Top ten actors who should play Jesus
Now we’ve shaken off the last persistent pine needles and finally ploughed through the Orange Cremes at the bottom of the sweetie tin, our relief at Christmas being a solid eleven months away fades in favour of a vague concern re: the lack of mad religious goings-on to gently mock. However, the Lord has provided in the shape of self-proclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who is currently bombarding Best For Film Towers with emails demanding that Jim Carrey be flogged throughout the subcontinent for taking the piss out of Lord Ganesh and his enormously useful trunk. In the spirit of Carrey’s irreverence and with a definite eye towards irritating Zed further, we’ve been thinking about who we’d really like to see starring in the next inevitably dreadful Biblical epic – after all, if they’re going to be blasphemous then they might as well be good for a laugh too…
#10 – Jason Statham
Following hard on the heels of his competition-winning performance as Santa in Crank 3: Festive Spirit, we feel Jason Statham needs to continue stretching himself with mythical thugs rather than the common-or-garden kind. What better, then, than for him to play Jesus ‘Knuckles’ Christ in all-new action flick The Carpenter? Jesus is a lone ranger looking out for numero uno after a shipment of moonshine gets him in trouble with local gang ‘The Romans’, but as things get messy he’s forced to team up with other local hard men including ‘Silver’ Judas and ‘My Arse He Did’ Thomas. This shit just got biblical…
#9 – Zach Galifianakis
The Hangover, for better or worse, was a hugely popular film when it came out in 2009. Whilst fourteen-year-old boys everywhere eagerly await the sequel, we’re concentrating on spin-off The Hangover: Cana Nights, in which hapless best man Zebedee (Bradley Cooper) wakes up on the morning of his friend’s wedding and realises that all the booze got drunk at the stag night. Nursing the sort of sore head which makes a crown of thorns feel like a snood, he’s got to track down Jesus Christ (Galifianakis in a mercifully brief supporting role) and persuade him to remedy the situation. Also, Mike Tyson is possessed.
#8 – Sarah Silverman
Universally condemned by the conservative Right in America, Sarah Silverman’s Jesus Christ, Motherfucker is a gloriously obscene mockumentary in which the infamous Jewish princess attempts to pass herself off as the second Messiah to a variety of evangelical Bible Belt churches. With the help of some techno-wizardry from the team behind Mythbusters she’s able to fake enough miracles to convince one congregation that she could be legit, but the congregation starts to lose the faith once someone realises that she’s only racist for comic effect and doesn’t actually hate black people. Ah, Alabama.
#7 – Adam Sandler
It was perhaps inevitable that the continuing success of his production company Happy Madison would eventually lead Adam Sandler to cast himself as Christ, and in Holy People he finally got the chance. Set towards the end of the eighteen ‘lost years’ between Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple aged 12 and the beginning of his ministry at 30, Sandler portrays ‘Jeez’ as a slacker who can’t seem to pull himself together and take responsibility for his life. However, when a hilariously unexpected turn of events leaves him looking after a helpless lamb, Jeez realises that perhaps he has something to offer the world after all.
#6 – Mel Gibson
In the wake of Mel Gibson’s spectacular fall from grace over the last couple of years, many cynics thought his career was beyond revival. Mel obviously didn’t agree, and whilst there might be some sense in casting yourself as a sympathetic character in order to boost your public standing – my mum still hasn’t forgiven Alan Rickman for cheating on Emma Thompson – the way to do it is probably not by starring in a film as saccharine and ridiculous as CGI-fest Jesus Christ – Miracle Worker. Written and directed by the star, his hard work was wasted when an onset video surfaced of him kicking a camel in the vagina.
#5 – Jack Black
Oh, Jack Black. Why must you torture us so? No sooner had Gulliver’s Travels wrapped then Black was beginning work on Lord of the Dance, a modern retelling of the story of Jesus’ ministry which features the hard-rockin’ Messiah and his attempts to get through to the closed-minded squares of New York City. But! When Jesus walks past a fishmonger and hears some sweet riffs coming from inside, he knows what he has to do – form a 13-man superband and deliver the good news through the power of rock!
#4 – Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber’s feature-length debut Holy is concerning for several reasons; not only has the pint-sized megastar demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that his acting is on a par with his warbling, his fans have taken what should have been a sub-High School Musical romp worrying literally. Bieber plays twelve-year-old suburban kid Jesus, who discovers his singing gives him supernatural powers and attracts disciples – just what he needs to help Nazareth Junior High win the talent competition against the Pharisee Academy! Several ‘Beliebers’ have claimed they manifested stigmata during screenings.
#3 – Tilda Swinton
Κύριε ἐλέησον, Tilda Swinton’s swirling four-hour epic, seeks to visualise Jesus’ thought processes during the twenty-four hours immediately preceding his death on the cross. Taking place entirely inside the privacy of Christ’s head and filmed without CGI on a set swathed in white silk, Swinton plays Jesus’ inner self with her uniquely creepy brand of forceful androgyny. A soundtrack by Florence and the Machine heightens the drama nicely, but when all’s said and done this is a very long film of a woman, in a shift, running around in circles until she suddenly falls over.
#2 – Hugh Laurie
When the wildly successful House M.D. was finally cancelled, Hugh Laurie was loath to give up the character he’d spent years refining – so instead of leaving Gregory House to moulder, he renamed him and transposed his practice to 1st century Judah. In Christ, S.G., the cantankerous Messiah hobbles around Jerusalem with his team of diagnosticians disciples as they desperately try different methods of invoking the Holy Spirit to cure lepers and cripples. Christ sits in the shade, cracking jokes and turning huge quantities of water into wine for his own use, and then cures the afflicted with a touch.
#1 – Samuel L Jackson
It’s pretty much a given that Samuel L Jackson can perform any given task in a more badass fashion than anyone else on earth, and I don’t see why ‘Son of God and Redeemer of all Mankind’ should be any different. In Cross, Nazarene street kid Jesus grows up to take on the mantle of Christ, protector of the weak and very much a ‘kick first, forgive later’ kind of guy. The killer line “Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking money-lenders in this motherfucking temple!” will have you falling on your knees as you recognise the true Prince of Peace – the peace you don’t find until everyone else is dead.
Think we missed anyone? Think this whole blog was riotously inappropriate? Let us know below!