Jonathan Roumie, who portrays Jesus Christ in the popular streaming series The Chosen, is the subject of a new documentary series titled Jonathan & Jesus, examining who the relatively unknown actor really is, and how the role has changed his life.
Roumie, 49, is now very familiar to billions of people worldwide through his work on The Chosen and the recent major motion picture Jesus Revolution.
Produced by Lionsgate Entertainment, Jonathan & Jesus is a four-part series. The series storyline is described this way: “To play the role of ‘Jesus’ on TV (and survive the experience), actor Jonathan Roumie must seek out who Jesus really was, and discover his impact on the world today.”
The main themes of each episode are how Roumie got to where he is, unity across the political spectrum, how important Roumie’s faith is to him, and the surprising aspects of playing the role, according to Deseret News.
Roumie, a faithful Roman Catholic, explained in a recent Facebook post that the new series had been in production for over two years. He wrote the docuseries will show not only the effect The Chosen has had on him, but the “effect playing Jesus has had on its viewers (as well as the challenges it presents to me personally), and the monumental and universe-shifting impact #JesusChrist has had on history and culture throughout the world!”
“So grateful to God for the opportunity to give you all a glimpse into my journey and for all the folks who believed in this little project which began with an invitation to Rome to meet Pope @franciscus, going far beyond what I had ever imagined,” he explained.
Roumie also shared a clip from Jonathan and Jesus that shows him meeting Pastor Greg Laurie for the first time. Laurie wrote the book Jesus Revolution which was turned into a film that starred Roumie.
In the short video clip, Laurie asks him if people who meet and talk to him can make the distinction between himself and the character of Jesus he portrays on screen. Roumie tells Laurie a story about what happened to him while he was having breakfast in a restaurant when a woman came up to his table and suddenly fell to her knees.
A clip from my new docuseries, “Jonathan & Jesus” of me meeting Pastor @greglaurie for the first time. #JonathanandJesus is now streaming on @amazon @PrimeVideo! Thanks for watching and supporting!! #Jesus #JonathanRoumie #JonathanandJesus #Documentary #series #PrimeVideo pic.twitter.com/sQIPGDLoAk
— Jonathan (@JonathanRoumie) January 9, 2024
Dallas Jenkins, the director and creator of The Chosen is also featured in the series, along with appearances by dozens of artists, spiritual leaders, teachers, and thinkers, including Francis Chan, Alice & Sheryl Cooper, Sheila E, Pope Francis, Brandon Flowers (The Killers frontman), Matt Fradd, Bob Goff, Nicky Gumbel, Scott Hahn, Danielle Strickland, Jonathan Tremaine Thomas, Jennifer Trosper, Phillip Yancey, and many others.
The Jonathan & Jesus trailer invites viewers to “Travel around the globe with Jonathan as he explores the undeniable impact of Jesus Christ on the world throughout history, and how the immense weight of playing the Son of God personally affects not only fans but Jonathan himself.”
Watch the Jonathan & Jesus trailer below:
Life Before ‘The Chosen’, and ‘Jesus Revolution’
As CBN News has reported, The Chosen tries to read between the lines in depicting the ministry of Jesus (played by Roumie), telling the Gospel story through the eyes of the people who encounter Him. The series is the largest crowdfunded television project in history and has continued to climb to new heights of success.
Episodes of The Chosen have been streamed more than 500 million times and the series has now been seen by more than 108 million people since Season 1 premiered.
As CBN News reported in October, all eight episodes of The Chosen‘s season 4 will be released in theaters beginning on Feb. 1 before they begin streaming online.
Episodes 1 through 3 will be released on Feb. 1, episodes 4 through 6 will follow starting on Feb. 15, and 7 and 8 will come out on Feb. 29.
After its theatrical run, The Chosen Season 4 will be available across several streaming platforms.
The series is available to watch for free on The Chosen App or the Angel Studios App. It’s also available on popular streaming services including Peacock, Apple TV, fubo TV, Google Play, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.
Roumie has detailed what his life was like before he was cast in The Chosen. He had struggled to make ends meet even after working in Hollywood for more than 20 years.
“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,” he told News Nation. “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.”
In addition to acting jobs, Roumie manages an apartment building to help offset his rent, according to Deseret News.
As CBN News has reported, Roumie also portrayed the hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee in the movie Jesus Revolution.
The breakout hit about the national spiritual awakening in the late 1960s and early 1970s found wide success since its premiere in February 2023. The film was released by Lionsgate and earned more than $54 million in theaters. It opened at the box office at the number 3 spot and remained in the top 10 for several weeks, becoming Lionsgate’s “biggest release in over four years.”