MIDLOTHIAN, Texas — Actress Elizabeth Tabish who plays Mary Magdalene in the multiseason hit series “The Chosen,” said though she was once a skeptic, the show has opened her up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“The Chosen'' is the most successful crowdfunded series of all time and is now on the verge of its season three premiere in theaters on Nov. 18. During The Christian Post’s set visit for season three while it was still in production at The Salvation Army's Camp Hoblitzelle, Tabish expressed her excitement for the new season.
The third installment will champion women in a way that is not regularly seen in entertainment centered around biblical accounts. The positive female narratives have been present since season one.
"It was incredible to read the first few scripts and see how well they wrote women,” Tabish told The Christian Post. “The New Testament, the Gospels, are very male-heavy, male-driven. It's the 12 disciples. Even the Catholic Church, it's male dominated. And I've always wanted to know more about the women in the Bible, to be able to identify more with the New Testament.”
Tabish has openly shared that she was a skeptic of religion coming into “The Chosen,” but by portraying the life of one of the best-known women in the Bible, her heart began to open up. According to the Gospel accounts in the Bible, Mary Magdalene was a woman who traveled with Jesus as one of His followers and was present for both the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.
The series opens with Mary Magdalene, and since the first season, the writers have fleshed out her past trauma. On-screen, her encounter with Jesus resulted in her being delivered from demon possession and PTSD.
The actress said seeing that play out made her role “relatable for people who have also gone through that sort of trauma.”
"I'm grateful to be able to represent any of this,” Tabish gushed.
When thinking about “The Chosen’s” impact on her life, she said: "It's been life-changing.”
“It made me revisit the Gospels, and after playing out these stories ... these stories of healing and Jesus' messages of love and these parables that are embedded with so much truth and love and really esoteric meanings, it's intense stuff and really beautiful, she said.
"I feel like every time I've gone to churches I almost feel like I'm missing out on so much of the depths of the Gospels. So, I feel like ‘The Chosen’ has opened that door for me. And in my own life, to be able to have the joy of being part of this show has opened up my hope and my heart in ways I wasn't expecting.”
The new season will introduce audiences to some tension and showcase the characters struggling and wrestling with their faith and God.
"That's what's fun about the show is these are very human and flawed people. We all are, and that's why it's so relatable,” Tabish maintained.
She added, “These moments of miracles, they're just awe-inspiring and healings, even for Mary to be healed and you think, 'OK, it's done, I'm fine.' And then these day-to-day things that start popping back into your consciousness, and you're offended by someone or you're holding onto a grudge or you're holding on to some pain or guilt.”
Tabish said season three features nuanced “interpersonal relationships” that show the audience how to work things out in a healthy way, which is “maintaining love for each other and communication with each other.”
The international hit series, written and directed by Dallas Jenkins, is about the life of those who closely followed Jesus Christ. It has been streamed nearly 408 million times worldwide, not counting DVD views.
The co-creator and art director of The Arthouse Film Festival said the global reception to the series has been "unexpected.”
Tabish noted that there's a demand for positive content and Hollywood has not picked up on it until now.
"I can't believe this is happening most of the time,” she said. “Even like season two being in production during quarantine, the whole thing feels impossible. [Also] the fact that it was fan-supported and funded in the early stages.”
Grateful to be a part of the series, Tabish concluded the interview by saying that she wants others to be as inspired with “hope” by the show as she is.
"I think that's what people need right now and probably have always needed,” she added. “Times are tough; this world is challenging and can be really dark. I think media and Hollywood sometimes add to that, those fears and anxieties and nightmares.
“I think 'The Chosen' is offering this content to inspire hope and love and inspire us to make better decisions in our lives.”
Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic