collins plays a man of the cloth who is visited by a troubled parishioner. The summary on Penance's website reads: "One man's journey of forgiveness. David Lyons (Safe Haven, Revolution) plays Thomas Walker, a man hounded by personal demons and inner turmoil who has lived long enough with the scars of his past. Stephen Collins (7th Heaven, Blood Diamond) is the Priest he visits to clear his conscience and discover exactly what it means to find forgiveness… or to give it."

The 11-minute piece, directed by Emmy-winning Revolution stunt coordinator Jeff Wolfe, was screened at the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival, where it won Best Narrative Short. The movie, which was shot in 2013, was also accepted into the 2014 BeFilm New York Film Festival and will screen in Manhattan in late 2014.

Collins spoke to entertainment website Nerdacy at WonderCon in April 2014 about the film and portraying someone beyond his typical "dad" roles. "To me the curse of acting is to think too much," Collins mused. "[Wolfe] wrote this very powerful piece about a priest and a former partitioner and I can't say anything more about it," Collins explained. "It's very very intense. We managed to shoot it in one day in Austin. I loved working with Dave [Lyons]. We got a chance to do something so different from what we do… It's probably going to be in a bunch of festivals next year. It's very intense, very quiet in a different way."

Collins, 67, is currently being investigated by the New York Police Department for child molestation as he's embroiled in a nasty divorce battle with his estranged wife Faye Grant. The actor has not been seen in public since the recording was leaked by TMZ on Oct. 7, and recently resigned from the board of the Screen Actors Guild.

In the wake of the scandal, Collins was fired from Ted 2, his scenes on ABC's smash drama Scandal were cut, and he was dropped by his agency. Two networks also pulled reruns of his beloved WB show 7th Heaven, meaning his former costars will no longer be receiving their residual checks. Several of Collins' 7th Heaven costars defended the beleaguered actor after the recording was released last week.

Collins is due in court in November for divorce proceedings.

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