the upcoming film “Risen,” Curtis plays Jesus in the story about the
events that took place after the Messiah’s resurrection. The film is
told from the perspective of a fictional Roman military official named
Clavius who is charged with the task of disproving the fact that Jesus
rose from the dead.
To prepare for the film, Curtis did more than just read the script.
and it was a really beautiful experience. I had very humble meals and I
lived monastically pretty much,” Curtis told Wenn, according to Scout.
” I could not not speak to my wife because she’s my other connection to
the Divine. I didn’t speak to anybody and I spent a lot of time in
meditation and silence and would sit for hours alone.”
47-year-old New Zealander considers it a miracle that he was cast as
Jesus Christ, considering he has played villainous characters in “Live
Free or Die Hard” and “The Last Airbender.” Other than the fact that he
has been typecast in many films, Curtis was surprised that he landed the
role that Hollywood usually granted to younger actors with fairer skin
“Jesus was crucified by age 33 and I’m in my late
40s. And when you look at my work, what makes you think that I’m right
for this role?” he asked. “It was a miracle. just thought I wasn’t fair
complexioned enough to get the role and I needed blue eyes.”
Curtis, gaining the opportunity to play Jesus was a pleasant surprise,
since the former altar boy once dreamed about doing so.
“I was a
devout Catholic as a child and I was an altar boy and served mass, and I
did the whole thing and had the crucifix next to my bed, everything,”
he revealed. “So when I became an actor and the question would arise,
‘What roles do you want to play?’ I’d say, ‘Jesus,’ and it had become a
Aside from Curtis, the film stars Joseph Fiennes
(“Shakespeare in Love”) as Clavius, Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”) as
Clavius’ aide Lucius, and Peter Firth (“Pearl Harbor”) as Pontius
When Curtis interacted with his fellow castmates on set, he continued to stay in character.
first encounter that I wanted to have with them is I wanted to wash
their feet without words, because that’s what Jesus would do. It was
lunch break and they didn’t know what was going on,” he revealed. “I
wouldn’t say anything. They were just eating their lunch and I’d just
point to them to come to me and I’d point to a seat and wash their
While the film centers around the foundational character of
Christianity, Fiennes points out that the film is told from the eyes of
“Risen is an incredible noir detective tale. That’s the angle that appealed to me,” he previously told USA Today.
“That’s where the detective work comes in. This is an extraordinary
story and well-known to everyone. But it takes us on this journey
through the eyes of a nonbeliever.”