Jonathan Roumie: “My faith informs how I play Him (Jesus)”




A high-profile red-carpet premiere took place in London’s Leicester Square. Present on the red carpet were members of the cast and crew of The Chosen – the highly successful TV show that dramatizes the life of Christ. Now in its fourth season, the first two episodes of the new series were about to be shown in the UK for the first time.

The next day those same cast members were gathered together in a Central London Hotel where members of the press got to interview them. Sorted was thrilled to be invited and I got to interview five of the cast about their respective roles. While all the interviews went well and were fascinating, I was especially delighted to get to meet Jonathan Roumie who plays Jesus himself some questions. Here’s how it went:

Andy Godfrey (AG): Fantastic to meet you. Congratulations on The Chosen Series Four. Obviously, over the years many great actors have played Jesus, what would you say is unique about your portrayal?

Jonathan Roumie (JR): I think that my portrayal on this series is one that makes Jesus more accessible on a day-to-day basis. We see Jesus in scenarios and just in his daily life on the road with the disciples. There are moments that we haven’t seen before in cinema so the gift that we have been given shooting a TV series as opposed to a film or mini-series is the gift of time, we can flesh things out and really give people the opportunity to get to know these characters and get to feel that they can relate to them in a way we haven’t seen before.

AG: And does playing Jesus come with a heavy responsibility or is it just another part in that sense?

JR: I think so for sure. I think for me some of my favourite performances by people who have played Jesus are by those who have a relationship with him. For me, my faith informs how I play him. There is a reverence that I bring to Him because to me, He is sacred. So I think that affects the portrayal for sure.

AG: Do you guys pray on set, those of you who are Christians?

JR: We have to respect that there are people from all different walks of life and faith, so I am sure people do pray to themselves. I pray to myself before every scene, and I pray on set. But it’s a normal film set for all intents and purposes.

AG: We are obviously building up towards the climax, we know how the story ends. Has your approach to playing Jesus changed as you get closer and closer to that dramatic climax? Are you starting to sense in him, in the character, an awareness of the horror that’s coming and the glory afterward?

JR: I think we have hints of it in the story that sort of suggests what’s coming. Also, in Season Four tensions are rising, we are building up to that moment where Jesus enters Jerusalem. His speeches now are a little bit more pointed and forthright to the religious authorities. His preparation with his disciples is becoming a little more transparent. Whether or not they see that and get what he’s saying that’s becoming part of the problem. They don’t quite get everything he’s saying and now he’s being pretty plain about it.

AG: And do you get a hand at all in adjusting the script, if you are on set and you have an idea, is there freedom for you to interject your own ideas?

JR: Yeah. If we get ideas or want to try something or improve something then we can.

AG: And when this is over what’s next?

JR: God only knows. You never know what’s before you.

AG: Would you like to see the book of Acts filmed for example? Jesus makes some appearances in that, particularly to Paul.

JR: I would love that. I am not sure how much Jesus is in the book of Acts, but there is that scene with Paul so you never know.

AG: Well we wish you every success with Series Four. Thank you so much for your time. We are grateful.

JR: My pleasure.

It was fantastic to meet Jonathan and I would encourage to watch The Chosen and introduce as many as you can to this excellent series.

The Chosen Season Four Episodes One and Two are in cinemas in the UK and Ireland from the February 1st 2024. Tickets are on sale NOW at

All Photo Credits: Courtesy of KovaPR

Andy Godfrey

Andy Godfrey is a speaker with Outreach UK and has been in full-time Christian work for many years. He is a founding member of the Mark Kermode Appreciation Society and has a collection of nearly 3,000 movies. He’s also an ardent Bristol City fan.

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