Though even those who know Rose Burnside might not recognize her from watching The Chosen, she calls filming one of the most beautiful experiences of her life.
The 56-year-old Baton Rouge retiree was among the thousands, many from Louisiana, who made the pilgrimage to Midlothian, Texas, last summer to be part of the “Feeding of the 5,000” scenes in the show’s third season. All were unpaid volunteers.
For those who don’t know, The Chosen is the first multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus and also ranks as the most crowdfunded media project of all time. Dallas Jenkins directs and produces the show. The first two seasons haven’t aired on a major network but are available to stream on Dove Channel, Peacock, Plex, Prime Video, Tubi and UP Faith & Family, as well as new episodes starting in December.
Meanwhile, the premiere and the second part of the third season opened in theaters on Friday, another first for the historical drama.
The “Bread and the Fishes” scenes, as they are also known, will be part of episodes 7 and 8.
En route Monday to Tuesday night’s “The Chosen” premiere in Atlanta, Burnside, who attends Bethesda Church in Prairieville, spoke briefly about her “extra” experience.
What made you become an extra on The Chosen?
The Lord woke me up in the middle of the night and told me to contribute to The Chosen. And so I looked at my phone and saw that Dallas Jenkins was there when I was on Facebook. He talked about being an extra on The Chosen. So I made a contribution. I think about six weeks later they contacted me and told me that if I wanted to be an extra I could bring my family.
So who did the filming?
My two brothers – Arvel “Jimmy” Burnside and Richard Burnside. Both live in Benton (north of Shreveport).
Have you seen the other seasons of the series?
Oh yes I watched it. When I first started watching it was on YouTube and Facebook.
So what was the timeline between realizing you were going to be an extra and actually filming?
It was last year when they let me know I was an extra and then we needed time to get our costumes and everything together. I had to choose the fabric and all that and then take it to a seamstress and I told her how to make it and they made it for me.
Oh, so you were responsible for all of this before you left?
Oh yeah. We had to be in the entire 1st century. As if they had to grow their beards. We had to do certain things to qualify for the set.
When and where was the shoot?
It was in Midlothian, Texas. It is about 30 miles south of Dallas. It was the whole week of June 6-10. I drove to Benton where my two brothers were. We all drove to Dallas together and stayed there and drove to Midlothian every day. There we had to get on their bus and then they took you to the set by bus.
Describe the set to us.
Oh my god it’s amazing. And it’s just a beautiful piece of property. I mean it looks so authentic as far as Israel is concerned. It’s just beautiful. As for the terrain, with the trees and the pools, everything looks as it would have been in Israel in Jesus’ day.
What were you assigned for your scenes?
Now for The Feeding of the 5,000, we were all out in the field, because, you know, when Jesus took the five loaves and two fishes and multiplied them and gave them to his disciples, then his disciples distributed them to all the people. And that’s what they did for us on set.
How was a day on set?
There is a lot of downtime (scenes) in between. It was very hot. They were concerned about wanting to keep us hydrated and all and they did an excellent job. Basically, it was more like 7,000 to 10,000 people during those days of shooting. You handled it so well. They fed us. They had entertainment like Big Daddy Weave (contemporary Christian band from Mobile, Alabama) was there. We need to get to know the actors. We worshiped Jesus, we worshiped, we worshiped, we basically had a church out there. It was wonderful.
What age groups were the extras?
There were people who brought their children – from babies to teenagers – and adults.
Did you make friends during filming?
Yes, especially Alesia Robinson from Ohio. We are sisters in Christ. … We go to the premiere together. The friendships we made on set and how everyone was so nice, the atmosphere, it was almost like we just had a glimpse of heaven because everyone was so sweet and kind and lovely and helpful and caring and it was just the best experience.
The Chosen is now showing at Movie Tavern Citiplace, Cinemark Perkins Rowe and XD, AMC Mall of Louisiana, AMC Baton Rouge 16, Movie Tavern Juban Crossing (Denham Springs), The Grand 16 (Lafayette) and The Grand 14 (Lafayette). . .