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Jonathan Roumie says career stalled until he “surrendered”

Jonathan Roumie NewsNation interview

NewsNation | Fair Use via YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 10/05/23

Jonathan Roumie opened up about his early career and struggles as a budding actor, explaining that his best role came after he put his trust in the Lord.

In a recent interview with NewsNation’s Adrienne Bankert, Jonathan Roumie opened up about his faith, career, and how his life has changed since being cast as the lead role of Jesus Christ in The Chosen. The interview comes in the wake of the completion of Season 4 of the hit show on the life of Christ, which is expected to be released in early 2024.

We’ve seen Roumie, 49, give many a cheerful interview when talking about The Chosen, his fellow cast members, and the mission of the show. When talking about himself in this one, however, we were struck by how uncomfortable he seemed. Almost taken aback when asked when he realized he wanted to be an actor, Roumie explained that he had not even really considered acting as a profession until he booked his first gig. 

He went on to note that he wanted to be an astronaut as a child, but in his teenage years he wanted to work in the film industry, specifically in special effects. Attending film school in New York, however, did not offer the same level of special effects training as he could have gotten in California. This led Roumie to look at other angles of filmmaking: 

“I thought maybe I’ll be a director. I had taken some acting classes as prerequisites and I thought, ‘Maybe I should give acting a shot just to know what an actor goes through to be a better director. Then I ended up auditioning for this one job at MTV and I booked it and I was like wait a second, what does that mean?’”

He said that it was not until “many, many, many” years later that he would land the role of a lifetime on The Chosen, but there were many struggles along the way. Roumie called his life now compared to 10 years ago “indescribably different.” 

“I got to a point where I was desperate and out of money and out of food and I just realized in the moment that I had no other alternative than to completely and wholly rely on my faith and to just offer everything up in prayer. To surrender my notions, my concept of what it meant to have a career, to be successful, to survive, and just offer that up to God.”

Roumie went on to explain that the day he surrendered to God was the very same day his financial woes were solved by his casting in The Chosen. He said that in a matter of hours, from praying in his car to returning home to his apartment, his life had completely changed

“I left my house and came back and all of a sudden I had experienced this incredible financial windfall that came out of nowhere and made me realize that that was the thing I hadn’t done. I hadn’t surrendered, I hadn’t given it up [to God].”

As the questions turned to what it was like to be recognized as Jesus by fans, Roumie got a little quieter. With the utmost humility he explained that all of that is “beyond my comprehension,” but rather than try to understand, he allows God to lead him to where he needs to be. 

“I feel responsible to show up and give everything I have in this role and then what God does with it is up to Him.” 

When asked how he thinks he has been able to so successfully play the role of Jesus Christ, Roumie had just one word in response:

“Grace. Just God’s grace. That’s how I’m able to be here.”

For a short interview, Roumie provides a wealth of thoughtful and faithful answers to the excellent questions from Bankert. See the whole interview in the video featured above. Check out the links below to learn more about The Chosen’s much anticipated fourth season.

EntertainmentInterviewsThe Chosen
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