The new Pure Flix drama The Encounter showcases everyday people with struggles we understand well coming face to face with a character they come to know as Victor or The Man in their moments of greatest need. As the episodes continue, it becomes clear that Victor represents Jesus himself.

For any actor, trying to portray Jesus on screen is a singular challenge. But Bruce Marchiano returns to the role with a remarkable biography entry – he’s played Jesus on screen more than any other actor. Bruce takes us inside how he prepares for this incredible role.

“For me, it’s a great spiritual preparation. Film is a medium where the camera comes right through your eyes, and it reads your soul if I may say so. For me, the big part of preparation is for me as a person. I just can’t tell you the time spent in prayer and time spent in God’s word just trying to get my heart ready to represent Him.”

“As an actor, you have to do a script analysis of the gospels. And in my training what you do is look at the choices of your character. And ask yourself the question over and over, ‘Why would He do that?’ ‘What does that reveal about His priorities & His heart?’ The choices of Jesus in the Gospels are astounding.”

Bruce fixated on one choice in particular.

“He’s standing in front of Pontius Pilate, literally with all the power of the universe at His fingertips. And He doesn’t do anything. And you have to look at that choice and go, ‘Wait a minute here. What does that tell me about what’s in the heart of this man who is God?'”

“He’s got all the power in the universe, yet He never lifts a finger for Himself. There isn’t one story in the Gospels where Jesus uses any of His resources for Himself. You have to ask yourself, ‘What kind of man operates like that?’ So that’s the kind of actor analysis I do, and – to make a long story short – the revelation of His heart was life changing for me.”

Bruce Marchiano is the actor who opened his career with appearances in TV classics like Columbo, L.A. Law, and Murder, She Wrote. He’s portrayed Jesus in more films than any other actor, and he returns to the role in The Encounterwith 2 seasons now streaming on

On the Road with Bruce Marchiano

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