The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Randall Wallace


Award-winning screenwriter

His films include: Braveheart, Secretariat, Pearl Harbor, We Were Soldiers, Heaven Is for Real

Winner: Academy Award and Writers Guild of America for Best Screenplay for Braveheart

Best-selling author of 7 novels

His latest: Living the Braveheart Life (2015)

Graduate: Duke Univ., Religion, Russian and Literature

2 sons

Guest Bio

Randall Wallace on Living the Braveheart Life

The 700 Club


When Randall was on vacation in Scotland in 1983, he walked into a castle and saw two statues.  One was Robert the Bruce, Scotland’s most famous king.  The other was a warrior, clad in armor and the inscription on the base just said “Wallace.”  The guard at the castle told Randall it was legendary William Wallace, Scotland’s greatest hero.  Randall thought, How could the story of Scotland’s greatest hero remain untold and unknown to someone like me? At the time, Randall says he had been a writer for almost a decade. As he researched the life of Wallace, Randall discovered almost nothing could be a proven fact, yet the legends of Wallace’s life have inspired the Scottish people for centuries. It would be 10 years before he would have the courage, skill and desperation to write the story down.  The cliché for writing instruction is “Write what you know” so Randall started writing the broad outlines of Wallace’s life.  From Randall’s first learning of Wallace, he knew that the story would end with his execution.  “I don’t make up stories; I don’t think anyone does – not good stories anyway,” says Randall.  “They are given to us; they unfold with the storyteller and within the spirits of those who hear them.”  

Most of Randall’s research came from reading the New Testament.  “Wallace’s life is the life of Jesus,” says Randall.  “A man of true courage is a man who follows Jesus.”  Randall was taught by the people who loved him that the Spirit of God is always with us.  He says his father was the greatest father whose dad died before he was born.  “He never had an example to show him how to be a dad,” he says.


Randall was out of a job, facing the collapse of his finances and had gotten on his knees to pray that the only God in his life would be God.  When he stood up, Randall began writing the story that led him to Braveheart.  Originally titled Love and Honor, he spent four years working on it as a novel and let the story drift where it wanted.  When he finished, the manuscript was extremely long. He had never written a story that had been made into a feature film so finding someone who would stake his or her time and reputation on Randall’s prospects did not look promising.  Then he found an agent who sent the script to four companies and three immediately tried to buy it.  “We had a bidding war,” says Randall.  The bidding rose and one company executive, Becky Pollack, said they would not be able to outbid the competition but that they wanted the next two scripts from Randall, sight unseen.  The next two were Braveheart and Man in the Iron Mask.  When Randall told Becky about Wallace and what he knew of him, she stopped Randall and said, “Go write about that.”  Encouraged by her interest, Randall tackled the story that he had held in his heart for so long. “When I look at the story, I am called the author of Braveheart,” says Randall.  “But this is a story that was breathed into me and not the other way around.  I didn’t create the story; the story created me.”  There were times while writing the story that Randall was overcome with emotions.

Randall was born in Jackson, Tennessee and grew up in a strong Baptist home.  As a teen, he recalls being in church 10 hours a week and attending tent revivals.  Faith has always been important in his life and a major influence on his writing.  “Jesus was a story teller,” says Randall.  “Jesus didn’t teach philosophy; He told a story and conveyed the Truth through a story.  The life of Jesus is the story of true freedom.”  While in college at Duke, Randall struggled with knowing how he could live his life as a true believer.  At graduation, all of his friends were going into traditional forms of ministry but Randall decided to serve God as a writer.
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