NEW YORK, NY March 28, 2015— On Monday PolitiWeek attended the advanced screening of ‘Killing Jesus’, the movie, based on the New York Times best-seller of the same name by author and executive producer Bill O’Reilly (FOX News). O’Reilly introduced the film asking:“ How does a poor carpenter become the most famous person in civilization?”
“ How does a poor carpenter become the most famous person in civilization?” —Bill O’Reilly, Executive Producer
The movie, co-produced by Ridley Scott, Oscar-nominated director of Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down, premieres tonight — Sunday March 29, 2015 — on the National Geographic Channel. Encore presentations will air on the Fox News Channel on Good Friday and Easter Sunday at 8/11:00 pm EST.
In one-on-one interviews with O’Reilly and the film’s cast, I asked O’Reilly why he wrote Killing Jesus as the fourth installment of his historical book series (succeeding Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Patton) and he said: “Come on, Jesus is the most famous guy in the World, so I had to write the book on him”.
O’Reilly described the film as similar to the book in that it was the Jesus story told from the political perspective highlighting the various plays for power leading to His crucifixion. It’s a historically accurate account of a coup d’etat to overthrow the most controversial leader ever—Jesus Christ. Indeed, the film, much like the book, personifies theses events in a clear and convincing manner.
The synergy displayed by the cast was evident throughout. As expected, Kelsey Grammer delivered a powerful performance as King Herod. Emmanuelle Chiriquí of HBO’s Entourage series and 2015 feature film was spot on in her role as Herodias, the wife of Antipas. “Working with this cast was amazing!” said Chiriquí. She continued “Later this year I’ll be reprising my role as Sloan McQuewick in the Entourage feature film.” set for release in June 2015.
British actress Stephanie Leonidas co-starred as Salome the daughter of Herodias and said “Filming on location in Morocco was wonderful and working with such talented actors created great energy on the set. Being part of such a historically significant film was an honor”.
LA actor Haaz Sleiman from the TV series Nurse Jackie starred as Jesus of Nazareth. Sleiman, a Muslim born in Lebanon, said it was a surreal experience to play the Prophet Jesus whom he’ learned so much about since he was a child. “Jesus, is probably mentioned just as much in Mohammed in the Quran –it was such an honor to be a part of this project. Who would’ve thought I’d make a movie with Kelsey Grammar or be on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor talking about it? It’s really a blessing.” Said Sleiman.
O’Reilly told the Washington Times: “If you have read ‘Killing Kennedy, you know that Martin Dugard (co-author) and I are not conspiracy theorists. We write from a factual point of view, with no axes to grind.”
The film adaptation of Killing Jesus, albeit long, captures the factual and historical analysis that comprises the 2013 best selling book. Just in time for Easter, Killing Jesus is sure to have history buffs and political junkies glued to the National Geographic screen tonight.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rich Valdes is an entrepreneur and media contributor with management experience in politics, higher education, and marketing. Rich is an alumnus of Governor Chris Christie’s Administration, former columnist with The Washington Times, Communities Digital News, and former Producer/National Field Director for Special Operations at James O’Keefe’s investigative filmmaking group, Project Veritas.
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