The global phenomenon known as The Chosen has helped strengthen the faith of countless Christians worldwide with its gripping story of Jesus' life and ministry.
As it turns out, one of those who have been impacted is the actor who portrays Jesus: Jonathan Roumie. He was an unknown actor to most faith-based fans until Season 1, released in 2019. Since then, an estimated 94 million people around the world have watched the series.
The Chosen Season 3 launches in theaters on November 18.
"It's deepened my faith walk exponentially. The more time you spend meditating on Jesus' life, His ministry, His words, if you're truly invested in who He is ... You can't help but be affected by His life," Roumie told Christian Headlines. "So there's no way to not be affected."
As Roumie's faith has deepened, he said, he's been able to deliver a better on-screen performance.
"It's only allowed me to go deeper in my portrayal. It's not about me, it's not about how good a job I can do. It's like: 'Am I serving [Jesus]? Am I trying to be the mirror to reflect what God wants me to see about Him through this?' That's my goal."
The series' popularity has catapulted Roumie into the public limelight. The result: He often wears disguises – ballcaps and glasses – when shopping for groceries or eating out.
"Oh, yeah. I mean, it doesn't always help," he told Christian Headlines.
Even with disguises, he said, "people still" recognize him.
"When everybody was masked up for COVID, I thought that I'd be safe," he said. But fans recognized him even with a mask.
"I try not to draw attention to myself," Roumie said. "I think actors can be either introverts or extroverts. I'm more of an introvert."
The Chosen isn't his only role. Roumie portrays Lonnie Frisbee in the upcoming faith-based film Jesus Revolution, which is scheduled to be released on February 24.
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Photo courtesy: ©The Chosen/Angel Studios
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.