fbpx

Jonathan Roumie Brings Jesus to THE VIEW

Photo from Jonathan Roumie’s Instagram

Jonathan Roumie Brings Jesus to THE VIEW

By Movieguide® Contributor

Jonathan Roumie recently appeared on THE VIEW and shared how, after a long struggle, God gave him his role as Jesus on THE CHOSEN series and why he tries to play him authentically.

“I worked here in New York City after college in production,” Roumie said on THE VIEW. “I was a location scout, and that was how I made a decent living, but I had started working—MTV CELEBRITY DEATHMATCH was the first acting job I ever had—so from that point, I always had a curiosity about, like, I wonder what this would look like if it went further.”

“And fast forward to the housing market collapsing in 2008. I had booked a few other jobs. I started booking television, and I thought, Okay, well, this is an opportunity to see if I can actually make this work. So I moved to LA, and for eight years I didn’t have the safety of the job that I left in New York,” he shared.

To make ends meet, Roumie had to supplement acting gigs with other things. He drove on rideshare, worked in catering and took other jobs that helped pay the bills.

It got “to the point where I was broke. I was out of money. I was out of food,” he explained. “I was out of even government assistance for food, and the only thing I hadn’t done at that point was the thing that was left to do, which was to get on my knees and surrender my entire life, and my career, and everything that I had up to that point over to God because there wasn’t anything I realized I could do on my own.”

He continued, “I was raised with the faith from a child, but it really wasn’t until after that moment—it was about almost six years ago now—where I just said, ‘Jesus, I Surrender myself to you; take care of everything,’ and that day I received this incomprehensible financial miracle that changed my life.”

Just three months later, he got selected to portray Jesus in THE CHOSEN.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Due to his deeper relationship with God, Roumie started to seek roles that he felt God was calling him to, rather than find jobs that he believed would further his acting career. Three months later, he was contacted by THE CHOSEN creator, Dallas Jenkins, to play a role in a project for his church. That project eventually led to the creation of THE CHOSEN.  

“Everything’s been different since, so today’s five years to the day that actually happened,” Roumie said [last May]. “When I look back at all of the moments in my life that God sort of gave me these little tastes of playing [Jesus], I realized that from the time I was a kid, from the time I was about 11 years old, this I think, was sort of ordained for me.”  

Roumie’s fellow actor on THE CHOSEN, Elizabeth Tabish, had a similar story to Roumie’s. She struggled to pay rent and nearly quit her career as an actress before she read THE CHOSEN’s script.

“Before I booked it, I was trying to quit acting. I wasn’t getting the sort of roles that I really wanted to be doing, and I told my agent to just stop submitting me. I need to switch gears, do something more practical,” she said.

“I read the script for the first episode, and I was so connected to her character, it was so beautifully written — just so much backstory and emotional depth and complexities. And I thought, this is what I would love to be doing,” she said.

Roumie told THE VIEW hosts why he thinks the show resonates with audiences.

“I think, you know, because of how we really take great pains to make these characters that most people know just from a few lines of scripture or they see them in stained glass windows or in statues, we take them off of those pedestals and make them relatable real-life people with marital problems, with you know issues of childbirth and the things that we go through today,” he shared.

“So by seeing essentially ourselves in these characters, like any great TV show, you start to identify, and then the fact that…it’s the greatest story ever told now brings it to a whole other level,” Roumie said. “And they’re like, ‘Oh, I can relate to Jesus in a way that I never thought I could before.’ It really is relatable,” he said.

Off the screen, Roumie occasionally finds that people relate a little too much.

“Are you finding that people are having a little bit of trouble separating you from the part?” THE VIEW host Whoopi Goldberg asked Roumie.

“I try to gently just remind people that my name is Jonathan and not actually Jesus,” the actor replied.

THE VIEW hosts pointed out that brown-eyed Roumie isn’t the blonde, blue-eyed image of Jesus that many are familiar with.

Roumie explained why: “We have two other writers in addition to [director Dallas Jenkins], and they wanted to bring to the screen the most authentic portrayal of Jesus and his disciples and this story and its roots and its Jewishness and the diversity of the people and the color. And everybody that would have lived in these next to these seafaring towns, they were port cities, so you had people from all walks of life. All colors, all shades that came through this place, and so it only felt right to just depict what would have been truly authentic.”

For Roumie, playing Jesus authentically means he tries to be like him in real life, too.

He told Life Teen, “My main goal is to portray Christ’s heart and love for all of humanity. For me, as an actor, that begins with relating to my scene partners and everyone around me with a much more open heart, a sense of compassion and kindness. When things have the opportunity to upset a person’s balance of peace, which happens often as humans, I try to see it as an opportunity to rise beyond that and practice compassion, patience, and humility as often as I can.”

4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.