Lori Smith said she was pretty good at ignoring ads on Facebook, but about four years ago one caught her eye.
It was a pilot episode of a show about the life of Jesus Christ, and it was unlike anything she had ever seen before.
“He had a way of putting you there and was so captivating, you just felt so deeply connected. I was so moved I thought, ‘Whatever it is, I want to be a part of it,'” Smith said.
She had no idea her interaction with this ad would lead to a day in June 2022 where she found herself sitting in a field in Midlothian, Texas, as an extra for “The Chosen,” a show that was watched by tens of millions of people. people in 90 languages, according to its website.
“It’s a multi-season series about the life of Christ, but told through the eyes of his apostles and the people Jesus impacted,” Smith said.
The upcoming third season tells the story of when Jesus fed a crowd of 5,000 people who had come to hear him teach and were there long enough for them to start going hungry.
The production of “The Chosen” is entirely crowd-funded, and since Smith was an early investor in the ad, she was offered the opportunity to be in the crowd.
She jumped at the chance. On the day of filming, she was among a crowd of people from all 50 US states and 109 countries. A friend had sewn her Smith’s costume, a green tunic with a blue cap.
“I was lucky enough to get close to the front to see what was going on,” she said. Because of this, she could hear director Dallas Jenkins and actor Jonathan Roumie, who plays Jesus, pray before filming, and then could be nearby as he and others delivered their lines.
It was a hot day, so Smith and the other extras had been encouraged to bring fans and umbrellas with them to use between takes.
“They were so good, hydrating everyone – there were so many drinks and tents,” Smith said.
While a previous group that had filmed Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in winter had jokingly called themselves the frozen elect, Smith said they joked that “we were the elect roast, or feed the thousand fried”.
It was a special experience for Smith, who had been tied to “The Chosen” since its debut.
“It’s up there to get married and have kids — definitely one of those most meaningful experiences of my life,” she said.
His church, St. Luke’s Episcopal in Mountain Brook, has a group that watched each episode together and discussed the accompanying Bible study produced by the show’s creators.
“‘The Chosen’ connects to people of all ages and backgrounds,” Smith said. “You connect with it on such a deep level, and it’s amazing to see the reactions of others when they start to see who Jesus is and how he truly loves us.”
For more on “The Chosen”, visit watch.angelstudios.com/thechosen.