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Diogo Morgado Is Acting with a Purpose

Son of God star Diogo Morgado talks overcoming fear and finding inspiration in his latest film, Love Finds You In Valentine

Diogo Morgado stars in Love Finds You In Valentine
Credit: Leroy Hamilton

Actor Diogo Morgado — who shot to stardom thanks to his role as Jesus in the 2014 film Son of God — is taking his talents to the small screen, starring in the latest UPtv-produced movie, Love Finds You in Valentine.

“I want [to be a part of a story] where people were overcoming obstacles and where, at the end, people would have an uplifting, hopeful feeling about life,”Morgado tells Guideposts.org.

The inspiring TV movie does just that. 


Morgado plays Derek, a man with a troubled past who was forced as a kid to survive on the streets of Chicago before finding a home with his adoptive family in the small town of Valentine, Nebraska. One Tree Hill actress Michaela McManus stars as the film’s protagonist Kennedy Blaine, the heiress to a large piece of land in a town she’s never been to that comes with a complicated legacy. The two find a connection in a place called Circle Cross Ranch.

For Morgado, it was important that his character be more than just the hunky love interest.

“We made sure we brought something deeper and more meaningful than your generic love story,” Morgado says of himself and director Curtis Grey.

The actor spent weeks prepping for the role, pulling from the book the film is based on for inspiration. He also had to get a bit dirty. Playing a ranch foreman and cowboy meant Morgado spent plenty of time outdoors learning to overcome a great fear of his: riding horses.

“I can do anything you want, I’ll fall from tall buildings,” Morgado jokes. “Just don’t give me a horse.”

As a 12-year-old kid, Morgado was hit and injured by a horse while trying to ride, causing the actor to forever lose his desire to saddle up again.

 But the challenge of horse riding ended up bringing him even closer to his character.

“To be honest, the fact that I was afraid of horses and I had to overcome that, it was true of Derek as well,” Morgado explains. “He was afraid of life. He was lost as a kid and he had to take a leap of faith with this ranch and he found his salvation. As an actor, I was overcoming my fear in order to honor this character. It became personal for me.”

Morgado — who has been vocal about his faith  – says the opportunity to be a part of a story with a positive message was another draw for him.  

“It’s not like I need to be a hero that saves the day, as long as that story keeps being told and reminding people that that’s what life is about,” Morgado explains. “If the message that comes out of the story is something I believe, I’ll be a part of it, regardless of the role.”

He hopes his commitment to honest, inspiring storytelling will come to define his career.

“I would love for people to go back and say ‘He tried, as hard as he could, to portray the wide aspects of human beings and of life.’”

Love Finds You In Valentine premieres Feb. 14th at 7 p.m. on UPtv.

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