Actor Juan Pablo di Pace is not all that excited about being labelled as the new "Hot Jesus."
Di Pace, who takes over Diogo Morgado's iconic role for NBC's A.D. The Bible Continues, admits that he is flattered that people are taking note of his appearance but he says that it's not what his role is about.
"To me, it cheapens my experience of the role. It just means so much to me. That's flattering, that's great, thank you very much," he said.
Di Pace says he didn't expect to land the role of Jesus Christ for the Mark Burnett/Roma Downey production so he was both amazed and intimidated when he got the call.
"When I actually got the call, I was like, oh, now I have to really get into this. It was daunting and amazing. It was life-changing," he said.
He admits he wanted to land the role badly because the script moved his entire being and every cell of his body.
"For a script to move you in such a way, it just felt like I had to play this part," he shared.
Di Pace said that the role was very challenging as there was no amount of research that could prepare an actor for taking on the role of Christ for the crucifixion. Instead of overcomplicating his portrayal, he tried to make it as simple and human as possible to make it releatable to the viewers.
It seemed to work as the Di Pace shared the best compliment that he got for his portrayal.
"My mother was there at the crucifixion and she said to me, 'When you died, I didn't see my son die, I saw Jesus die.' and that was the most amazing compliment," he recalled.
A.D. The Bible Continues is the highly anticipated sequel to the epic hit The Bible miniseries, and follows the rise of the Christian church. It premiered April 5, Easter Sunday on NBC.