The Bible is one of the most beloved, revered and read books in the world.
Considered the Greatest Story Ever Told, the tome is being been brought to life in the History Channel’s epic 10-hour miniseries, “The Bible,” which debuted March 3 and will culminate on Easter.
The Bible features strong performances, exotic locales and dazzling visual effects that breathe life into the dramatic tales of faith and courage from Genesis through Revelation.
The cast includes Portuguese actor, Diogo Morgado as Jesus Christ and Roma Downey as Mother Mary. And for the first time since their award winning collaboration on Gladiator, Oscar® and Grammy® winning composer Hans Zimmer reunites with acclaimed vocalist Lisa Gerrard to create the majestic musical backdrop for this epic production.
The show, narrated by Emmy® Award-winning actor Keith David, is executive produced by Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor) and Downey (Touched by an Angel).
I caught up with Keith David recently to discuss his participation in The Bible and what’s up next for the talented thespian.
DD: How did you come to be the narrator of this epic mini-series?
KD: They contacted me. I’ve done several narrations for the BBC. I don’t know how exactly Roma [Downey] came to talk to me. It was something I was more than happy to do. I love narrating historical material especially when it pertains to The Bible. I’ve done several on King David. At one time I wanted to be a minister. When I was seven years old. I also wanted to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a pediatrician. But, I can be an actor and I can do all these things.
DD: The Bible is one of the most beloved books around. How does one prepare to narrate the Bible? What was your thought process in narrating this show? Was it a different approach from your other work?
KD: I have a director. There are two different things going on here. I also narrated God and All of Us. I did it on tape. In the movie what you see are enactments on the story. Then the narration comes in to introduce the story and link the stories. I read it and I did hear some of the music that was going to be underneath me. I was familiar with all the stories. I was interested in how they were telling it. You try to fit into that.
DD: In narrating, were you in a booth with video of the show, or were you doing it blind?
KD: Mostly I would do it wild. There were some things I wanted to see to lead into. Some of the narration can stand alone, while some of the other comes directly from the story you just saw or a comment you just heard. It was helpful to see that.
DD: When did you record The Bible and how long was the process?
KD: We finished in December last year. We had some pickups this January. It was a relatively quick process. They had shot the movie already. Our work was easy.
DD: In narrating, did you learn anything new about the Bible that you didn’t already know?
KD: These stories I was familiar with. They are novelized depictions. Some things you have to take liberties with in what was said. We’ve all seen the Ten Commandments and The Robe. It was a lovely story. I didn’t learn anything from the material, but you get insight.
DD: Are you a religious man?
KD: I’m not a religious man. I’m a man of spirit. Religion can get political. I believe in God and spirit. I believe in church. I’ve been baptized. I’ve gone to Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal and God of Church and Christ.
DD: What’s your favorite scripture?
KD: Psalm 116 – the protection of the Lord. He is watching over me.
DD: You’re an EMMY winning actor with a diverse list of credits.
KD: By the grace of a good GOD.
DD: What’s happening with your music?
KD: I’m working on a symphony concert – doing some music of Sam Cooke. Cooke and Cole by Keith.
DD: What’s up next for you?
KD: Doing Joe Turners Come and Gone at the Mark Taper. It will be directed by Phylicia Rashad. It will open somewhere around April 25.
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The Bible is coming to Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD April 2 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
The four-disc Blu-ray and DVD set dives deeper into the making of the series and features a behind-the-scenes look at how the groundbreaking docudrama came together. Interviews with producers, directors, and cast illustrate creative collaboration on-set and off and show how the remarkable Moroccan scenery was transformed into the world of the Bible.
“The Bible” series is produced for The History Channel by Lightworkers Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication. Executive Producers for The History Channel are Dirk Hoogstra and Julian P. Hobbs.