Amy Cockerham and Sean Hatton were “extra” excited after a recent trip to Texas.
The day before the Seymour couple served as extras in the filming of the television show “The Chosen,” Hatton proposed to Cockerham. She said yes.
That occurred June 7 while they visited Magnolia Silos in Waco, Texas.
Then on the way home, they went on a JFK tour and visited Hot Springs, Arkansas.
It’s definitely a trip they will long remember.
“Very memorable,” Hatton said, smiling.
“The whole trip, we loved,” Cockerham said. “I had a couple moments while we were there, like the sense of how it had come full circle for me to have the opportunity to be there after the show had helped me through such a hard time in my life. Then also, I just was thinking a couple years later, I’m standing here at the filming of this show, like who would ever have thought that I get engaged?”
“The Chosen” is the first multi-season series about the life of Christ, and it’s tabbed as “the free show tens of millions of people won’t stop talking about,” according to watch.angelstudios.com.
Produced by Dallas Jenkins, son of author Jerry B. Jenkins, who is best known for his Left Behind series of bestselling religious novels, “The Chosen” is the largest crowd-funded show ever made. The first three seasons are completely funded, and fundraising is underway for the fourth season.
Cockerham said Jenkins says he’s going to need seven seasons to tell the whole story. The first two seasons — eight episodes apiece — are available to watch on the Chosen, Angel and Peacock apps. Cockerham and Hatton were part of the filming for the third season, which also will be eight episodes.
They got that opportunity after Hatton’s sister donated money toward the show for his 40th birthday. Since his sister was doing a trail on the East Coast at the time of the filming, Cockerham got to go as his guest.
“It wasn’t even an option for her, but she really wanted us to be able to do that,” Cockerham said.
Filming for the third season took place in Midlothian, Texas, which is 25 miles southwest of Dallas. On June 7 and 8, they filmed the feeding of the 5,000. Cockerham and Hatton were part of the second day.
They had to provide their own costumes, so Cockerham said they got some things from their church and borrowed others from her mother.
“Just imagine a bunch of people in first century clothing, it was a sight to see,” Hatton said.
There were three color-coded groups during the filming, and Cockerham and Hatton were in the green group. The filmed from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
“Once we got over there, they sat us all down, and you’re just a sea of people sitting down, and the disciples are walking in between us and they are holding a bag of bread and fish and they are passing it out,” Hatton said. “At the very front, you can see the cranes with the cameras and Dallas Jenkins and everybody on bullhorns. We just listened to the instructions, and we would cheer or we would raise up and reach out for a piece of bread.”
After a couple of takes, they headed back to a staging site, where a couple of large white tents were located for people to gather. That included a popup gift store and other setups advertising the show, and there also was a stage set up where Christian singers performed.
“For the next five, six hours, we just tried to stay in the shade. It was so sunny and reached 110 degrees,” Hatton said. “Everybody had umbrellas to block the sun.”
It was challenging because of the clothing they had to wear, as the women had to have their hair completely covered, Cockerham said.
“They did a great job of being super organized, and they had everything that you needed. They were trying to shove fluids down you and provide sunscreen,” she said.
Cockerham and Hatton didn’t have any on-screen speaking parts, and they aren’t sure if they will be seen in any of the scenes of the show. But that all doesn’t matter to them.
“Honestly, it just seems like the episode is going to be so cool, I frankly don’t even care,” Cockerham said, smiling. “It gave me a great appreciation for actors and actresses and all of the weather and crazy stuff they have to go through.”
They also aren’t sure when the third season will be released, but they will stay tuned.
“I would assume it’s going to take awhile to edit because we just did the filming,” Hatton said. “I have a feeling that the feeding, this episode is going to be toward the end of the season.”
One thing they do know is their names will be in the credits at the end of the show.
“Everybody that watches it is really anxious to start watching the third season,” Cockerham said.
So how were both of them drawn to this show?
“A gentleman in the band at church had turned me onto it, so when I started watching it, then I couldn’t stop watching it,” Cockerham said. “I was actually going through a really hard time in my life, and it was in the middle of COVID, too, so it would have been about two years ago. I had really been struggling, and I had been diving into anything and everything to keep me positive.”
She said she grew up attending church, but the Bible is very hard to read, comprehend and retain, so the show was a visual, something she could see.
“They’ll say if you watch the beginning of an episode, it will say the backstory, storylines are elaborated, but it’s all based on factual things that could very well have been. It makes it very relevant to life today,” Cockerham said. “You retain these stories out of the Bible because you’ve seen them played out.”
She then told Hatton to watch it.
“I just recently embarked on my faith journey, and we started watching this show, and it got me hooked,” Hatton said.
“Then his sister, one day, she was really struggling with something, and I told her, ‘You know, this really helped me’ because I always encourage everyone to read the Bible,” Cockerham said. “It makes you more interested in the Bible because you see how relevant the stories are, so I had encouraged her to watch it. She watched all two seasons within a matter of two days.”
Then Hatton’s sister learned about the pay-it-forward opportunity and thought it would be a great 40th birthday present for her brother and a guest.
“I was like, ‘That sounds like an opportunity of a lifetime,’” Cockerham said.
“Just being a part of it was really surreal,” Hatton said. “Just having that many people, they had people from all over the world that participated in that. It was really spiritual, amazing.”
Oh, back to that proposal, Cockerham and Hatton have set a date for their wedding: April 2, 2023.