“Son Of God” One on One Interview with Mark Burnett and Roma Downey

“Son Of God” the movie to be released in tomorrow February 28 will be the first Jesus film on the big screen in a decade. During the filming of “The Bible” series, creators Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor and many more) and wife actress Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) had an “aha” moment. The Jesus footage that had already been shot with Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado aka Jesus were incredible and at that moment decided “we should be making a movie”. Extra footage was shoot and then re-edited into film, which took 12 months to edit into a two-hour Jesus Story. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. It marks the first motion picture about Jesus’s life since Passion of the Christ, released ten years ago.

After screening the “Son Of God” film with 2 friends (one a believer the other agnostic) and my 14 year niece Anissa. I had seen how the visual Bible had left an impression on her so I had decided to take my niece along with me to the interview. This would be her first “press junket” and the perfect opportunity to expose her to one of the many ways that God calls his children to spread the Gospel. I had left her in the interview room as I quickly went to the restroom,on my way back I ran into Mark Burnett in the hall and we shock hands. As I walked into the room I see Roma Downey chatting with Anissa. I introduced myself which flowed right into a conversation on why I chose to bring her along.

Me: How can I not? THIS, is the generation that NEEDS to be seeing this come to life. I would have brought my son but he chose to stay at school.
RD: how old is your son?

Me: he’s 12, but we are actively involved in my church, in the children’s ministry. And she and my son volunteer with the kids. For me its important to have the kids involved in the church serving somehow. Last year when the Bible series came out, I covered it a bit extensive on my blog.

RD:Thank you

Me:I initially began my blog just to write about fashion and entertainment then little by little I started adding in Faith, and my blog just blew up!

MB: That’s great!

RD: People were hungry!

Me: yes, that’s it!

MB: that was a sign

Me: so I began to transition my blog to have more Faith

MB: Good for you

RD: well this movie is just a celebration of Jesus

Me: that’s exactly it! and I wanted to commend you both for stripping your clothes of this world and putting on the robes of righteousness. Because what you are doing just in your circle of influence to spread the gospel is just amazing.

RD: Thank you,this has been a blessing for us, a blessing in our marriage, its deepened our marriage working on these projects, deepened our friendship and deepened our faith too, so the blessings continues

RD: Seeing the movie get pre-screened across the country and speaking to people afterwards, hearing how its opening hearts. Bringing the story alive for those who are believers, it’s an opportunity to fall in love with Jesus all over again. But there’s such a strong potential for those who don’t know the Lord to come in and see a film on the big screen and see his life story presented in a grand cinematic experience and be touched and impacted, it’s very exciting.

Me: you’ve given people the opportunity to open up a dialogue

MB: yes its conversation starter, a great conversation starter.

Me: typically its said, stay away from politic and religion

MB: well were gonna stay away from politics,(Lol)

RD: but sometimes its hard to create that invitation for someone to come to church,but very easy to ask someone to go to a movie with you, so we see the movie as an entry point into a bigger conversation in your life. We’ve experienced a beautiful groundswell of momentum and support around the film, because I think many churches across denominations are recognizing that it’s a real good resource for the church for teaching and engaging. You know from the beginning of time we’ve loved religious art,than there was a period of time of stained glass windows, I think as humanity we’ve always tried to find a visual to bring our story to life. For many people they learn in a visual way and so for a lot of kids, seeing it in a movie form will engage them in a different way. That, will than invite you back to scripture and to church with a new comprehension of the story.

 MB: the way we did it, the concept of SOG was to not try to tell people what to think or tell them what they should feel, but just to present the tableau so that they would feel it and be emotionally connected to the story. This is a visual learning generation, in our childhoods it was The Ten Commandments, The greatest story ever told. Well this will be that, this movie SOG presented on the big screen, to be watched in community is gonna have a massive effect. It will connect emotionally with people and it will also connect intellectually, by going back into church and into groups, looking at things that were said, filling in the gaps. Clearly a two-hour movie, we can’t do the entire gospels. So we predominantly focused on John because that’s where the I AM‘s appear and as you saw we start the movie by telling people that he was there, in the beginning. John 1 is the perfect place to start.

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God” clear emphasis on was, than onto “the word became flesh and made its dwelling among us”

and people are seeing that and have said to us “what are you saying? that Jesus was there at creation and that Jesus and God are one?” we aren’t trying to say that, that’s what the Bible says! We’re just telling the truth and believe the stories. No movie has ever done this before, to be that clear on who Jesus is and its very important and it starts conversations. And we’re so happy and its been a great privilege for us to work on this together.

RD: but you know to have those conversations started around the water cooler, we’ve heard from people that they didn’t know how to approach the subject in their workplace, but when its told through the medium of film and television that it’s an entry point to that conversation. Or in families around the kitchen table or wherever families gather to talk. We worked very hard on the movie to ensure a PG-13  rating even though the crucifixion is hard to watch, but it is important and hoping that it will be a family experience. There’s something about seeing the story together in community with other people. There’s something about the collective sigh that’s so beautiful, in the collective cry that’s so beautiful and then in the Resurrection there’s something in the collective cheer, because that’s our story he didn’t die, he came back!

MB: Can you tell my wife is Irish? She is so poetic, only an Irish person could be thinking in one big sentence of poetry.

RD: the grand narrative, we wanted to tell the story as the Love story that it is. I don’t know if you remember the scene when Jesus is handed the cross he kisses the cross, we had discussed it in many ways that WE are the cross, humanity was the cross that he carried because he did it all for us, out of love for us. You know, I think by the end of the film it’s so clear and people are upset cause they feel the overwhelming and unconditional loving. And in the places that you are hurting, love is so healing. And we see throughout the movie the people whose lives are transformed by meeting Jesus. And WE watching it know it to be true because our lives are transformed by meeting Jesus, so its been just an epic grand journey for us. Our company is called Lightworkers Media cause we were tired of cursing the darkness and we wanted to be part of shining HIS light. It’s all about glorifying Him,and we are happy to be real noisy Christians.



Regardless of what you think of Jesus and the many churches and denominations that follow him, I think you will find this movie compelling, powerful, inspiring and educational portrayal of the most famous person who ever lived – whose impact on the world is second to none.

For your reference, I have included some information about the film below. If you’re in my area, I would be happy to attend the movie with you!

Disclosure: I was invited to pre-screen this film,there was no compensation. All opinions are my own.

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