Anne Heche: 'The conversation about God scares so many people'

Actress Anne Heche has spoken about her faith in God and the difficult relationship she has with her strict religious mother because of her sexuality.

She is starring in NBC's new comedy Save Me, about a Cinncinati housewife who has never gone to church but talks to God.

In an interview with the Huffington Post she talks about how she was raised in a very religious family in Ohio where "the only thing we could do was read the Bible and religion was the thing that my family used as an excuse to not talk about anything".

However, she says it is only in later life that she has discovered a true understanding of love and "caring, conscious, gentle things" that she did not find growing up in her family.

Being able to trust others "became a very real thing for me what God is", she said. "God is bigger than me; God is in everyone."

Heche says she has taken her children to church and told them openly that she wants them to "experience all religion".

"We talk about love and God very openly," she told the Huffington Post.

She also talks about how she believes it is possible for everyone to experience God and that God can often come through for us in the hardest places.

"Sometimes you need to go to the bottom, sometimes you need to go to the darkness - it is often where you get the helping hand.

"A loss or a gaping hole of need is a unique place to start a story. It forces you to take a rough look at yourself and say 'I need to make a different choice'.

"And God comes in there. God tends to turn on the light when we are asking for help."

Her character Beth talks to God but other characters in the comedy show are sceptical. Heche thinks the show is a great opportunity to change the tone of the conversation around God.

"The conversation about God scares so many people, but why can't we laugh about it? And that's part of what I am trying to do with this comedy," she said.

Heche says she has exchanged maybe "four emails in 10 years" with her mother, who is aware of the show and, according to Heche, works in reparative therapy.

"My life has brought me to a very unique place where I could not be at more opposite ends of what I believe God is," she says.

"Yet I was born into a very specific God consciousness. And now my mother, who practices things I believe are the opposite of love, is having to confront the fact that the girl she disowned for loving a woman is now talking about God as love on national television.

"It is almost hard to believe that's happening. And I always believed that God was love, I always believed."