(Interview) Bruce Marchiano Hopes to Draw People Closer to Jesus With His New Series ‘The Encounter’
Veteran actor Bruce Marchiano has spent most of his career working on faith-based projects, but that was not originally his plan. He started out working on mainstream films until the opportunity to portray Jesus in 1993 movie The Visual Bible: Matthew.
Now the producer, writer, and director has played Jesus more than any other actor. In his latest project, The Encounter, he again plays Jesus, but in the context of modern-day America.
Marchiano, who recently sat down with AmboTV to discuss the Pureflix series, noted how playing Jesus previously has helped him prepare for his role in The Encounter. Yet, he confesses that what has shaped his portrayal of Jesus the most is his time spent in the presence of the Lord, seeking His heart.
“It’s all just a mindset of getting into God’s word and getting on my knees and spending an inordinate amount of time in prayer,” he shared.
Marchiano grew up Catholic but admitted that while he had knowledge of God, he had no relationship with God. In 1989 he became born again and fully committed himself to God. However, it was not until he played the role of Jesus that he sought to find who Jesus really is.
“It wasn’t until I was asked to portray Jesus on film that I sought and realized I’d never taken the time to discover who he really is,” Marchiano stated. “That became my process to get on my knees and cry out to Him.”
Marchiano’s desire for viewers is that they would experience the intimacy of Jesus, just like he discovered in playing Jesus.
“[My hope] is to bring to life the depth of intimacy he desires with each and every one of us. The greatest take away for an audience for me would be the hunger for intimacy with him and understanding that he’s interested in my day to day, moment to moment life,” the actor stated.
Intimacy with God also allowed him to appreciate forgiveness and redemption. Experiencing childhood abuse from his mother, Marchiano is also grateful for the redemptive power of God.
As Marchiano was strengthened to forgive his mother, his compassion for her grew as well. He was able to care for her during her final moments.
”‘I had to take care of her for several years after my father passed away and I can’t tell you the love He gave me for my mother.” Marchiano shared. “The understanding that she was a victim herself. She just was passing on the only way she knew how to conduct life.”
Ultimately God gave him complete freedom from feelings of victimhood and resentment, which in turn has impacted his personal ministry.
“The remarkable thing is the Lord taking all of that and carving in me sensitivities that He later used in ministry and in reaching out to people” he remembers.
When asked what advice he would have for those struggling with forgiveness, he takes a contemplative pause before answering.
“There’s no quick fix, it’s all a matter of doing the work….It starts with wanting freedom from that thing. I want freedom. I don’t want to carry this in my heart and mind anymore…And I’m willing to do whatever it takes to be set free.”
Marchiano is appreciative of the grace and glory that God has allowed him to experience throughout his personal and professional journey. He employs a waterfall metaphor to describe the feeling.
“It’s like standing under a waterfall mist on a hot summer day.”
The Encounter is available on Pureflix.