On the occasion of the long-awaited release in France of the series The Chosen, which will be broadcast on C8 on Monday 20 and Monday 27 December 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 leave all the light to him.
It’s quite impressive to find himself face to face with Jonathan Roumie as the actor embodies the son of God on the 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 it is above all an “honor” for him.
If he is well aware, indeed, of the importance of the message transmitted by the series and especially by his character, he seems to constantly 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 undoubtedly the most important role of his life. He adds that it is also the most important project he will contribute to in this world as an artist. The actor also revealed to us that playing this role allowed him to get closer to God, to go even further in his relationship with the Lord.
“The more time we spend with Jesus, whether studying his life, or reading his words, the more we are impacted by him. We can not do otherwise. He makes me want to be a better version of myself,” says the actor.
Jonathan Roumie then shared with us with emotion 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 period, to the point that she had planned to end her 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 moved by what she saw that she realized how much God loves her, and how much she is worth to him. She therefore did not complete her project. And a year later, she shared this moving story with Jonathan Roumie surrounded by her 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”, confides Jonathan before adding that it is “obviously not surprising for God, he can do everything”.
“However, as humans,” the actor continues, “when we hear this and see the impact our work can have, we 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 decorated with skulls. An eccentricity that piqued our curiosity at InfoChrétienne. He told us the story behind this accessory which is much more than an exercise in style.
It all started several years ago with a ring bought to play the role of a drummer in the first play he performed in New York. If the actor declares to be also a drummer in life, he specifies that today he has fewer opportunities to practice his instrument. At the time, he therefore offered himself this ring in the East Village, thinking that it would be a nice 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.
It is a Latin phrase which means “Remember that you are going to die”. A formula from medieval Christianity that expresses the vanity of earthly life. Her friend, who happens to be a specialist in the subject and has written several books on this concept, explained to her that this formula encouraged meditating on death, some Christians even kept skulls with them to remind them that they were inevitably going to die. .
“There was nothing macabre about it” specifies Jonathan Roumie, it was rather an opportunity for them to cultivate a holy life during the time allotted to them on earth. Showing us the ring he is wearing today, he tells us that he bought it recently and that he likes it very much. For him, she is both an accessory and a reminder to use his time on earth wisely and in the service of God.
“I wear these rings as symbols to remind myself that life is fleeting, that 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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