“The redemption and the hope is there in full beauty for everyone to see on Easter Sunday. Jesus rises from the dead on Easter Sunday. What better day to see that than on Easter?”
The couple said there were challenges along the way to finishing the project. Downey said filming on location in Morocco presented some challenges because the production lasted through cold desert nights and extremely hot summer days. She said another challenge was giving the film an “epic” feel while ensuring everyone's safety during scenes such as those featuring chariots.
“We wanted to achieve that epic feel, but on the other hand we wanted to make sure we had the human relationships,” she said. “Even though the stories are thousands of years old, the things that the people struggled with, their hopes and their fears, are not dissimilar to the things that we feel today. We wanted to make sure that the stories were relatable and accessible,” Downey said.
She also said the crucifixion scene was “spiritually challenging and physically challenging.”
She said they had to ensure the safety of the actor portraying Jesus, Diogo Morgado, throughout filming of the emotional scene.
Downey also said 48 snakes were cleared around the area where the cross scene was filmed on the day that scene was shot.
Before then, only one or two snakes each day were caught, she said.
“The symbolism of that ... we just prayed that all the snakes ahead of us might be cleared away as we bring this to world,” Downey said.
The couple said working together was rewarding, with Downey saying their friendship, marriage and faith were deepened.
Meanwhile, the couple said the series' success lies beyond the ratings in many ways.
“For us, the success of ‘The Bible' is that it's out there touching people's lives. The fact that there are so many people in this first viewing is fantastic, and we're very humbled, and we're very grateful,” Downey said.
“We know that over the course of the run of the series, it's going to go out all over the world. It's going to go to places that we have never heard of and touch people's lives that we have never met, and that is success.”