Sexy Jesus, Part I

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Though it was the most-watched cable TV show in 2013, until recently I had not heard of the History Channel miniseries The Bible. In fact, if a glossy calendar in the grocery store hadn’t caught my eye, I may never have. “Who is that gorgeous guy with the billowy blond mane?” I asked myself at the checkout counter. “Oh my God!” I said then, for it was Jesus.

Of course, it wasn’t really Jesus. It was the actor, Diogo Morgado, who played him in the miniseries and now the follow-up feature film, Son of God, which comes out today. But damn is he fine! The actor-cum-savior hails from Portugal, where he’s already a household name. Based on the Son of God trailer, as well as the #hotJesus hashtag that’s been trending on Twitter, it looks like Morgado’s becoming well-known around here, too. Not only is he gorgeous, but he seems genuine and sweet, as when he teared up about his real-life faith to Oprah.

While the most recent, Morgado’s definitely not the first good-looking guy to play Jesus. Often portrayed as Caucasian with light-colored eyes and long hair, most representations of Jesus usually lack something in the way of historical accuracy. What is it about this particular religious figure that gives way to fantasy?

Here’s a handful of other actors, whose Jesus might make you see the light.

1. Christian Bale, Mary, Mother of Jesus (1999)

My longtime love, Laurie from Little Women (okay, he was also Batman and the eponymous American psycho), played Jesus?! Time to update my Netflix queue! In the meantime, I’ll make do with this fan video of Bale’s Jesus scenes set to music from Jesus Christ Superstar.

2. Ted Neeley, Jesus Christ Superstar (1971)

Speaking of which…in the 1970s, Ted Neeley’s Jesus glowed with a love for all humankind, and everybody loved him right back. It’s easy to see why.

3. Jim Caviezel, Passion of the Christ (2004)

You can say a lot of things about Mel Gibson, but you can’t fault his casting of Caviezel. Those eyes! Those lips! That Good News! Even when he’s just talking about the role, he looks real good doing it.

4. Jeremy Sisto, Jesus (1999)

As Jesus, Elton from Clueless brought new meaning to “Rollin’ With My Homies.”

5. Willem Dafoe, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)

I don’t usually worship at the Temple of Dafoe, but I have to admit, as Jesus he’s not too shabs. Just look at his arms while he carries that cross.

See how easy it is to eroticize a man who died at still-beautiful 33 and suffered bravely yet tenderly? Over the next couple weeks I will continue to explore the intersection of Jesus and Passion, so check back for more sexy Jesuses in fine art and popular culture!

Photo courtesy of Everett

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