TV News

Roma Downey of The Bible: How I Found Jesus (the Actor)

03/10/2013 at 07:00 PM EDT

The Bible: Roma Downey Tells How She Found Jesus (Actor)
Romey Downey and Diogo Morgado
Casey Crawford; Joe Alblas
For Roma Downey, casting just the right actor to play the Son of God in the The Bible tested even her usually strong faith.

"We actually were only six weeks away from beginning principal photography and we still had not cast the role of Jesus," Downey tells PEOPLE of producing the hit History channel miniseries. "To say that we were anxious is an understatement."

In desperation, Downey sent out an email to friends with the subject line "Looking for Jesus."

"The prayer circle went out and the prayer was answered," the former Touched by an Angel star says of a friend suggesting Diogo Morgado for the role.



After watching Morgado's taped audition, Downey was eager to schedule a meeting but was worried meeting in person would prove difficult for the Portugal-based actor.

"I was a little disheartened and didn't know logistically how I was going to make that work," says Downey, who also plays Mother Mary in the series. "I spoke to his agent and he said, 'Actually, he's traveling and in Los Angeles.' I said, 'Hallelujah.' "

In less than 24 hours Morgado, 33, was walking down the garden path of Downey's home to meet with her and her husband, producer Mark Burnett.

"I grabbed Mark and we peeked out the window to see him approach," Downey says. "I turned to my husband and said, 'There he is. That's our Jesus.' "



The Portuguese television actor will be featured in the second half of the 10-part miniseries, which airs every Sunday through Easter (see a preview of this Sunday's show below). And Downey is confident the actor will make a major impact on viewers.

"I think he will define this role for generations," she says of Morgado. "He's just a beautiful actor inside and out. This is going to make him a big star."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

What to Watch Today

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters