There’s no better time to talk about Mel Gibson’s classic The Passion of the Christ than now. If this movie which had Nigerian kids and parents in the 2000s in a chokehold was produced in Nollywood, who would be who?
Jesus Christ – Ifeanyi Kalu
It’s high time we had a bald Jesus. I mean, look at him. This looks like a man who’ll give you his money if you ask for it. #Diversity.
Mary the Mother of Jesus – Chinwe Owoh
A nurturing mother character who looks like she’s waiting for the next opportunity to cry? That’s Chinwe Owoh, please. She already has a long history of playing the suffering, compassionate mother on screen so she’ll be the perfect fit to play Mary.
Mary Magdalene – Shaffy Bello
Most accounts of Mary Magdalene portray her as someone who has rich aunty vibes. If there’s anyone in Nollywood who exudes this vibe, it has to be the mercurial Shaffy Bello. Plus she fits right into Monica Belluci’s shoes right enough when it comes to the portrayal of this character on screen.
Judas Iscariot – Kanayo O. Kanayo
Who is more notorious for playing characters who can go to diabolic lengths for money in Nollywood than Kanayo O. Kanayo? Look no further than this man. Judas–wherever he is–has to be a fan of this legend here.
Pontius Pilate – Pete Edochie
There’s not much to say about this. Nobody embodies authority like this man in all of Nollywood. Just put him in that role and watch him own that Pilate’s throne like it was created for him.
Barabbas – Hanks Anuku
Pick any robbery scene from any Nollywood movie and tell me if you didn’t see this man there. From movies like Broad Day Light to Jango, nobody played a thief better than Hanks Anuku. If there’s anyone most suitable to play the character of the robber released instead of Jesus Christ, here’s the man.
Two thieves – Aki & Paw Paw
This just felt right. These men grew famous for playing mischievous duos on screen, and so would have been fitting characters to play the two thieves crucified beside Jesus Christ.
Satan – Chiwetalu Agu
It’s just appropriate for the greatest villain in Nollywood history to play mankind’s greatest nemesis on screen. The mere thought of him revelling in the anguish of Christ during that torture scene in the movie makes this casting choice feel very right.