‘The Chosen’ Actor Opens Up About Getting on Knees, Giving Life to God

From broke and hungry to being the face of Jesus Christ in a major television series. In early 2024, Jonathan Roumie, the actor who played Jesus in the hit series The Chosen, appeared on ABC’s The View to promote the fourth season of the show and opened up about being at his lowest moment in life and turning his life, everything over to God… and then he got the call.

Familiar with Roumie’s story, co-host Sara Haines noted that some of his gigs “weren’t paying the bills” and he was thinking about “giving up on” acting, and wanted to know: “How did you decide to stay the course?”

Roumie recounted that he got his start in the movie industry as a location scout in New York City, but his first acting gig was as a voice actor in MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch.

After dipping his toe in the acting pool, he dove in and moved to Los Angeles. But then the 2008 financial crisis hit and Roumie couldn’t make ends meet:

And fast forward to the housing market collapsing in 2008. I had booked a few other jobs, I started booking television, and I thought, “Okay, this is an opportunity to see if I can actually make this work.” So, I moved to L.A. and for eight years, I didn’t have the safety of the job that I left in New York, it’s a different unions and all sorts of complications to do the same thing in L.A., but that’s not what I was going to L.A. for.

So, I had to do all these other jobs, side jobs, I drove rideshare, I worked in catering, all these things I never had done before and gotten to the point where I was broke, I was out of money, I was out of food, I was out of even government assistance for food.

“And the only thing I hadn’t done at that point was the thing that was left to do which was to get on my knees and surrender my entire life and my career, and everything that I had up to that point over to God, because there wasn’t anything I realized I could do on my own,” he said, receiving loud applause from the studio audience.

Co-host Joy Behar asked him: “Were you a believer before that?” Roumie explained he was “raised with the faith from a child but it really wasn’t until after that moment,” which was six years prior.

Then, his personal miracle happened.

“I just said, ‘Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.’ And that day, I received this incomprehensible financial miracle that changed my life and three months later I booked The Chosen,” he said, again getting raucous applause (including from moderator Whoopi Goldberg).

God is good.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

ABC’s The View
January 30, 2024
11:48:21 a.m. Eastern

(…)

SARA HAINES: But those jobs weren’t paying the bills so considered at some point to kind of giving up on this. How did you decide to stay the course?

JONATHAN ROUMIE: Well, I worked here in New York City after college in production. I was a location scout and that was how I made a decent living. But I had starting working – MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch was the first acting job I ever had. So, from that point I always had a curiosity about, like, “I wonder what it would look like if it went further.

And fast forward to the housing market collapsing in 2008. I had booked a few other jobs, I started booking television, and I thought, “Okay, this is an opportunity to see if I can actually make this work.” So, I moved to L.A. and for eight years, I didn’t have the safety of the job that I left in New York, it’s a different unions and all sorts of complications to do the same thing in L.A., but that’s not what I was going to L.A. for.

So, I had to do all these other jobs, side jobs, I drove rideshare, I worked in catering, all these things I never had done before and gotten to the point where I was broke, I was out of money, I was out of food, I was out of even government assistance for food. And the only thing I hadn’t done at that point was the thing that was left to do which was to get on my knees and surrender my entire life and my career.

[Applause]

And everything that I had up to that point over to God, because there wasn’t anything I realized I could do on my own.

BEHAR: Were you a believer before that?

ROUMIE: Yeah. Yeah, I was raised with the faith from a child but it really wasn’t until after that moment – It was about almost six years ago now, where I just said, “Jesus, I surrender myself to you. Take care of everything.” And that day, I received this incomprehensible financial miracle that changed my life and three months later I booked The Chosen.

BEHAR: Wow.

[Applause]

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