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‘The Chosen’ Star Jonathan Roumie Doesn’t Feel Responsible To ‘Be Jesus,’ but Cites Prayer and Scripture as Essential to Playing Role ‘Authentically’

Jonathan Roumie
Screen grab via YouTube @CBN News

As the release of Season 3 of “The Chosen” approaches, actor Jonathan Roumie sat down for an interview with CBN News to discuss his preparation for playing the role of Jesus, as well as how he feels about being seen by many as the “21st century personification” of Christ. 

While Roumie expressed a measure of uneasiness about people grafting their personal experiences with Jesus Christ onto his likeness, he did express that he wants to portray Jesus as authentically as possible—something that requires a considerable amount of spiritual preparation. 

“I start all of my prep for this show with prayer. And even outside of this show, prayer is just part of my life, part of the fabric of my life, everyday. I couldn’t get through a day without prayer. So it’s part of my identity, you know, it’s part of my DNA,” Roumie said. “I think that in order to, for this show, for me to serve this show the best, I have to be as attuned to my spirituality and my commitment to my faith above anything else.”

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“And when I’m doing that, that helps me bring more of an authenticity to the character,” Roumie went on to say. “So I think that’s a huge part of what I do in service of the show.” 

Jonathan Roumie: I’m either reading or listening to the Word

“Every day, I’m either reading or listening to the Word…or listening to reflections on the Word,” Roumie said. “I’m always kind of staying connected that way, because it is profound. It is profound in a way that people who have never read the Bible won’t really understand until they start reading the Bible—and then seeing that like there’s infinitely profound implications for just reading and just digesting it, and letting it affect your spirit.” 

Speaking to the fact that for many viewers, he has become the face of Jesus, Roumie said, “There are times where I feel a little overwhelmed, but I don’t feel—and I might even be contradicting myself in some ways, but I think it’s just because I haven’t quite figured out how to explain it—I don’t feel like a responsibility to be Jesus to people.”

“I have a responsibility to play this role as authentically as possible, knowing that it will impact people in a way that only God can understand,” Roumie continued. “I can sort of get the sense of it when they relate their stories to me.”

Recounting one story of a person who shared with him that the show helped save their marriage and another who told him that the show actually saved her life amid her suicidal thoughts, Roumie said, “I didn’t do that. God did that through me and through this work, this show.” 

“So, in that sense, I’m not responsible, but I do feel a little overwhelmed when people are looking at me as if I’m the 21st century personification of the relationship they hold most dear to their own hearts,” Roumie explained. 

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Speaking to the more practical aspects of his portrayal, Roumie addressed the accent he uses when playing Jesus.