Award-winning stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Tahar Rahim spoke to us about portraying Peter the Great and Judas respectively in Mary Magdalene. The film features Rooney Mara in the titular role and Joaquin Phoenix as Jesus, and is the retelling of historical events as described in the bible, but with a re-evaluation of Magdalene.
Ejiofor was Oscar-nominated for his role in 12 Years a Slave (2012) and Rahim found international fame for his superb turn in French thriller A Prophet (2009). Since these successes, both actors have regularly featured in productions on both sides of the Atlantic, but they told us about the unique challenge posed by this movie.
For Ejiofor, it was how he went about researching the role, while Rahim told us how he got to portray a different type of Judas from the one many will have seen in other films and TV shows.
The actor also spoke about filming on location in Southern Italy, and how the stunning backdrop was an ‘open sky studio’ to work on.
Mary Magdalene will be on general release from March 16