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Roma Downey felt ‘inspired’ to bring ‘The Bible’ to TV

Touched by an angel » Five-part, 10-hour miniseries is a labor of love — and faith.



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Making miracles » It was Downey and Burnett’s faith in the project that drove it forward. And, somewhat to their surprise, their different skill sets complemented each other.

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At a glance

“The Bible”

The five-part series airs in two-hour segments beginning Sunday, March 3, at 9 p.m. and continuing through Sunday, March 31 — Easter —on the History Channel.

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"My husband’s experience of shooting ‘Survivor’ and the helicopter shots he used — we were able to use that large-scale, big-crew-in-remote-locations experience to tackle getting the best of that crew over in Morocco," Downey said. "And we were able to use my experience of producing movies that are all about the intimacy of relationships, the connections between people.

"We were very reliant on each other. We’re having the time of our lives. And the miracle is that, after 3 1/2 years, we are still speaking to each other," she said with a laugh.

Most of the cast will be unfamiliar to American viewers — a lot of British stage actors and Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado as Jesus. The one exception: Downey as Mary, the mother of Jesus.

"It’s a cameo role," she said, "but it was such a privilege to play her. To see it through a mother’s eyes, to feel it through a mother’s heart was deeply poignant and so humbling."

She’s hoping that viewers will go read the Bible after they watch the series. Including those who may not have read it before.

"I think the faithful are going to find the series," she said. "But I also think that it speaks to people maybe who’ve never read the Bible. People who’ve never had a chance to go to church but who may discover the stories of our Bible by turning the History Channel on."

spierce@sltrib.com




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