Diogo Morgado, who portrays Jesus Christ, in a scene from Son of God. (20th Century Fox)
Diogo Morgado, who stars as Jesus in the year’s first ‘bible-epic’ Son of God, along with producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, recently discussed their new film at a press junket in Los Angeles.
Son of God is a feature film based on History channel’s hit 2013 miniseries “The Bible.” Selected scenes from the 10-hour chronicle were compiled to focus on the life of an adult Jesus, his miracles, and of course, his crucifixion and eventual resurrection.
The film, released by 20th Century Fox and directed by Christopher Spencer, stars newcomer Morgado as Jesus, and is produced by the series’ creators, husband-wife team Burnett and Downey.
Morgado, a Portuguese model-turned actor, began his acting career in Portuguese soap operas in the late 90’s. He’s starred in a handful of Portuguese mini-series and television films, with his big break coming in this role of Jesus Christ.
Burnett, a seasoned television producer, has produced shows that are now on air in over 70 countries. He’s been a producer in hit shows such as “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” “The Voice,” and “Shark Tank.”
Downey, an Emmys and Golden Globes – nominated actress and producer, has starred in “Touched By An Angel” and authored three children’s books. She also stars as the Virgin Mary in the mini-series and feature film.
Morgado, Burnett and Downey were on hand at a press junket in Los Angeles to discuss the process involved in making the film, and fielding questions by the multitude of media present at the event.
When asked about the significance of this project, Morgado talked about his preparations for this project and the effect he expects this film to have on the younger generation.
“Son of God is an epic journey of the life of Jesus, and at the same time, we have the responsibility of bringing the life of Jesus to the younger audiences. If given a choice between reading the bible and seeing the bible, a child will want to see the bible. When I was first cast for this, I was very happy, but then I was very scared. [When preparing for the film] I started researching, and also went to Jerusalem,” said Morgado.
He added, “While at the Wailing Wall, I saw a father and his child praying. After three hours, they were still there. That’s when I realized that what I was doing, would be more important to the child than to his father.”
When asked about working with Brunett and Downey, Morgado praised their creativity and vision in terms of the cast.
“From a producer’s point of view, I think they were really clever. They gathered the best team possible, the best cast possible, and they provided us with everything we needed – and they were wise enough to step back, and just let us work.”
Burnett and Downey discussed their working relationship, as well as their responsibility in bringing such a profound story to the big screen.
“It’s good being best friends, that’s for sure,” said Burnett. We both grew up in the same part of the world, and working all day, every day, with the gospel, was like swimming in an ocean of faith.”
Downey added, “It’s been great for our marriage and our friendship. We joke that many couples can’t even work in the yards together, yet we have successfully managed to create this production company. It’s been a beautiful journey for us, said Downey.
“Bringing the gospel to the screen in this way brings great responsibility, and one that we took very seriously. We worked with a team of theologians and religious leaders to insure we told the story accurately, and we were grateful for that assistance because while we love the bible, and love Jesus, we couldn’t pretend to be experts,” added Downey.
Son of God is now playing in theatres nationwide.