Life imitates art — and sometimes, at the same time.
Jonathan Roumie, who plays hippie evangelist Lonnie Frisbee in the newly released film “Jesus Revolution,” recently described the baptism scene in the biopic about the revival that swept Southern California in the 1970s as “one of the most significant scenes” he’s “ever filmed.”
The pivotal sequence comes when Roumie, portraying Frisbee, and Kelsey Grammer, playing Calvary Chapel founder Chuck Smith, lead a massive baptism service at Pirate’s Cove in Newport Beach.
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Roumie and Grammer were recreating a real-life mass baptism for “Jesus Revolution,” which debuted Feb. 24 and has surpassed $30 million in box-office sales, according to Collider. The movie, from filmmaker Jon Erwin (“I Can Only Imagine,” “I Still Believe,” “Jesus Music”), was originally forecasted to earn between $5 and $7 million.
As the actors and extras were filming the spiritually significant scene, onlookers, actors, and crew members sought baptism — for real.
“You see, as we were baptizing souls on film, people were hungry to kindle an authentic relationship with Jesus by being baptized in real life,” Roumie wrote in a social media post. “Some of these happened WHILE we rolled cameras, others happened just off camera.”
Roumie, best known for portraying Jesus in the hit Bible series “The Chosen,” went on to describe the scene as “an extraordinary thing to witness” that “felt like an anointing that was different to what I’ve experienced working on [The Chosen], but no less powerful.”
“Based on the unbelievable response from moviegoers, people are giving their hearts to the One who put them there to begin with,” he added. “And all I can utter… is ‘Glory.'”
During an earlier interview with CBN’s Faithwire, Roumie said he sees the timing of the release of “Jesus Revolution” as providential, particularly given the spiritual awakening that unfolded last month at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. He also suggested viewers’ interest in shows like “The Chosen” is indicative of a desire for something more significant and eternal.
“There is no coincidence,” he explained. “The popularity of ‘The Chosen,’ its success in theaters in the release last month, the release of this film on the heels of this week-plus-long prayer service, thousands of people showing up at Asbury University, I don’t think anything is coincidental or done by chance or happenstance.”
Roumie added, “I think God has a purpose in everything that He does, and I think this is a moment where the culture is being reactivated to welcome Him back into the culture on a massive scale, potentially a global scale.”
You can listen to our full conversation with Roumie here.
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