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This will be the defining visual artistic portrayal of the sacred text for years to come. We will reach places and people we will never meet.

Roma, how did the experience of portraying Mary the mother of Jesus affect you?

Downey: I have loved Mary my whole life. My mother died when I was a little girl, and in a sense, I think Mary became my spiritual mother at that time. I was so privileged to play this role. If anything prepared me it is that I am a mother myself, so I saw the role through a mother's life and a mother's heart. To watch your child be so brutally murdered is so challenging. I have always loved her, but I never really fully considered what that might be for her—remaining at the cross.

We filmed the Passion sequence in Morocco and my own family was there during that time. When I first heard they were coming, I thought that may be bad timing because I needed to be focused. But, in retrospect having them there and their love was so helpful to me.

Do you see this changing your future professional course in any way?

Downey: For many years I have tried to step into work that would be pleasing to God. I was so fortunate to deliver a message of God's love on Touched by An Angel for almost ten years. It is now such a privilege to be a part of this extraordinary Bible series. I am a person of faith, but being part of this project has deepened my faith.

Robert Crosby is the author of several books. His newest is The Teaming Church: Ministry in the Age of Collaboration (Abingdon Press).

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