Australian actor, George Xanthis, had his dream to be an actor and work in the United States come to fruition after scoring his role as Apostle John in the blockbuster series The Chosen. George joined DJ on Rise and Shine while on location in Prov, Utah, for the filming of Series 4 of The Chosen.
‘I remember the audition for The Chosen. It had such humble beginnings, but I think that’s what’s kept the show humble all the way until now. We still know where we came from. We don’t forget that we are a show made by the fans for the fans. And I don’t know what show can really honestly say that they have been built from the ground up. We’re so grateful,’ said George.
At the time, George was a struggling actor couch surfing at a friend’s house in Culver City, California. He didn’t have a car, so he would have to take the bus to auditions. Fortunately, the audition for The Chosen was in Culver City, within walking distance of where he was staying.
Most of the actors at the audition were auditioning for the role of Simon. The following day, George got a callback to audition for the role of Quintus, the narcissistic Roman praetor.
‘I grew up Greek Orthodox, but I wasn’t well versed on the Bible. I didn’t even know who Simon was because I always knew him as Peter. So, I go from fisherman to Roman, and then on day three of auditions, they told me I got the role of John,’ said George.
George is in awe of how well the entire production has come together. The writers, cast and crew have come from all over the world, from different faiths and backgrounds, to tell the story of Jesus in a unique way that hasn’t been done before.
Although George was raised in the Greek Orthodox Church, being cast in a religious production was daunting. While he felt connected to the faith and culture, he lacked Biblical knowledge. To prepare for his role, he sought advice from the priest at the church he attended in Sydney. He admits to not really absorbing the sermons at the time. The priest was very helpful with teaching George about the character of John.
‘John is impetuous. He’s a little bit of a kid. I think that’s what Jesus saw in him. You know, Jesus never picked the right person for the job. He picked the person he believed could rise to the challenge of the job,’ said George. ‘That’s what is so important about Jesus’ message. It’s about rising up and making yourself a better person. It’s also great television. I mean, if you get the beloved disciple starting off as the beloved, it’s not a very captivating journey. But we know he was a son of thunder. He is impetuous, and then he ends up as the beloved one. What an incredible journey for this character. And I’m so excited to be on that journey with him.’
While George can’t give away any spoilers on what’s happening in Season 4 of The Chosen, he does share that things are ramping up and getting dangerous for Jesus as he has Pharisees on one side and Roman soldiers on the other ready to take him down.
If you haven’t watched The Chosen series yet, click the link to visit the Vision store.
To hear George’s full interview with DJ, click the link below: