Best of times, worst of times: Joseph Mawle
Mawle, 34, played Jesus in the BBC’s production of The Passion this year. Here he recalls the trials of filming in Morocco — and the physical and mental strain of putting himself in the shoes of one of the most famous figures in history
. . . . By now it was around 8.30am, the sun was coming up and the torrential rain had given way to vast blue skies. Filming began a short distance from the Crucifixion site. The heat was already making me sweat and the high altitudes were taking their toll, too. At the forefront of my mind, though, was the pain and exhaustion I could only imagine Jesus feeling as he stumbled with his cross through the narrow, crowded streets of Jerusalem up to Golgotha. Nailing my arms to the cross was made possible by a prosthetics expert using special clips, fake nails and latex made to look like blood-drenched skin. Then I had to bend my knees to the right, resting my feet on an iron peg, while a second peg allowed me to rest one bum cheek. Hanging there with your arms stretched out and your knees bent was one of the most common ways used to crucify people by the Romans. . . .Meanwhile, Doug Chaplin has an interesting post on Metacatholic discussing a remark made in the Bite My Bible blog relating to the depiction of the resurrection in The Passion. Mark Thompson (director general of the BBC) lauded The Passion for being "faithful to the gospel narrative"; Bite My Bible disputes that, citing the depiction of the resurrection -- "it shamelessly promoted the 'vision theory' of the resurrection of Jesus without an awareness of the flaws of this approach." Doug rightly disputes that and I am in agreement with him. What The Passion does here is innovative and yet faithful to the Gospels. There is an empty tomb narrative, as in all four canonical Gospels, which is hardly a "vision theory" approach, and the depiction of the disciples' difficulty in recognizing Jesus is all based on the Gospels -- Mary thinks that Jesus is the gardener (John 20.14-15); the disciples on the road ot Emmaus do not recognize him until they break bread with him (Luke 24.13-35).
While we are on the topic of The Passion, please excuse one small piece of self-indulgence. When checking up the IMDb page on The Passion, I was happy to see that they have added my credit as series consultant. Right at the bottom of the page, but definitely there.
No news yet on the American title and air date for The Passion yet, by the way.