In Philadelphia for a press tour before next Friday's nationwide opening, "Son of God" star Diogo Morgado and co-star/producer Roma Downey sat down for an interview on Wednesday to discuss the film and the motivation behind turning the Christ chapters from the hugely successful History channel's "The Bible" mini-series into an extended big screen epic.
"Son of God" depicts the story of Jesus Christ with emphasis on his teachings, call of disciples and the tense political climate that builds and erupts, leading to his subsequent arrest, crucifixion and resurrection. Morgado, who portrays Jesus in both the big screen and History versions, shared "it’s amazing because the disciples didn't know they were (going to be) in the Bible, as Jesus. What we wanted to show was that Jesus was one hundred percent the Son of God, but he came into our world as a human and lived that experience as it is.”
Downey, may be known best for her portrayal of Monica, the compassionate angel, in the TV series "Touched by an Angel" which aired for nine seasons, from 1994 to 2003. When describing her experiences observing audiences at "Son of God" screenings, she stated "I've had the experience now maybe 20 or 30 times as we've screened the film around the country. To be able to watch it in a community, and see this larger than life story on the big screen, is very powerful and people have been obviously moved."
She also shared that she enjoyed watching "the end credits roll with the Cee Lo Green version of “Mary Did You Know” playing over them," while people remained in their seats. "And it’s not often you see audiences stay in their seats through the credits. I think people were taking a moment to breathe and process what they had just experienced."
In a move mostly seen with Hollywood blockbusters, "Son of God" will play on every screen in a variety of multiplexes the day before it is set to open on 3,000 screens nationwide. The film is also being released in Spanish and Korean, and several religious leaders and organizations participating in the "Theater Take-Over" will also buy-out movie screens showing in those languages.
Speaking on she and her husband, co-producer Mark Burnett's, intent and the momentum the film has gained, Downey responded “it began with the intention of bringing the gospel to the screen in a way that shows Jesus to be inclusive, loving, merciful and calling all without judgment. And we've been very encouraged by the endorsements received across church denominations. And I think it’s because people recognize the intent behind the film.”
Additional information about "Son of God" the movie can be found at the official website www.sonofgodmovie.com.