The Chosen: Interview with Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus

On the occasion of the eagerly awaited French release of the series The Chosen, which will be broadcast on C8 on Monday December 20 and Monday December 27 in prime time, we met Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays the role of Jesus. He answered our questions with gentleness and humility, always trying to honor Jesus and let him all the light. 

It's quite impressive to find yourself facing Jonathan Roumie as the actor embodies the son of God on screen. Yet he strives to remember that he is only an instrument in this large-scale cinematographic project, and declares (in French! Editor's note) that for him it is above all an “honor”.

If he is well aware, in fact, of the importance of the message transmitted by the series and especially by his character, he constantly seems to say, "the subject is not me Jonathan Roumie, it is him, Jesus" .

When asked how he lived to interpret the role of Jesus, especially as a Christian, he answers with humility that it is without a doubt the most important role in his life. He adds that it is also the most important project to which he will contribute in this world as an artist. The actor also revealed to us that playing this role allowed him to come closer to God, to go even further in his relationship with the Lord.

“The more time we spend with Jesus, whether it's studying his life, or reading his words, the more we are impacted by him. We can not do otherwise. It makes me want to be a better version of myself, ”says the actor.

Jonathan Roumie then shared with us emotionally the story of a young girl whose life was fundamentally transformed by God thanks to the series. 

This is a 20-year-old girl he met a few months ago. She told him that last year she was going through an extremely difficult time, to the point that she had planned to end her own life. A project that had been carefully considered since she had already written farewell letters. Everything was planned for her to kill herself.

Until a friend told him about The Chosen series and invited him to watch the first episode. The young girl was so overwhelmed by what she saw that she realized how much God loves her, and how much she means to him. She therefore did not go to the end of her project. And a year later, she shared this heartbreaking story to Jonathan Roumie surrounded by his family, all moved to tears.

"The fact that a series can convey the message of the Gospel in such a way and radically transform a person's life is so incredible", says Jonathan before adding that it is "obviously not surprising. for God, he can do anything ”.

“However, as humans,” the actor continues, “when you hear this and see the impact that our work can have, you just have to be grateful and say, 'Thank you Lord for allowing me to participate in this adventure '”.

On social media, we noticed that Jonathan often wears rings adorned with skulls. An eccentricity that piqued our curiosity at InfoChrétienne. He told us the story behind this accessory which is more than an exercise in style. 

It all started several years ago with a ring bought to play the part of a drummer in the first play he performed in New York. If the actor declares to be also a drummer in his life, he specifies today that he has fewer opportunities to practice his instrument. At the time, he had therefore offered this ring in the east village, thinking that it would be a beautiful accessory for his character.

A few years later, while he was wearing the famous jewel, a friend of his, who is also a nun for the Order of Saint Paul, noticed him and said a funny phrase in Latin: "Memento Mori" . The intrigued actor then asked him for an explanation.

This is a Latin phrase that means "Remember you are going to die". A formula from medieval Christianity which expresses the vanity of earthly life. Her friend, who happens to be an expert on the subject and has written several books on the concept, explained to her that this formula encourages people to meditate on death, some Christians even keep skulls with them as a reminder that they will inevitably die. .

"There was nothing macabre" specifies Jonathan Roumie, it was rather the occasion for them to cultivate a holy life during the time which was allotted to them on earth. Showing us the ring he wears today, he tells us that he bought it recently and that he loves it very much. For him, it is both an accessory and a reminder to use his time on earth wisely and in the service of God.

“These rings I wear as symbols to remind myself that life is fleeting, our time on earth is limited and we must use it wisely to serve God and others in the best possible way. "

Thus ended our interview with the actor of The Chosen, who like the character he plays encouraged us to serve the Lord and to transmit His message.

Camille Westphal Perrier

Image credit: Yannick Billioux

Article originally published on December 17, 2021.

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