Jonathan Roumie Credits ‘God’s Grace’ for Role on THE CHOSEN
By Movieguide® Contributor
NewsNation’s THE CHOSEN PHENOMENON gives fans a sneak peek into what happens behind the scenes of the wildly popular show that follows Jesus’ life and teachings.
“During the special, viewers heard stories of the show’s humble beginnings and why many of the actors feel saved by their work,” NewsNation shared. “Featuring an exclusive conversation with Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church and author of The Purpose Driven Life, he discussed the new initiative to finish The Great Commission ahead of Christianity’s 2,000th anniversary in 2033.”
Adrienne Bankert, the host for the special, explained that THE CHOSEN is “done with excellence.”
“For a lot of people, they’ve seen a lot of cheesy projects,” she said. “And that’s not my word—I actually talked to members of the cast, and they said that they were grateful that this wasn’t cheesy, that this was something that they could be proud of, that they saw the quality of the production…This is the largest crowdfunded entertainment project of all time. More people get behind it with every episode.”
Movieguide® previously reported on why THE CHOSEN is so different from other Jesus productions:
“The thing that makes it different…you see Jesus laughing with his friends, you see him dancing with his friends at a wedding.You see the disciples and even the enemies of Jesus as real human beings with lives and struggles and questions and doubts, dealing with the same issues that we’re dealing with today,” he said.
When asked what about the show connects with viewers, Jenkins responded, “I think the biggest thing is…the humanity of it, I think I hear that term more than anything, it’s like ‘wow these people feel real.’”
Many involved in the project have experienced God working in their lives through the show.
Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, shared that THE CHOSEN “is part of God’s plan, for sure.”
“Grace. God’s grace. That’s how I’m able to be here,” he added.
Creator and director Dallas Jenkins reflected on the influence of his role and how he looks to God for guidance.
“I’m shepherding the cast and crew, I’m shepherding my company, and I’m also shepherding the audience in many ways because I’m communicating with them nearly every single day about the process,” he explained. “Ultimately I follow the Shepherd that I surrender to and am humble before.”
Jenkins’ journey to THE CHOSEN wasn’t easy, though.
“[Jenkins] talks about how he was trying to be a big shot in L.A. and Hollywood and make his next big film and make lots of money and get lots of acclaim. And [then] his film project flopped,” Bankert told Christian Headlines.
“… His career, he thought, was over. And so he kind of moved back to Illinois and kind of had—I call it—and he agreed, a come-to-Jesus meeting, and was volunteering with his church. And he came up with the idea of the story of THE CHOSEN.”
Jenkins’ dedication to excellence in storytelling is apparent in all aspects of the show.
The set, based on the real-life Capernaum, is “beautiful, it’s historically accurate.”
“We have never really seen a real-life portrayal of the followers of Jesus. We have seen a lot of projects about Jesus’ life,” Bankert said.
The special report on YouTube features exclusive interviews and a behind-the-scenes glimpse of THE CHOSEN’s set.
Movieguide® recently reported that THE CHOSEN has joined The CW’s fall line-up:
The CW is looking to majorly shake up its content offerings, focusing on older audiences and more family-friendly content, like THE CHOSEN.
“We’re broadcast; we’re not a niche cable channel. We have to reach the largest audience possible, and we need those audiences to fall in love with us and want to spend a lot of time with us,” the network’s entertainment president, Brad Schwartz, said.
The CW is known for superhero shows like THE FLASH and ARROW and teen dramas like RIVERDALE and NANCY DREW. However, now that those shows have ended, the network is focusing on scripted series like THE CHOSEN and JOAN.
Speaking about the network’s acquisition of THE CHOSEN, Schwartz said, “THE CHOSEN is based on the biggest IP of all time and is truly a one-of-a-kind series that tells this historically significant story in a captivating, dramatic and premium way. This show has already connected deeply with viewers around the world, and The CW will expand its audience even further.”
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