‘Jonathan & Jesus’: Jonathan Roumie Talks His New Docuseries

‘Jonathan & Jesus’: Jonathan Roumie Talks His New Docuseries January 13, 2024

A bearded man with the title of a show next to him.
Jonathan Roumie in ‘Jonathan & Jesus’ on Prime Video

Finished about a year ago, the well-crafted, four-part docuseries Jonathan & Jesus has just landed on Amazon Prime Video.

It follows actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus on the hit Gospels-based series The Chosen, as he travels to Rome and Paris, meets fans and fellow celebrities — and Pope Francis — and talks about how he’s dealing with the sudden onrush of worldwide fame.

Yesterday, I had a Zoom chat with Roumie about Jonathan & Jesus — on Amazon under the title of Chosen Docuseries: Jonathan and Jesus  — and a few other things (embedded below).

I knew Roumie as part of a Los Angeles circle of Catholics before he got The Chosen, so it’s always great to catch up and see how he’s handling the show’s runaway popularity.

On How Jonathan Plays Jesus

At 49, Roumie pursued acting for a while in Los Angeles, with only limited success. But, a prior job with The Chosen creator Dallas Jenkins got him his current gig, which has turned into a phenomenon (which I examined here, with some help from executive producer Derral Eves).

What’s also struck me is what a well-crafted TV show The Chosen is (examined here), and what a fine line Roumie has walked in in the role. The part of Jesus has been a challenge — and a mixed blessing — for everyone who’s played it, and none of them ever had to do it over the course of years.

All his decades of work and study are so far paying off for Roumie. No matter how you embody Jesus, somebody’s going to be unhappy, which is why most actors opt for a more distant, reserved portrayal. But that won’t work in a multi-season TV series.

Roumie has managed to keep that sense of other-ness in his Jesus, while also maintaining warmth, humanity and a welcome sense of humor. Much credit for that goes to the writing, but in the end, it’s Roumie that has to pull it off.

It doesn’t seem like all this has become too big for him, and I hope and pray it stays that way. So far, so good.

A bearded man stands in front of a backdrop on a set of an ancient village.
Jonathan Roumie on the set of ‘The Chosen,’ in which he plays Jesus.

Talking to Jonathan About Jonathan & Jesus, In Which He Talks to Others

The docuseries includes Roumie’s conversations with other Christian notables and friends, including Alice Cooper, Sheila E., Brandon Flowers of The Killers, Evangelical pastor Francis Chan, and Catholic author and podcaster Matt Fradd.

The series also features footage of the 2021 trip by Jenkins and Roumie to Rome to meet with Pope Francis.

And, in a rare glimpse into Roumie’s personal life, his sister Olivia offers some insights.

Without further ado, here’s Roumie:

Watching Season Four of The Chosen

Before streaming on the apps of The Chosen and Angel Studios, all the season-four episodes of the show are premiering in groups in theaters.

From Collider:

The fourth season of The Chosen will begin its theatrical run with the first three episodes released over a two-week run starting on February 1, 2024. Following this, episodes 4-6 will grace the screens from February 15, and episodes 7-8 will be screened from February 28 onwards. These screenings will be managed in the U.S. and Canada via Fathom Events. The premiere episodes will also be shown in theaters in LATAM, the UK, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand. The Chosen season 4 will be released on streaming services once the theatrical run is over.

In a series known for firsts, this is another one.

Here’s a peek:

Image: Jonathan Roumie. PHOTO: Amazon/Lionsgate

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About Kate O'Hare
Based in Los Angeles, Kate O'Hare is a veteran entertainment journalist, Social Media Content Manager for Family Theater Productions and a rookie screenwriter. You can read more about the author here.
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