He is most noted for his 2004 portrayal of Pontius Pilate in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Shopov revived his role as Pilate in the 2006 film The Inquiry. His dual roles as Pilate make him, along with Frank Thring, one of two actors to twice portray a character directly responsible for authorizing the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He has become one of Bulgaria's most successful actors, making his debut in 1981 with Dishay, choveche (Breathe, Little Man!). His body of work includes many Bulgarian films such as Vchera (Yesterday) and Sledvay me (Follow Me). He has also appeared in several low-budget US film productions including Phantom Force, Target of Opportunity and Alien Hunter. In his homeland, he is best known for his role in the movie Vchera, which became a symbol of several generations. The movie tells the story of young Bulgarian people studying in an English college during Communist rule.