Actor Haaz Sleiman plays Jesus in NatGeo’s adaptation of the Bill O’Reilly book, Killing Jesus, premiering this weekend and playing again on Good Friday. I’ve seen the movie, and I was pleasantly surprised by it. But above anything else, I was most taken by Sleiman’s portrayal of Jesus. In fact, a couple moments of the movie (when he heals a demoniac boy and when he touches a leper) actually took my breath away.
Sleiman was raised Muslim in Lebanon, a fact that has ruffled the feathers of some Christians — that a Muslim would be cast as Jesus. I asked Sleiman about this when I interviewed him earlier this week. We also talked about religion in general and about what it means to live in this world. Sleiman is surprisingly forthcoming about his own faith, talking openly about what he believes and how he has seen God move. Here’s that interview: