Bruce Marchiano is an actor with a long and distinguished career. After getting his start on "Murder, She Wrote" and playing the villain, Marchiano got the opportunity of a lifetime. He was able to play Jesus on "The Gospel According to Matthew" and "The Visual Bible." From then on, Marchiano's career turned around and he has done Christian projects. Marchiano spoke with The Christian Post about his latest work, "The Encounter: Paradise Lost" and how it felt to portray the Son of God.
Why did you decide to work on "The Encounter: Paradise Lost"?
For me, and my make-up and what I feel is important as an actor, any chance to bring "Jesus to life" for people, to introduce people to Jesus, you can count me in. When I was offered this opportunity, there wasn't much of a decision to make. I could tell [the producers] were honest and spoke the truth about Jesus, so I signed up.
What was it like to portray Jesus on film and TV?
How do you do it justice? That was the question that made me hesitate. For me, personally, it was the most illuminating, life-changing, humbling, scary, dangerous and yet most exciting experience I guy could ever ask for. You know, there's a cliché that familiarity breeds contempt, and I think if anyone breeds that, it's Jesus.
We get so blasé about these realities and who he is; and suddenly you're there re-enacting his heart, his nature, and it is just mind-blowing. After a day portraying Jesus, I would just get on my face, cry, and praise the Lord.
Jesus was the first nice guy I ever played. I just had these ethnic looks, and when you have those, you tend to be channeled into the bad guy roles and then suddenly you're playing Jesus. And I haven't looked back since.
What is your faith like? Did it come at an early age or later in life?
It came along later in life- I was raised Catholic- and like a vast majority of Catholic, you're aware of God in your life but not truly aware. In my early 30s I was born again and realized the difference between trying to be a good guy and having a living relationship with Jesus. It was probably a year or two after that that I was asked to play Jesus.
What are you working on next?
I have a grand vision to make a major-potion Jesus movie that people can learn about here: newJesusmovie.com.
The films I do are small budget (as is typical of Christian industry) and I have a vision to do it all the way, to bring the Jesus story into the film industry. When I'm offered the opportunity, it serves a dual purpose, and I'll take that chance. I've also written several books that people can read.
"The Encounter: Paradise Lost" is available frome PureFlix.