In 2004, 36 year old Jim Caviezel was cast as Jesus in the Mel Gibson blockbuster The Passion of the Christ. Unfortunately his career took a nose dive, after portraying the Son of God. Gibson had warned Caviezel, that he would be rejected by Hollywood after taking on the role. Gibson it seems was right. Other actors who stared in the role of Jesus however, have not had their careers affected negatively.
Jeffrey Hunter played the Messiah in 1961’s King of Kings. He was 33, the age at which Christ was crucified. Hunter went on to other roles, which critics have considered better than his acting skills as THE King. Hunter died in 1969, at age 42. He was recovering from a stroke, when he had a bad fall, suffered another stroke, and passed away.
Robert Powell was the actor who portrayed Christ in the 1977 film, Jesus of Nazareth. Like Jeffrey Hunter before him, Powell also was 33, when the movie was filmed. In 2011 Powell gave an interview in which he shared how playing the role of the Savior affected him. he read the entire bible in order to get to know the character. Although he does not attend church services, Robert Powell says he doe believe in the divinity of Christ. And credits his movie role with the decision.
In 1965,world renowned celebrity Max Von Sydow took on the role of Christ in The Greatest Story Ever Told. Von Sydow was 36. He continues his career today, having worked with many of the great names during the golden age of Hollywood.
Diogo Morgado is the latest actor, to play the Son of God. He stars in the movie of the same name, which will be released in spring 2004. Produced by Roma Downey and her husband Mark Burnett, Son of God, borrows some of it’s footage from the successful television series The Bible, also produced by Burnett and Downey. Morgado had the lead role in the television series as well.
Based on reviews, Son of God seems destined to be a success. I am not certain why Mel Gibson’s movie, which grossed over 300 million at the box office, was like it’s leading man, not well received by mainstream Hollywood.
Diogo Morgado’s star appears to be on the rise because of his playing the Man upon whom history as we known it, (A.D., and B.C.) were founded. Unfortunately some of the attention going his way could be considered blasphemous. During a recent telecast Katie, former Today Show host Katie Couric referred to Morgado as a “hot Jesus.” I can only pray that he is remembered for giving a stellar performance, rather than his looks.