Diogo Morgado, #HotJesus: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Diogo Morgado has some big sandals to fill as he takes on the role of Jesus Christ in Son of God. He was on Good Morning America today promoting the film, which opens on February 28.

Here’s what you should know about this righteous heartthrob.

1. He Inspired the Twitter Trend #HotJesus

Although Morgado does appreciate the sexy title, he told the New York Times that he hopes it doesn’t take away from the film’s message:

It’s a compliment, obviously, but I don’t want that to take away from what we tried to achieve. The best story is the story that gets to the most people. If the message of Jesus was love, hope and compassion, and I can bring that to more people by being a more appealing Jesus, I am happy with that.

2. He’s Portuguese

Growing up in Portugal prepared Morgado to take on this religious role.

He told The Miami Herald:

Portugal is religious country. I grew up with the Bible and its stories.

The 34-year-old also spoke to Elle about being discovered in his native country.

It was by accident! I was 14 years old. I did an audition for extra work as an actor, with two lines. Suddenly I was auditioning for a bigger role, and then got a part on a Portuguese TV series at age 15. My whole life changed completely. I’ve been working ever since then. By age 21, I decided that I had found what I loved to do, and then I went to drama school in Madrid.

Morgado is the first Latin Jesus in a film in English. This sparked 20th Century Fox, the film’s production company, to cater to the latino demographic.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, 3,000 dual-track digital copies of the religious film will be sent to theaters, with dubbing by Mexican actors.
In addition, the week before the movie’s released, a special about the drama will be aired on Telemundo.

3. He Played Jesus in ‘The Bible,’ the Highest-Rated Cable Show of 2013

The Bible, a 10-hour TV series on the History Channel, was the most-watched program on any cable network last year.

The actor spoke to The Christian Post about the poignancy of filming such an important movie.

One crucial scene in particular, the crucifixion, had a big effect on the actor. He said:

I don’t remember. That’s how big it was for me.

He also revealed what it felt like to hang from a cross:

It was painful… it was also magical and unique. I can tell you that one point being on that cross, I had a flash of my entire life leading up to that moment. That’s really overwhelming and that’s so powerful.

4. He’s Religious

He told ET:

Just [given] the chance [to play him], I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m going to try to just give an example of my Jesus.

5. It Took ‘Son of God’ Directors a While to Find Him

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(From left, Diogo Morgado, Roma Downey, and Mark Burnett. Getty)

Reality TV show producer Mark Burnett of Survivor, Shark Tank and The Voice, and his wife, actress Roma Downey of Touched by an Angel, are the creative team behind the film.

They also created The Bible.

Downey, who plays Mary in Son of God, told the Times what they were looking for in an actor to play Jesus:

We wanted an actor who was strong and charismatic, who could also be a carpenter. Diogo is 6 foot 3 with broad shoulders. He has a strong presence but also a natural humility. We were really looking for someone who could portray the lion and the lamb.

She told ABC that they’ve achieved their goal.

If you didn’t know Jesus and you came to this movie for the first time, I think you would get a beautiful understanding of what he came to do, of how he loved.