Actress and producer Roma Downey is likely one of the few filmmakers in history to recreate multiple crucifixion and resurrection scenes — a fascinating and grueling feat affording audiences a unique lens into Jesus’ life and death.
Downey, alongside her husband Mark Burnett, created “The Bible” and “A.D.,” series as well as the feature film “Son of God,” among other projects.
In the process, she helped bring some of the Bible’s most harrowing moments to life on the silver screen.
“I actually have filmed as a producer three crucifixions, two resurrections,” she told “The Pure Flix Podcast.” “I don’t know any other producers … that have done that.”
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Downey, who rose to fame in “Touched By an Angel,” a hit CBS show that ran from 1994 to 2003, said these scenes came with unique challenges, with the weather, safety, and emotional considerations at every turn.
“There were certain challenges you can imagine in the filming of a crucifixion scene, starting simply with the demand of safety,” she said. “Because we have to bolt a cross to the ground, we have to make sure it’s secure.”
Keeping the actor portraying Jesus safe is critical. In addition to the logistics of holding the cross in place and monitoring the actor’s time on the cross, Downey said the weather and wind must also be monitored.
“The logistical challenges of that are many, to say the least,” she said. “While it’s just an actor and it’s pretend, it’s very emotional and a disturbing series of scenes to have to put together and film.”
Downey continued, “But thankfully, for us, in our faith, we know that it wasn’t just nails that held Jesus to the cross — it was love, and on the third day, He rose.”
The entertainer said it was a “profound privilege” to tell the “greatest story ever told.” She also expressed that these films and movies are excellent opportunities for Christians to be visually reminded of Christ’s sacrifice — and for non-believers to be introduced to the Gospel.
As Faithwire previously reported, Downey told CBN’s Faithwire about her views on faith and the power of prayer in a separate interview.
“[Prayer is] a very powerful tool that’s available to each and every one of us,” she said. “I haven’t made any decision big or small that I haven’t prayed about first.”
She also spoke about her new book “Unexpected Blessings: 90 Inspirations to Nourish Your Soul and Open Your Heart.” Find out more here.
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