James Faulkner recalls being filled with ‘Holy Spirit’ in ‘Paul: Apostle of Christ’

Actor James Faulkner attends 2019 Movieguide Awards, Feb. 8 2019.
Actor James Faulkner attends 2019 Movieguide Awards, Feb. 8 2019. | Photo: Movieguide

LOS ANGELES — Actor James Faulkner, who's best known for his role in the series “Game of Thrones,” says he was noticeably filled with the Holy Spirit as he portrayed Apostle Paul in the film “Paul: Apostle of Christ.”

Faulkner stars alongside Jim Caviezel in the Affirm Films movie that was among the top 10 films at the box office in 2018 during its opening weekend on Easter Sunday.

"It's so important to a lot of people, I know people who it's been there study. They took their masters on Paul and I'm very pleased that the Catholic historians approved of my version,” Faulkner told The Christian Post on the red carpet of the Movieguide Awards on Feb. 8.

The 70-year-old British actor noted how different it was being part of a faith-based film compared to the secular projects he's worked on throughout his career.

“I was out in Los Angeles last year for the SAG Awards for ‘Game of Thrones,’ which is a rather different field of entertainment. And as marvelous and as big as it is, it's a very violent show and there's a lot of sex and a lot of nudity, but at least it's a fantasy show,” Faulkner said. “But I think that faith-based films, family films, films that celebrate our better natures are important, and therefore I'm thrilled to be here as part of the Movieguide Awards.”

The actor revealed that the opportunity to star in the biblical epic came out of left field for him. But after reading the script, he knew it was something he had to be part of. Faulkner described his role in the film as nothing short of “extraordinary.”

“It took me on a journey,” Faulkner said. “My wife was amazed at the difference in me. She said, 'If only you can be like this all the time. It's fantastic, you're filled with a completely different spirit.”

What Faulkner was filled with, he said, was the Holy Spirit, admitting that before he began working on the film his faith wasn't as strong as it is now.

“Jim (Caviezel) is a devout man, whereas I'm Anglican light. But I have some questions myself as a result of playing Paul and I view the world differently and my fellow human beings differently [now],” he confessed.

In a previous interview with CP, Caviezel said he encouraged Faulkner to put himself aside and embody the role of the beloved Apostle while on set.

"I prayed for James in 'Paul: Apostle of Christ.' I [recently] read an interview where he [James] said, 'I didn't play Paul, He played me.' That was my prayer [for him] — that he would, and he did, and he became him," Caviezel said.

Faulkner now believes that spirit can be shared with all. 

“It does make a difference and you can transfer that to other people just as an ordinary man,” Faulkner added. “I can be my nasty snooty self as well. But I remember what filled me when I played Paul and I was in another place.”

"Paul: Apostle of Christ" brought to life the story of Saul of Tarsus, who was known for persecuting and murdering Christians but went on to become one of the most powerful and important figures of the Church after he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus.

The movie features Caviezel ("The Passion of the Christ") as Luke, Faulkner ("Game of Thrones") as Paul, and Olivier Martinez ("S.W.A.T."), Joanne Whalley ("A.D. The Bible Continues") and John Lynch ("The Secret Garden").

Luke risks his life to visit Paul, who is held captive in a Roman prison under Emperor Nero's rule. But before Paul's death sentence can be enacted, Luke resolves to write another book, one that details the beginnings of "The Way" and the birth of what will come to be known as the Christian church," according to the film's synopsis.

For more information, visit the film's website.

The Movieguide Awards will be broadcast on Hallmark on Feb. 25, at 10 p.m. ET.

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