"The Chosen" series has impacted the lives of millions worldwide, but those viewers are not the only ones being ministered to. Actors Jordan Walker Ross and Giavani Cairo say the show has also impacted them personally.
The series, which focuses on the lives of those who closely followed Jesus Christ, is on the verge of its Season 3 premiere in theaters on Nov. 18. It has been streamed over 400 million times worldwide, not counting DVD views. Among those that it is reaching are the actors in front of the camera.
The disciple Little James, played by actor Jordan Walker Ross, is portrayed in the series as a disabled follower who has yet to receive his healing. Ross has a real-life battle with cerebral palsy and scoliosis, which has led to a noticeable limp. His disability made it difficult to book work as an actor until this role came along.
"With me, I always felt, and I do still feel like, one of my biggest purposes is acting. I was given this passion for it, and I feel like a gift for it. But I also felt like I was given a curse in my disability, and I didn't think that my curse will ever allow me to reach my full potential as an actor," Ross testified.
"But 'The Chosen' showed me that I can, and it changed so much in my life, both in my career but also internally. It helped me to stop viewing my limp and my disability as a weakness or as a flaw and to see it as something that can set me apart and something I can use to inspire others. And it's been life-changing in so many ways, but that's probably the biggest way for me."
Ross said his character is asked to go out and heal people, which is a struggle for him when he hasn't been healed.
"That's another thing that he has to kind of wrestle with. There's a lot of conflicting feelings, I feel like, for all of us," Ross said of the third season.
Cairo, who plays the disciple Thaddeus, agrees with Ross that" 'The Chosen' has made me want to be a better person."
"We talk about it all the time, the family that we've gained. But it's a whole other experience to see how many people have been touched across the world. We get messages every day from people around the world saying, 'You saved my life' or 'You've inspired me to increase my faith and go deeper' or 'You managed to help me bond this new relationship with my family,'" he said.
"As artists, I think we aspire to be something way bigger than ourselves, and you don't always get that opportunity, though," Cairo continued. "And with this, it's like people are like, 'You're giving us a gift.' We're getting the gift right back from these people."
Ross said what makes "The Chosen" different than other popular shows is that it addresses viewers' faith, "the thing they live their life by."
"So its a much deeper meaning and connection for the fans of 'The Chosen' than a lot of other shows and movies," he said. "When we get to interact with fans, it's like a spiritual experience for a lot of people. ... I'm so honored to be a part of that."
Cairo recalled the filming of a scene depicting the Sermon on the Mount in Season 2 with 2,000 people enduring cold weather in Texas. In Season 3, he said the series will depict the Feeding of the 5,000.
"Throughout the week, there were 12,000 people from 50 states and 30 countries in "the blazing heat," he said. "So it's humbling to see how many people this has affected. They are as much a part of it as we are. ... They are spreading love in the world at a time that we really need it."
In another interview with CP, Actress Elizabeth Tabish, who plays Mary Magdalene in the multi-season series, said though she was once a skeptic, the show has opened her up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
She said the series' impact on her life has 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.
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