Rooney Mara, who is totally against whitewashing, stars in Mary Magdalene, which features Joaquin Phoenix as white Jesus. The cast also includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as Peter, who denied Jesus three times, and Tahar Rahim as Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. So three cheers for inclusive casting?
In 2001, forensic anthropologist Richard Neave famously created a model that suggested what the Galilean may have looked like. But as no physical description of Jesus exists in the Bible, his appearance and race have long been a matter of debate. Nonetheless, Phoenix joins a long tradition of white men playing Jesus that includes Max von Sydow (The Greatest Story Ever Told), Willem Dafoe (The Last Temptation of Christ), Jeffrey Hunter (King of Kings), Jeremy Sisto (Jesus), Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) Christian Bale (Mary, Mother of Jesus), and Ewan McGregor (Last Days in the Desert).
Mary Magdalene hits theaters in the US on March 30th.
H/T The Film Stage