The Passion, a modern-day musical about the life and times of Jesus Christ which will air live from New Orleans on Fox on Sunday, March 20th, will star Cuban-American singer and actor, Jencarlos Canela.
The two-hour musical tells the story of the Jesus Christ’s last hours through a series of marked passages and popular contemporary songs.
“You’ve never heard these songs in this context, interpreted in this way with a different arrangement,” said Canela during a press conference in Los Angeles. “I’m talking about a choir of 40 artists with voices so memorable that you will get goosebumps. When you realize what those voices can do, you won’t believe it. It will be very special.”
Canela, who categorized The Passion’s Executive Producer, Adam Anders, as a genius for having the idea of combining pop music with such a traditional and old story, explained that taking on the role of such an iconic biblical figure came with a certain amount of pressure.
“I realized after accepting to portray Jesus Christ in The Passion that there would be a lot of pressure and high expectations, considering the seriousness of the role,” said Canela. “But after having a moment of clarity, I decided to play Jesus and share his story.”
Canela wanted to keep his focus on bringing Jesus Christ’s most symbolic personality traits to the forefront and transmit the message of hope, love and peace to the audience.
“When I realized that no one could fulfill what Jesus means, the pressure went away. No human being on earth can replace what Jesus Christ was and is,” said Canela. “It’s impossible! So I will try to send the most important message of all that is to spread the message of love.”
Canela also shared a light-hearted behind-the-scenes anecdote of his experience portraying the most influential figure in the world in this musical performed live.
“Chris Daughtry [who plays Judas in The Passion] became a brother to me,” he said jokingly. “We became friends so what I’m saying is, Judas and Jesus were together all the time! We even dined together and all of the staff was constantly laughing and saying, ‘Look at Jesus and Judas, best friends!'”
“So, all is forgiven and forgotten,” he added.
Also in the cast of Fox’s The Passion: Prince Royce as “Peter”, one of Jesus’ disciples, country singer Trisha Underwood, who plays “Mary”, and pop singer Seal as “Pontius Pilate”, among others.
The Passion will be broadcasted live on FOX, March 20th, Palm Sunday @ 8:00 P.M. ET.