Jesus Christ On Screen: Who Played Him The Best?

Categories: Film

It's the ultimate role because you get to be holy and look good yet suffer for your craft, all with the promise of a return engagement.

And a lot of terrific actors have attempted to nail the role.

Your divine choices:

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Willem Dafoe in The Last Temptation of Christ. He was hung all right!

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Jim Caviezel in The Passion of the Christ. He atoned for Mel's sins.

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Max von Sydow in The Greatest Story Ever Told, aka Incredibly Loud and Extremely Crucified

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Jeremy Sisto with windswept hair right out of a romance novel. Oy.

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Christian Bale. Mary, Mother of Jesus!!! I'm not cursing--that was the name of the TV movie.

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Ted Neeley in Jesus Christ Superstar. A hard-rockin' saviour who'd obviously seen a lot of California sunlight.

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Robert Powell in Jesus of Nazareth. "Turn the other cheekbone!"

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Jeffrey Hunter in King of Kings, aka I Was A Teenage Jesus. Woof.

PS: I left some out--like the Christ in Ben-Hur because you only see the back of his head--but the link and the link within the link both list more. Praise Hollywood.



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11 comments
LIMEN !
LIMEN !

Your right. He was great. And those blue eyes were spectacular. Even as a small child those blue eyed and blonde hairded Christ Jesus were so pretentious to me. I think that Jim Caiegel looked much more of a Middle Eastern dark skined and dark wire haired man. When I was 7 Iasked 5 of my father's Freemasons the truth about the blue eyed Christ ,and the world of truth came upon me. No the lies of Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus (The Great Murderer) of any one that tought differently than him. Was taught to me . And taught to me very well. So I studied all religions ,and I'm spiritual. Not religious!

Nonplussed
Nonplussed

Max all the way; I don't want a sexy Jesus.

Rogie
Rogie

"Disciples." Too excited by what I wanted to report.

Rogie
Rogie

More to uncover (sorry, I just fast-forwarded thru my copy). Brian's mum isn't called Mary, but the people call "her" (played by another Monty Python member) the Virgin Mandy. And there's an extended debate on the pros and cons of being transgender, when one of the disciplines demands the others call him Loretta because he wants to bear children. Proof that great comedians are always a step ahead of everybody else.

Guest2
Guest2

Brian from Life of Brian. Best Jesus ever.

Rogie
Rogie

Oh, and I forgot to add - in case some of you haven't seen it yet, he's probably the only onscreen "Jesus" to display his ... Biggus Dickus.

Lilly Munster
Lilly Munster

Ted Neely by far.  Edgy, introspective, political, and...a hunk. 

Rogie
Rogie

Sorry, my choice isn't on your list. For me, it's the late Graham Chapman in Life of Brian. I know, he wasn't named Jesus, but Christians reacted as if he was. Maybe because his character inspired idiotic fanaticism and got crucified in the end? (Duh.) Plus Chapman, as did the other Monty Python guys, played a few other characters in the same movie, including Caesar's best pal, Biggus Dickus.

JS
JS

That's what made the Ben-Hur(t) version of JC so interesting.... you never saw his face, so it was left up to your Sunday School imagination what he looked like.  On the DVD extras there is a photo still of the actor off-camera.  Very Italian and very hot.  I'm sure many nuns and priests would have left the church for one romp in the holy manger with him.

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