Interview with star Haaz Sleiman, 3-hour movie premieres on National Geographic Channel, Sunday March 29, 2015 at 8pm *** 3 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
The movie ends with a suggestions of something bigger to come.
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2015/3/29 – “I will start by saying that I was raised Muslim,” says Killing Jesus star Haaz Sleiman. “I’m spiritual, but I was raised Muslim. And in Islam, we believe or Islam believes that Jesus is a prophet, and they honor him highly, and they respect him, and they follow his teachings. And they put him right side by side with the prophet Mohammad. A lot of people don’t know that. So, for me, as somebody who is raised Muslim, it is an honor to actually play Jesus just because of that.”
“But I also, myself, for the past ten years, have been heavily shaped by Jesus and his teachings,” says Sleiman. “I really believe in his teachings. They have affected me in such a positive way in many different forms and shapes. And so, when I got this part, it was a very profound and personal experience.”
The movies is three hours moves slowly and the story feels centered around Pontius Pilate. It’s more about the politics then religion. The reasons behind the crucifixion are not well developed. There is graphic bloodshed and much anguish. With Easter just around the corner you may want to watch this to be ready for the resurrection which is about hope.”
Killing Jesus is the third original scripted event for National Geographic The three hour movie will premiere globally in 171 countries and in 45 different languages. It’s the third collaboration with executive producer Ridley Scott and Scott Free Productions as well as with Bill O’Reilly.
Killing Jesus was shot entirely in the Moroccan desert. There were 250 members of the crew, more than 4,500 extras and 93 speaking roles. The cast is quite diverse. It’s directed by Christopher Menaul. Written by Walon Green. Produced by Scott Free Productions. Bill O’Reilly, Mr. Green, Mary Lisio, Heather Moran, Charlie Parsons, Ridley Scott, Teri Weinberg and David W. Zucker, executive producers.
Twitter: @NatGeoChannel, #KillingJesus, @haazsleiman, @KelseyGrammer