Actress/producer Roma Downey said she felt her “Bible” miniseries had been “hijacked” when she first heard the news that some viewers were saying the actor who played Satan bore a resemblance to President Obama.
“I honestly was horrified,” Downey told Oprah Winfrey, in an interview due to air Sunday night (April 14) on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (9/8c on OWN).
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Downey, best known as the star of “Touched By an Angel,” was co-producer, along with her husband — reality-TV king Mark Burnett — of “The Bible,” which ended its high-rated run on the History Channel earlier this month. Downey and Burnett were joined by actor Diogo Morgado, who played Jesus in the miniseries, for the Oprah interview.
Downey even went so far as to complain that the story resulted in Jesus being supplanted by Satan on the morning after a key episode of “The Bible” had aired.
“The night before [the resemblance story] broke in the news, Jesus had made his first appearance on screen [in the miniseries] and I was so looking forward to Monday and knowing that Jesus would be on the lips of everyone, that everybody would be talking about Jesus, and to wake up that morning and to have everyone talk about Satan, and for Satan to be the point of conversation, was really heartbreaking,” Downey says.
“We had screened the series [before it aired] to hundreds of people and no one had ever [mentioned a resemblance between “Satan” — played by actor Mehdi Ouzaani — and President Obama],” she said. “We love the President [and] we’ve nothing but respect for the president. We felt somehow hijacked.”
“Oprah’s Next Chapter” airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on OWN.