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Roma Downey Discusses 'Ben Hur' With NRB Audience, Reveals How 'Touched By An Angel' Still Impacts Her Work

( [email protected] ) Mar 01, 2016 02:07 PM EST
Speaking at Proclaim 16, the National Religious Broadcasters' annual convention, Christian actress and producer Roma Downey shared a sneak peak of her upcoming film, "Ben Hur," and revealed how her time on "Touched by an Angel" impacts her work today.
Roma Downey gives an update of the upcoming remake of Ben-Hur the movie, and also talked about her experience of speaking at the 2016 National Prayer Breakfast before the president, members of congress, and religious leaders during the NRB Convention held in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 22, 2016. Photo: The Gospel Herald

Speaking at Proclaim 16, the National Religious Broadcasters' annual convention, Christian actress and producer Roma Downey shared a sneak peak of her upcoming film, "Ben Hur," and revealed how her time on "Touched by an Angel" impacts her work today.

During the evangelical event's opening session on Tuesday night, the Irish actress revealed that she and husband, Mark Burnett, have never made a decision "big or small" that they haven't prayed about.

She pointed to the success "The Bible" miniseries, "Son of God," and "AD: The Bible Continues" in stating that she and Burnett feel "privileged" to have a platform to tell stories that glorify God and bring hope.

"The name of our company is 'Lightworkers' because we believe it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness," Downey told attendees gathered at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. "That's what we're committed to doing."

This summer, Downey and Burnett, in collaboration with MGM and Paramount, will release their latest film, "Ben Hur." The highly anticipated film tells the story of a Palestinian Jewish man consumed with anger and hatred toward the Roman empire, but is changed forever after a series encounters with Jesus Christ.

"It's been the most riveting opportunity of our careers," Downey said of her experience working on the upcoming film, which stars Jack Huston and Toby Kebbell. "It's a feast, a beautiful re-imagining of this epic story. I think that the movie in many ways is a Trojan horse, because it's an action/adventure movie and it delivers on that, and viewers won't be disappointed with that. It's epic. But...it's a story of redemption, a story of reconciliation, a story about forgiveness."

Not only did they hire the best stuntmen and designers to work on the film, but also have the same horse trainer and makeup artist from the classic 1959 film, the actress said.

"This film has been made lovingly," she explained, "This is a message of mercy and love and compassion and forgiveness."

Downey revealed that even today, she meets a number of people who were impacted by her character, Monica, on "Touched by an Angel."

"'Touched by an Angel' had a very simple premise: there is a God and he loves us and he wants to be part of our lives," Downey said. "We've taken that premise and weaved it through the work that we're doing."

"Ben Hur" will hit theaters nationwide on August 12, 2016.

According to its website, the NRB's Proclaim 16 is a multi-day convention that "connects, equips, and edifies thousands of Christian communicators - from broadcasters to producers, writers to publishers, managers to pastors, artists to consultants."

In addition to Downey, other speakers at the multiday NRB event included theologian Al Mohler, Republican presidential candidates Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren, Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham, and Fox News contributor Todd Starnes.