Jesus actor in ‘The Chosen’ talks about show’s Christmas special

Francesca Pollio   By Francesca Pollio for CNA

 

“The Chosen” cast, led by actor Jonathan Roumie in the role of Jesus Christ and Shahar Isaac playing Simon Peter. / “The Chosen”

Denver Newsroom, Dec 20, 2021 / 16:24 pm (CNA).

The internet series “The Chosen” recently hit theaters with a Christmas special that follows the birth of Christ through the eyes of Mary and Joseph. Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, spoke with EWTN News In Depth about the mission of the series and his Catholic faith.

Roumie identified “The Chosen” as the first multi-season TV series on the life of Christ during his Dec. 17 interview from Paris.

“The idea is that if we can see Jesus and meet Jesus through the eyes of those who knew him best, the disciples, his friends, and see how they were impacted by his life, then we too, as viewers, can also be impacted by Jesus’ life,” he explained.

Roumie confirmed that he faced spiritual challenges in the role.

He said, “I think there are always forms of spiritual attack whenever you devote yourself to serving God and serving Jesus and making Jesus’ name more known around the globe.”

“The Chosen,” which is primarily viewed through the show’s app, has been downloaded in every country on earth and translated in over 50 languages so far, he said.

“So anytime you are taking on such a significant task and a mission, as it were, you’re always going to be subject to attacks from the enemy,” he added. “But, it’s okay because we all know how the story ends.”

Just as “The Chosen” is international in terms of viewership, those who create and work on the show also come from diverse backgrounds. The creator of the show, Dallas Jenkins, is an evangelical Protestant and there are numerous ecclesial communities represented on set.

“It’s truly been an ecumenical effort that I think TV shows, and even just workplaces, could use as a guideline for how to kind of work and live and create a project truly in harmony,” Roumie expressed.

Roumie is a Catholic with a devotion to the Divine Mercy and who finds peace in the sacraments.

“I did three days of filming on a project about St. Faustina by Saint Luke Productions called ‘Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy’ and that was a significant introduction to St. Faustina,” Roumie said of his first time acting as Christ.

While his father also has had a devotion to the Divine Mercy for the past 30 years, Roumie credits this project with sparking his own devotion. He has since incorporated this devotion into his regular prayer life.

Speaking to the beauty of the sacraments, he added, “I think that the sacraments are what bring us into literal and metaphorical communion with Jesus Christ himself. So, for me, I feel an immense peace whenever I partake of the sacraments.”

“I think spiritually it gets me closer and closer towards this level of human perfection that we’re always encouraged to attain by Jesus,” he continued. “It’s a deeper spiritual meditation on Christ’s life, Christ’s being, who he is, what he did, what his sacrifice was.”

“I think all of it’s meant to get us closer to the beings that God created us to be,” Roumie concluded.


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