It’s opening day for the highly-anticipated new Ben-Hur movie and if Thursday night’s preview numbers are any indication, millions of movie-goers will be lining up to see Judah Ben-Hur’s epic journey this weekend. British actor Jack Huston (Boardwalk, American Hustle), who plays the film’s leading role of Judah Ben-Hur, shared what drew him to this film at a recent press interview in Los Angeles:
The lovely thing about this film is that it’s for everybody — faith or no faith. If you’re looking at it from Judah’s point of view, Jesus wasn’t Jesus the Christ … Jesus was the local carpenter. It simply comes down to another person showing an act of kindness, like the simplicity of a guy giving you a drink of water in a moment of great need; that is something we can take out into our world. What can we do to help our fellow man? How can we be a better person, be a better fellow human? The questions are very grounded in reality. Everyone – faith or not – can take something positive from this film. The central question of the film is a really great one: how do we forgive? We are capable. It takes one person to take that first step.
He also spoke of the challenge of filming some of the darkest scenes in the movie — as a slave in the inhumane galley of the ship:
The galley was the toughest, personally. There are guys at your feet, guys above; three layers of bodies around you. If you’re out of sync, you’re screwed! We rehearsed for two weeks — just rowing. It was humid, wet, smelly … it was pretty rough. And for me, it was also four hours of make-up before: all the scars, the beard, the hair … then you have to get greased up … and then people are walking around pouring water on you. After a while the warm water runs out, and everyone’s cold and shaking. It’s like being in a mens’ locker room with a bunch of angry, naked men who just don’t want to be there at all … and have been rowing for weeks.
But that was the great thing about it — you feel the tension in those scenes, you feel how uncomfortable and horrible it would have been. It needed to be that rough filming it.”
And finally, Huston shares what he hopes people take away from the film:
“I’d say the idea of forgiveness. Being able to let go, release, not hold everything — blame, anger — so tightly. Being able to get past that.”
Read what our bloggers across Patheos are saying about Ben-Hur:
And check out the brand new trailer as well, set against the soundtrack of the song “Cease Fire” from for King and Country: