Russell Brand and 'Chosen' star Jonathan Roumie discuss Jesus

Russell Brand talks to "The Chosen" actor Jonathan Roumie on June 21, 2024.(Photo: Locals)

Russell Brand invited Jonathan Roumie onto a recent episode of his Locals podcast to talk about portraying Jesus in hit Christian TV show The Chosen

Roumie said it helped Christians to be able to put a face to their Lord and Saviour, and that TV shows like The Chosen give them "an opportunity to reference what it is and who it is that we're putting our belief system into".

It also helps people to see that Jesus was "a real person".

"One of the things ... that we need, especially if we have a relationship with our Creator, or we desire a relationship with our Creator, it's only human for us to want to put a face to who that is," he said. 

Roumie shared a funny story where his sister was praying in church when his face suddenly "popped into her prayers".

He could relate to that experience, although for him it is someone else's face that he associates with Jesus. 

"And for me, obviously, I'm not thinking of myself. But you know, if it's not Robert Powell, I get images of Renaissance paintings that come into my head, you know, or something by Carl Bloch will just pop into my head. And he's one of my favorite artists who depicted Christ. And so, I want to have somebody to think of, to imagine, because He's a real person. Jesus was a real person. He continues to be a real person," he continued.

Brand recently became a Christian and was baptised in the River Thames amid serious allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denies. He said it was "time to have some Christian friends on the show" after being a Christian "for a little while now". 

The two have known each other for many years, though, with Brand explaining on his the podcast that Roumie was his body double in HBO's Ballers.

"So I'm able to say that Jesus was my body double," Brand quipped.

Roumie said that his two seasons as Brand's body double on Ballers was one of "many side-gigs" that helped him when he "hustled to pay my bills". 

He added, "Russell, you're an innovator and a truth-teller, but if you ever wanted to return the favour and be Jesus' body-double, I got you, and it'd make a great story."