Known around left-leaning Hollywood for her conservative stances on weighty issues like abortion and stem cells, 'Everybody Loves Raymond' star Patricia Heaton is happy to explain how important her Christian faith is to her and how it shapes her views and career choices.
"My feeling is all these things come from God and as long as I know I'm staying in line with Him, I don't have to worry if there is backlash," she told me during a visit to AOL's New York offices. "God will open any doors he wants to open and if he closes doors that's fine to."
Telling me that she has many gay friends and doesn't oppose gay marriage, Patricia gets frustrated being automatically lumped together with other conservatives, a characterization she says has cost her possible work.
"We know for a fact there are some people who have said they wouldn't want to work with us because of our politics," she said, with her husband David Hunt adding, "We get lumped in with lunatics."
So instead, Patricia has teamed up with her director-husband to produce and distribute their own show, 'Versailles,' a new 8-part comedy web series airing on My Damn Channel. Patricia plays a deceased B-movie actress whose presence looms large over her two children (one played by David) as they produce a public access talk show.
"Around the house if he ties to tell me how to do something I say don't tell me, don't control me. But when we did this he was terrific as a director. I was nervous about having him direct me," Patricia tells me.
"I don't think I could have afforded her if we weren't married," David jokes. "I was a bigger star then she was when I met her. She owes me. I took a decade off my career to raise the kids. Plus, a big bonus is she gets to sleep with the director."
It wasn't until she hit 35 that Patricia's career really took and she spent years struggling and sleeping on friends' futons before 'Raymond' made her rich and famous.
She also isn't at all surprised that the Britneys and Lindsays of the world crash and burn being so success so young.
"Too much money and too many 'yes' people around you at early age. Fame didn't come to me until I got married and had kids. When we got married neither of us had anything," Patricia tells me. "I've let go of needing to be an to an actor so if that pipeline shuts down I wouldn't be upset. I'm perfectly happy."