As the popular television series “The Chosen” premieres in theaters this week, viewers will continue to follow the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ and His followers as they spread His message and come more into conflict with Roman authorities. With over 200 million viewers, the series, written and directed by Dallas Jenkins, is one of the most-watched shows in the world. It is consistently a top performer across streaming platforms Amazon Prime, Peacock, and Netflix plus a top-rated broadcast weekly on The CW. What started as a crowd-funded project has now garnered over 770-million-episode views and more than 12 million social media followers.
Paras Patel and Noah James, who play two of His disciples, Matthew, and Andrew, recently spoke with Reel Faith’s DeWayne Hamby on the growth of the series and how their characters have evolved since season one.
Tell me a little bit about Matthew’s journey, as it comes to season four.
Paras Patel: In season three, Matthew kind of leaves off with committing to his faith and not being ashamed of his past, just really kind of going all in. And that’s what season four is, where you have to go “all in,” because it’s high stakes this season. With Matthew, you’re gonna’ see him continue to grow, continue to learn about himself, but also continue to be the scribe. These moments that he’s seeing and witnessing and trying to relate to his own life and kind of find himself. So, he’s slowly growing into this, this leader that he is, and he’s going to have obstacles, and it’s just going to be great for us to see how he overcomes those obstacles.
And for Andrew?
Noah James: To me, it was funny reading the scripts. I was just so excited to get on set and get back with the whole family. And then it really occurred to me in the filming of it that for Andrew, season four is a lot about growing up. It’s a lot about trying to be the best version of yourself. And sometimes the eagerness of Andrew can lend itself towards anxiety, worry, fear, and really trying to as much as possible let that go. Meanwhile, the outside world is showing the exact opposite. Tensions are rising. It’s getting really difficult to follow Jesus for us, even in terms of safety. So, how do you take the messages of Jesus and not sort of see what’s happening around you and devolve into fear?
How has this show impacted you personally?
Noah James: It’s totally changed my life. I mean, the fact that I get to come on set every day and work on this character and be with these people and try to bring these moments to life, it’s what we as artists and actors I crave, and now we get to do it. And you know, as an audience, you see some of these moments from the show. And you see at it time through, but as the actors, we live in all day, some of these moments, you know, we shoot it 30-40 times sometimes, and that ingrains itself into you and you feel like you’re really trying to bring this moment from history back to 2020 for now, and just show the people. So it’s thrilling to be a part of.
Paras Patel: I think just being able to portray Matthew, the character, he’s just taught me so many things—learning not to judge myself not to be so hard on myself. It’s okay to make mistakes. And I think these are all lessons that the audience can learn and relate to as well. So, for me, that’s just been the greatest gift of being on this thing of the show is being able to play Matthew in someone that I can relate to, and it’s taught me a lot about confidence.
We know the story has an ending. This is going to be going to be very emotional for the characters, and I would imagine it’s going to be very emotional as part of the cast. Do you ever think about that?
Paras Patel: I found myself thinking about a lot more. At one point in the season, we had a celebration at a lunch where we’re officially past the halfway point of the series. And I think the fact that we get to work together, and we’re a brotherhood, we’re family, our whole entire cast and crew, we’ve been through the ups and downs of the show, from the humble beginnings to where it’s at right now. And it’s gonna be a hard thing when we when we are done. And yeah, I do think about it. And it does make me a bit emotional sometimes.
Noah James: That’s why it’s so important that we just do everything we can to make it as good as we possibly can, because we have a limited time to do that. So, we try to just come in every day, and be like ‘How do we tell the story the best way we possibly can and also live in the moment and make man right?’
Episodes 1-3 of “The Chosen” Season Four, produced by Jenkins, Derral Eaves and Brad Pelo, premieres Thursday, February 1 in theaters through Fathom Events. Episodes 4-6 will premiere February 15 and episodes 7-8 will release February 29. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.
Watch an exclusive interview with Patel and James below.