Marcia Gay Harden is glam in her leopard-print dress and sleek bob when we meet at NYC’s Regency Hotel during interviews for The Mist, the Stephen King thriller that revolves around being trapped by a mysterious fog. The movie is out now.

We’ve just eaten a lunch of filet mignon and macaroni and cheese when we sit down in a suite. The mom of three, 48, is pleased that her proselytizing character has evoked such strong reactions.

“I don’t think any extremism is rational,” she says. “I think irrationality is one of the scariest things in the world. The fact of being a devout believer in God is not the problem. The problem is the contradictions that people who are devout believers in anything tend to have.”

“Because America is largely a Christian country, what we’ve seen that makes us nervous are the contradictions of people who say ‘I’m a devout, born-again … but gay people are sinners and it’s OK to hate them.’ Walk in the shoes – well, he didn’t wear them — the bare feet of Jesus – and tell me that that’s what he really meant? I thought he meant ‘love your neighbor even when your neighbor doesn’t love you.’”

“I don’t mean to be Pollyanna about it, but to me, that’s what being a Christian is — being embracing of all humanity. That’s why the religious right gets so attacked. The ability to defend a phrase in Jeremiah 2:10 and a phrase that says it’s the golden rule. Why doesn’t that phrase shed light on the previous rule?”

“Anybody who is really walking with the Lord is embracing the foibles and the beauties and the differences of humanity, regardless of race, color, creed, economic stature and sexual proclivity, whatever. You embrace the beauty of humanity and not be exacting and belittling about the differences.”

You go, Marcia!

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