The Chosen

Jonathan Roumie Uses His Stardom to Spread the Gospel

Jonathan Roumie, the actor who plays Jesus in The Chosen, the popular television series billed as the largest crowd-funded media project in history, has been busy making public appearances. 

The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season series about the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the show’s creator, the story focuses more deeply on those who encountered Jesus, viewing his through their eyes. The intention of the show is to create a more personal and intimate portrayal of Jesus. 

In February, the 48-year-old Roumie was a special guest speaker at Liberty University, a Christian educational institution in Lynchburg, Virginia, where he addressed a sports stadium packed with thousands of cheering students.

“All right, let’s give it up for Jesus!” said Jonathan Falwell, the campus pastor hosting the event, who is also the son of the well-known conservative Christian evangelist Jerry Falwell. 

Roumie had just concluded speaking at a campus worship service, where he promoted the third season of The Chosen and his new film, Jesus Revolution.

At Falwell’s request that he “do the Jesus accent,” Roumie declared in a Middle-Eastern accent: “Everyone here is loved by God. We’re here to tell all of you that God loves you. No matter your flaws, no matter your weakness. God loves you.” 

The son of an Irish mother and Egyptian father, Roumie was raised in a Catholic home in and around New York City. He landed the lead role in The Chosen after playing Jesus in church passion plays and spending eight years looking for work in Hollywood, including roles in three short films by the creator and director of The Chosen, Dallas Jenkins. 

“There aren’t many people who need to preface speeches with reminders they are not, in fact, God incarnate, but Roumie is part of an elite club of creatives who have starred in widely known portrayals of Jesus,” observed a March 3 Religion News Service article about the actor. 

Roumie’s faith is strongly reflected in his own life. He has served as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion with the Catholic Church and is an outspoken advocate of the sacraments, ecumenism, humility and charity.

In an  interview published in the National Catholic Register,  Roumie was asked what it has been like to portray Jesus on screen. 

“It connects me more to Scripture more deeply,” he replied. “It connects me to Christ. It makes me want to know him more deeply and try to be a better steward of his grace and to try to discern his

will for me on a day-to-day basis with the level of clarity that even a couple of years ago I couldn’t have had.”