“Duck Dynasty” alums Willie and Korie Robertson shared their secrets to maintaining a successful, decades-long marriage.
Willie, 51, and Korie, 49, who starred on the hit A&E reality series for five years, from 2012 to 2017, have been married over 30 years and have six children. The pair also run several businesses together, including the hunting and outdoor store Duck Commander and their production company Happy Camper Productions.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, the reality stars, who are devout Christians, opened up about how faith has been key to their long-lasting union.
“I think our faith is a big part of that because you believe in something bigger,” Willie said.
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“When we’ve had difficult times, we know that there’s something else that we’re living for. And so that definitely has drawn us together.
“There’s all kind of little things, you know?,” Willie added. “I try to give more than I take, and I try to serve. And so there are a lot of little things that we put in there. And now that we have grandkids, it’s even more. I’m so glad that we did stick it out, that we’re still together. And our kids are married now and can watch us. And so it’s a tribute. And we’re thankful we modeled that from our parents as well and grandparents.”
“The secret to a successful marriage — I think I would just say it is just don’t quit because tough times will come, and we definitely experienced tough times,” Korie said. “But in those tough times, we’ve somehow turned back to one another, turned back to God. And rather than quitting, we just stuck it out and stayed together. And I think every marriage experiences that. And so that would be my advice.”
Willie and Korie explained that their faith has impacted every aspect of their lives. They recalled how Willie’s father Phil Robertson found redemption after turning to God following years of addiction and marital infidelity. The 77-year-old family patriarch and his wife Kay, known by “Duck Dynasty” fans as Miss Kay, 75, converted to Christianity in the mid-1970s.
“Faith is everything to our family,” Korie said. “Willie’s family, actually, his parents came to faith when he was about 3 years old. And it just changed everything for their family, for their life. I grew up in a family of faith, so it’s so important to us.
“One thing that we realized when we did our show, ‘Duck Dynasty,’ was that people can be introduced to faith through all kinds of different ways. And entertainment is shaping our world, our culture in such powerful ways. We as a people are just consuming large amounts of entertainment right now. And so why not do things within entertainment that are faith-filled, that are hopeful, that are positive, that push people toward something good in the world rather than the other way?”
In October, the couple wrapped filming on their upcoming faith-based biopic “The Blind,” which will be released in September. The movie, set in 1960s Louisiana, follows Phil’s journey from his earlier reckless lifestyle to his spiritual transformation. Willie told Fox News Digital he recently watched the movie again and found it “really difficult” as he was reminded of the struggles that his parents went through before turning to God.
“But then you realize, ‘Wow, we’re so impacted by our faith is because that could have went either way,'” he shared. “And had my parents not chosen faith, they would have divorced for sure. I would have grown up in a completely different situation.
“There would have been no Duck Commander, which would have meant no ‘Duck Dynasty,’ and I probably wouldn’t have met you,” Willie added, turning to Korie.
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“My whole life would have been completely different. So there’s this big appreciation of faith and someone that shared with them and that impacted their lives. And so you never know how that can happen. And it could be, like I said, it doesn’t always happen at church, at a church building. It happens all throughout life.
“And so anything we can do to bring that to people,” the “American Entrepreneur” author added. “We saw that with ‘Duck Dynasty.’ We saw just a simple prayer at the end of a show, we’ve seen that impacts thousands and thousands of people who have reached out to us and said, ‘Man, that one little thing had a huge impact. Something we watched together as a family in our living rooms and had a real impact.’ So we know the power of entertainment. We know that there are different ways to tell stories.”
The television personalities are now branching out into a different area of entertainment with their first foray into theater. Willie and Korie served as producers on “His Story The Musical,” a contemporary pop musical based on the life of Jesus Christ. The immersive production, which premiered Thursday night, is being staged at a 1300-seat theater tent outside the Grandscape in Dallas, Texas.
Willie admitted his latest project might come as a surprise to some of his “Duck Dynasty” fans.
“You may be surprised putting musical and Willie Robertson in the same sentence, but you never know,” he said with a laugh. “I’m always looking. Actually, a friend sent it to me. Just a clip of one of the songs. And he just said, ‘Check this out.’ And it was a story about Jesus. So I assumed that he thought I was interested.
