Mark Burnett Reveals Why He Cast His Wife as Mary in The Bible

March 6, 2013 9:00 am

Producer Mark Burnett, known for hit reality shows like Survivor and The Voice, phoned in to “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” to chat about his latest success—History channel’s scripted miniseries The Bible.

Roma Downey, Burnett’s wife who is best known for Touched by an Angel not only co-produces the hit show which re-tells stories from the Bible, but also stars in the miniseries as Mary.

However, Roma admitted she didn’t initially intend to play the role of Mary, revealing: “For me I went over to Morocco with my producers hat on my head I didn’t plan to play a role [but] it was such a privilege to get to step into the role as Mary the mother of Jesus.”

So how did she decide to take on the role? Her husband!

Mark explained: “I said to her, ‘Roma you’re just not seeing it. You’re the perfect actress to play Mary.’…I convinced her and pushed her into it and thank god Roma said yes. Because when you see it Easter Sunday the crucifixion and see it through Mary’s eyes, Roma’s eyes, it’s impossible not to be moved.”

The 10-hour docudramas’ premiere last Sunday was watched by 13.1 million viewers, scoring a 3.3 rating among adults 18-49, making the show cable’s most-watched entertainment telecast this year.

Catch the next episode of The Bible Sunday March 10th at 8/7c on the History channel.