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HomeArticle‘The Chosen’ actress Elizabeth Tabish talks Season Four and her own personal faith journey

‘The Chosen’ actress Elizabeth Tabish talks Season Four and her own personal faith journey

‘The Chosen’ actress Elizabeth Tabish talks Season Four and her own personal faith journey

Elizabeth Tabish as Mary Magdalene in Season Four of “The Chosen.” / The Chosen / Mike Kubeisy

 

By Francesca Pollio Fenton

CNA Staff, Mar 12, 2024 / 06:00 am (CNA).

Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers about Season Four of “The Chosen.” 

Season Four of the hit series “The Chosen” has officially made its debut in theaters. The season focuses on the time leading up to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and includes important biblical moments such as the raising of Lazarus and the healing of the Roman Centurion’s servant.

In a beautiful moment between Mary Magdalene and Jesus, she turns to him and expresses the sadness she is feeling. Jesus replies: “That’s because you’ve been listening.” This follows the many warnings Jesus has been giving his disciples about what is to come and what he is going to endure. While a majority of the disciples do not quite understand what Jesus is referring to, Mary Magdalene does.

Elizabeth Tabish, the actress who portrays Mary Magdalene in “The Chosen,” recently spoke to CNA about what Mary is going through in Season Four, how she has grown over the past several seasons, and how being a part of the show has rekindled in the actress a love for the Gospels.

“There are a few characters that are following him that are aware that things are going a certain direction,” Tabish explained.

“I think because Mary has so much experience with grief and has processed so much in the past and is not unfamiliar with this process that she has a very unique perspective,” she said. “And that she knows that we don’t always get to understand why things happen the way they do, but she also knows that there is light now because of Jesus.”

The actress pointed out that because Mary Magdalene has been “directly healed” by Jesus, she believes that “there’s a trust there and a patience there. And then as everyone’s trying to sort of struggle to make sense of it all, I think there’s a patience within her and she’s becoming this observer, this witness.”

Over the past four seasons, viewers have seen Mary Magdalene at her lowest point — possessed by demons and suicidal — to then being saved by Jesus, falling again in Season Two, and then experiencing Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness.

Tabish called Mary Magdalene’s character arc a “very realistic portrayal of growth, which is so often two steps forward, one step back.”

She added: “I think in Season Four we really see that version of her — where she feels confident in being in this group and she feels comfortable sharing her opinions and her thoughts on things and those thoughts are sometimes what is needed and what is helpful for others to process their own grieving.”

Mary Magdalene’s growth throughout the show has also given Tabish “permission to grow,” she shared.

“We see her keep trying to get better and be a better follower and student and observer and listener, and for me that’s been beautiful to get to play that and also get to apply it to my own life,” Tabish said.

“We are allowed to change, we are allowed to grow, and that’s such a beautiful gift because that’s the whole point of life — to keep growing and keep trying to be a better person, and that means caring for others, that means focusing less on yourself and your own pain and your own past and more on others. And I think that is the goal that Mary really represents to me, and that’s the goal of what our lives should be, too.”

 

The 37-year-old actress has spoken openly about being on the verge of quitting acting right before she booked her job on “The Chosen.” She told CNA that she was only booking jobs for commercials and wasn’t earning enough money to make a living.

“Creatively I was just so frustrated and I just couldn’t see the path forward,” she expressed. “I just couldn’t imagine what was next, and that can lead to some feelings of despair and sort of a sense of being lost in the world.”

When she booked the job to play Mary Magdalene, she explained that she had such a “direct connection and emotional relationship” with the character that it was “uncanny.”

“It was immediately this sort of wake-up. It shook me out of a mental fog I think, or maybe a spiritual fog,” Tabish said.

She shared that she was “very cynical” before joining the show.

“I only saw the bad in religion and churches and the hypocrisy and the abuse and I was very disappointed in some church experiences and some interactions with very devout church-going people,” she expressed. “And so I kind of just threw the baby out with the bathwater. I thought ‘this is hypocritical and this isn’t the Jesus that I grew up with.’”

However, after being a part of “The Chosen” and seeing the way Jesus has been portrayed in the show, she was reminded of the Gospel stories she loved in childhood.

“It has reminded me who Jesus is,” she shared. “The show is not Jesus, but it reminds us of who Jesus was and is. And that has made me go back to the Gospels and reread these things that I did in childhood, that I loved in childhood.”

“The show just brings up so many beautiful points that should not be lost just because someone from church was mean to you one time in the sixth grade,” she added. “Let go of all of that because these stories are way more important than our personal opinions about specific churches or denominations.”

“Ultimately your actual direct and personal relationship with God and with Jesus is the thing — that’s the most important part of this,” she shared.

Season Four does not currently have a scheduled date for release on streaming services or on “The Chosen” app. Dallas Jenkins, creator, director, and co-writer of “The Chosen,” announced on March 10 in a video that due to legal matters the company is facing, the release of the current season will be delayed.

 

 

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