“Man, I was really moved by it,” he added. “I told Korie about it, and I was hoping she felt the same way. And she did.”
“He didn’t just tell me about it,” Korie said. “He literally came to me with, like, tears in his eyes, and I was like, ‘Whoa, what is this?’ And he was just so moved by just the very first song that he was like, ‘We need to be a part of this. I don’t know what this is, but we need to be a part of it.’ And here we are.”
Willie described the musical as “like if ‘The Chosen’ and ‘Hamilton’ had a baby. That would be ‘His Story The Musical.’”
“It is the story of Jesus,” Korie added. “It’s really literal, just the gospels in a musical form, which is what’s so incredible about it. It’s like if you know scripture, you will recognize like specific stories throughout the gospel.
“If you don’t, I think it’s just a great way to just introduce people to Jesus and his life and his ministry and who he was and what he was about. Because it’s very, it’s young and fresh and artistic and beautifully and extremely professionally done. And also it’s just scripture, which is amazing.”
“It was young and fresh and a new look at an old story, something that we care about deeply,” Willie agreed. “And so it was like it was like God was telling me like there are other ways to get the message out. And this seemed to be one that could really resonate.”
Directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Jeff Calhoun, “His Story The Musical” features original music and lyrics by singer-songwriter Anna Miriam Brown. The 22-year-old was inspired to compose a musical retelling the story of Jesus while volunteering at an orphanage during a mission to Ukraine. Willie and Korie told Fox News Digital Brown’s personal story was also part of what drew them to the project.
“When we heard the story behind ‘His Story,’ it was even more incredible,” Korie recalled. “It was written by a teenage girl who was a missionary in Ukraine. She started writing it when she was 16. She had seen ‘Hamilton’ and she felt like God told her, ‘Hey, write a musical about me.’
“And she didn’t even write music,” Korie added. “She said she learned four chords from her sister and sat down and wrote 30 or 40 songs. That became ‘His Story.’ So, her vision as a missionary became reality. And then it made its way to us, and we jumped in and said, ‘We’re on board.'”
Willie said he and Korie believed that watching “His Story The Musical” will be an uplifting experience.
“We need people to show up and come to Dallas just like you would Broadway,” he said. “It’s a destination. Show up and be a part of this thing. I think people are hungry for that. I think we’ve seen that in the past year where people go to things that are good and that are positive. And there’s certainly enough bad stuff going on in our country. So we need something positive.”
In addition to their creative projects, Willie and Korie told Fox News Digital they were excited about developments in their personal lives, including preparations to welcome more grandchildren. Their 25-year-old daughter Sadie and her husband Christian Huff are expecting their second child, a baby girl who they plan to name Haven Belle.
“She’s doing great,” Korie said of Sadie. “We’re going to have another grandbaby any day now, and we cannot wait. We’re counting down the minutes.”
Willie and Korie are also parents to sons John Luke, Will and Rowdy and daughters Rebecca and Bella. Last month, John Luke and his wife Mary Kate revealed that they are expecting their third baby together.
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“So that’s fixing to happen again,” Willie said. “They are keeping our lives busy with all our projects and our kiddos and all that. It’s a fun time for sure to be here and see all of this coming together.”
During their interview with Fox News Digital, Willie and Korie looked back on their time starring on “Duck Dynasty,” which they’ve admitted surprised them with its massive success.
Willie recalled the wildest encounter he had with a fan at the height of his reality stardom. He and Korie laughed as they recounted the story of a fan who spontaneously paid him to take a photo.
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“He said, ‘Can I get a picture?'” Willie remembered. “I told him I was in a really big hurry and I had to leave, and he’s pressing me and I said, ‘I’ve really got to go.’ And he pulled his wallet out, and he just reached in. He didn’t even count it. He just pulled out a wad of cash and stuck it in my hand and said, ‘Do you still have to go?’
“And I said, ‘No, I guess I can wait a minute,’” he added with a chuckle. “That was one of the funniest. That was the guy who gave me like 100 bucks.”
“I think it was like a $140?” Korie said.
“Maybe $160 or $180, I can’t remember,” Willie said. “I did give it away to someone else because if someone paid me for a picture, I’m going to pass this on to you.”
“But I did think that was a funny one because he knew that I wasn’t in as much of a hurry as what I was telling him because he did stop me with that. That was clever.”