Interview with 'Young Messiah' actress Sara Lazzaro

NOTE: This interview was first published on until the site ended on July 10, 2016. Kellie Haulotte is the author. 

"The Young Messiah" comes to Blu-Ray, DVD, and On Demand tomorrow, June 14, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The Blu-Ray and DVD comes with exciting deleted scenes, feature commentary with the director and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film. Also last week, Universal released a new Church Study Guide by WingClips. For those who are interested in this, please click here.

Since the release of this film, I got the chance to ask actress Sara Lazzaro a few questions about her role as Mary, her favorite scenes, and about the other cast members.

1. First, thank you for doing this interview. My first question is, how did you prepare for the role of Mary?

When I first was told that I would portray Mary in "The Young Messiah," I was inevitably intimidated, but equally honored. I realized I was being invested with quite a bit of responsibility. Mary is the most definitive female figure in the history of mankind, but yet, she also detains a lot of mystery within herself. It’s a figure to which people project a very personal imagery. And this diversification is also expressed visually in the art that represented her throughout the centuries. I knew since the beginning that I couldn’t make everyone ‘happy’. Other than referring to the Scriptures, of course reading the novel by "Anne Rice Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt" and documenting myself historically, art – to me – was a crucial part to prepare for the role, as it was a reminder that I was legitimized to portray “my” Mary.
The Mary that was offered in the script of "The Young Messiah" has a very earthy and relatable quality. What transpires so beautifully from the writing is her human quality. And that was something I could relate to, something I could play. Personally, I am not a mother (yet), but I inevitably asked myself : what would I do if I were the mother of this child? How would I go about this journey knowing what she and her family had already been through and unsure of what was awaiting for them ahead? I had to strip down and make myself available and vulnerable to it all. There is a fascinating "quiet strength" in Mary that is perceivable in this story, but also in her universally. That strength, I believe, anchors itself onto love, faith and family. Funnily enough, what I think was the most important thing for me, was to ‘strip’ down and have every moment be lived, spoken and played with the most honest and instinctual nature I could access.

2. Can you describe a little about filming, "The Young Messiah?" A favorite scene, hardest part to film, locations, etc.

To me it was wonderful to film "The Young Messiah " in Italy. Being half Italian, it was a little like “going home." 'Cinecitta’ is a magical and historically meaningful place for Italian cinema, so to have had the opportunity to film there, for me it was an incredible honor. Matera in itself was the most ‘powerful’ location. It’s incredible the aura that that place radiates, and I find it was a crucial element in the storytelling of the movie. I was so happy our filming started there, as it struck a fundamental tone that accompanied us throughout the whole movie.

3. What was it like working with Adam Greaves-Neal, Vincent Walsh, Sean Bean, and the rest of the cast and crew?

I felt a great sense of harmony and compatibility with the whole cast and crew. It was just a wonderful group of human beings – cast, crew, director, producers, all the departments.. I do realize we were lucky. It was very easy to develop a motherly instinct towards Adam! He is such a special and talented young man. He has a knowingness and a sensitivity that is quite rare for a child his age. Vincent Walsh is not only an incredible actor, he is also a remarkable human being and friend. The relationship that we developed on screen was an eye opener of what it means to be a ‘team’ when being parent – in this case – to such a special child. Sean Bean is a great professional, very generous and humble. It was an honor to share the set with him.
Once again, I repeat, I felt very lucky.

4. Is there anything that you would like to share?

I think the most powerful aspect of this movie, and what drew me to it, is the simple yet universal message that it detains. I often say this: if you take all the names out (Jesus, Mary, Joseph…), the story stands – and it’s beautiful and powerful. What it ultimately speaks about is Family and Love, and these are two elements, two cardinal points to which anyone, of any religion, background or culture can relate to. That, is something we must not forget.

So I would like to thank Sara Lazzaro for answering these questions. Once again don't forget that "The Young Messiah" is coming out tomorrow, June 14.