10 Villainous Performances From Actors Who Also Played Jesus

Sometimes, you're the son of God. Sometimes, you're just a son of a b*tch.

NBC/Lions Gate

Film fans love their extremes. When they’re used to seeing an actor like Robert DeNiro in intensely dramatic performances, they want to know how he would fare in a comedy like Meet The Parents or The Adventures of Rocky And Bullwinkle. (Well, maybe not The Adventures of Rocky And Bullwinkle.)

After watching Jim Carrey mug in Dumb And Dumber, they want to see his serious chops in The Truman Show or The Number 23. (Well, maybe not The Number 23.)

In honour of the audience desire to see actors swing wildly from one end of the performance spectrum to the other, this list covers ten villainous roles played by actors who are also known for their portrayals of the son of God himself.

10. Rodrigo Santoro - 300

Paramount/Warner Bros

Rodrigo Santoro had an unenviable task portraying Jesus in the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur, one of the most famous portrayals of Jesus in film history. In the Charlton Heston film, Jesus is a larger than life presence whose face is not seen and whose presence is instantly enormous. Santoro had the job of making a Jesus who was real, human, and relatable, and he succeeded.

Santoro has had his share of dark roles as well. Recently, he played the bandit robot Hector Escaton in HBO’s Westworld, and who could forget him as the scheming Paulo who stole diamonds, plotted the death of a TV producer, and ended up buried alive in Lost?

But the villain role of note here is Xerxes, leader of the Persians, in Zack Snyder’s 300. Bald, sparkling with gold chains, and believing himself a god, Santoro’s Xerxes is the gaudy, egocentric counterpoint to his compassionate Christ.


Chris Vander Kaay knows the hidden secrets of the world, but he frequently forgets them. He has them written on a piece of paper along with his passwords, but he seems to have misplaced that as well.