Sarah (Dianna Agron) wears a green shirt and stands by a paper chainmail-style curtain.

Dianna Agron

The versatile actor plays a mother in Everardo Gout’s adaptation of Mark Millar’s graphic novel series.

6 September 20236 min read

Dianna Agron has been busy in front of and behind the camera since leaving behind her breakthrough television role as Quinn Fabray, the head cheerleader with the voice of an angel, on Ryan Murphy’s Glee. From directing and starring in one of the shorts that comprised the 2019 feature Berlin, I Love You to her celebrated performance in critically acclaimed Shiva Baby, Agron has made herself at home in the independent film world. With Mexican series The Chosen One (El Elegido), Agron makes her return to the small screen.

The actor plays Sarah, mother to Jodie (Bobby Luhnow), a 12-year-old boy who discovers that, following a freak accident, he’s developed Jesus-like powers. The series, directed by Everardo Gout and adapted from the graphic novel series American Jesus by Mark Millar, transplants the originally U.S.-set story to Santa Rosalia, Baja California Sur in Mexico and follows Jodie as he begins performing what seem to be miracles — while his mother holds back a secret. 

Here, Agron shares what drew her to the role of Sarah in The Chosen One and what the experience of filming in Mexico brought to the process.

Sarah (Dianna Agron) wears a green jacket and stands by a beautiful blue ocean.

Sarah (Dianna Agron)

Queue: What drew you to this role and project? 
Dianna Agron:
I met Leopoldo and Everardo Gout at the beginning of last year, and I was completely transfixed by their pitch and the visual lookbook they had created. I poured over a hundred pages of images that demonstrated how Mark Millar’s incredible story was going to be told, developed, and adapted to suit Santa Rosalia. Everardo’s eye and creative strengths are potent. I knew the images in that pitch document were going to be what we could actually capture, especially because the assembled team was extraordinarily strong.

How did you prepare for your role before getting to set?
Last year was a busy one: I went from singing onstage at the Carlyle for two weeks to dipping my toes into new psychological thriller territory while filming Clock to immediately flying to Baja to start filming our series. For the first time in a long time, there was absolutely no time to do much more than dive into everything as it unfolded in front of me. I was able to use life experience to guide me. 

With Sarah, I had to tap into a highly protective nature. She is willing to do anything and everything for the sake of her boy. I know what it’s like to possess those feelings. So, you channel that and let those feelings move you. And then there was the Spanish! I was intimidated by the challenge, but also thankful that I had a foundational base, as I had studied Spanish in high school. Still, it was tough! Luckily, I had a dear ally, our stills photographer, Carla. She was incredibly helpful; she could identify where I needed to change tongue placement and give me tips and tricks that would help me with the dialogue. 

Sarah (Dianna Agron) in a close-up picture.

Sarah (Dianna Agron)

What was the experience like working with newcomer Bobby Luhnow?
I am in awe of Bobby. He took on an enormous challenge and he did a beautiful job. It gave me a lot of pleasure to work with him and watch him grow; it reminded me of my first on set experiences. He asked a lot of questions about my career, things I’ve learned. It gave me the opportunity for a lot of reflection, which was lovely and insightful. 

Tell us about your time in Mexico filming the series.
I have always loved spending time in Mexico, and this experience took that love to new heights. The natural landscapes that surrounded us while working were diverse and spellbinding: salt flats as far as your eye could see that glowed pink as the sun set, thunderstorms in the distance with hues of purple and orange, blazing red skies as the day closed out. We took weekend dips in the ocean. There was a lot to take in and be thankful for. We were a family with great enthusiasm and passion for what we were creating.

All interviews included in this piece were completed prior to July 14, 2023.