The Chosen video reveals cool detail about Jonathan Roumie’s Jesus performance

Cameron Frew
Jonathan Roumie as Jesus in The Chosen

A new behind-the-scenes video from The Chosen Season 5 has revealed an unexpected detail about Jonathan Roumie’s performance as Jesus.

Heavy hangs the head who wears the thorny crown; at least, that’s what some people believe. After all, Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning during the making of The Passion of the Christ, and Willem Dafoe’s The Last Temptation of Christ sparked extraordinary controversy (though that was mostly directed at Martin Scorsese).

Roumie is a merciful exception, barring small criticisms of Dallas Jenkins’ series. Since The Chosen’s premiere in 2017, the star has been lauded for his portrayal of Jesus.

Production on Season 5 is ongoing in Utah, and a video shared to the show’s subreddit revealed something that’s impressed fans: he stays in character when he’s not filming, or at the very least, he uses the same voice even off-camera.

In the clip, he thanks the cast and crew for working hard in the rain. “You just make this all worth it, god bless you,” he says, before his co-star shouts: “What Jesus said!”

“He stays in character when he’s not filming? I swear I’m hearing his Jesus voice,” one fan wrote, and another commented: “When I am reading anything in red in the New Testament, I hear Jonathan’s voice. I can only imagine what meeting Jesus will actually be like, but Mr. Roumies’ portrayal has been pretty darned convincing. It’s been a great influence for me.”

Nailing Jesus’ accent was his main focus when he bagged the role. “The first thing I did was create an accent that, to me, was at least regional. I grew up with a father from Egypt and Arab family members, and my aunt is from Palestine, so it made sense to borrow it from that. It was a little rougher [originally] than it is now because I hadn’t had a whole lot of time to refine it,” he told TV Insider.

While he does maintain the accent even when he’s not shooting a scene, he doesn’t go full method — as much as his fans would like that. “Jesus is the only character who I would hope to stay in character as all the time. But some people want a spiritual encounter, and that can be hard to live up to. I’m not Jesus,” he also told The New Yorker.

In the meantime, you can find out everything we know about The Chosen Season 5, when Season 4 is expected on streaming, and new TV shows to watch in April.

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