I have always been a huge fan of Roma Downey. One of the saddest times for me was when I had to say goodbye to her character, Monica, when Touched By an Angel went off the air. It was a beautiful program and, I felt, it was such a necessary program. Sad times indeed.
Around that time was when I last spoke to Roma. But she is BACK! Roma, and her husband, Mark are the executive producers of, as Roma describes it, "an epic re-imagining of the beloved movie, Ben Hur." opening in studios across the country today, August 19.
It IS an EPIC movie, with amazing battles scenes, sword fights, and a chariot race that will take your breath away. I love the way Roma described how the race scenes were filmed, with cameras in the chariot wheels, in an old soccer ball... (Important note for me - NO horses were injured in the shooting, it’s computer generated when they go down!) The director studied Formula 1 and NASCAR races in order to film a scene that made you feel as if you were on the track, and the two stars of the movie trained for many months to do the race justice.
It is a larger than life blockbuster movie, but it is, again, as Roma describes it, about Redemption, Forgiveness, Reconciliation... and because it is both epic and intimate at the same time is why it is so very special.
Roma says to go see the movie and take your friends. I say go see the movie and take your enemies. This is a movie about how God’s love can transform even the hardest heart.
Listen to the two audio files of our conversation about the what Roma and Mark have been up to, the amazing Della Reese, the passion that went into Ben Hur, and simply to revel in the beautiful spirit that is Roma.