What the devil? Obama look-alike cast as Satan in American TV show The Bible
Charlie Cooper is Health Correspondent for The Independent, i, and The Independent on Sunday, writing on the NHS, medical advances, and international health. Since joining the papers as an editorial assistant, he has been nominated for young journalist of the year at both the Press Awards and the British Journalism Awards.
Monday 18 March 2013
His right-wing critics were probably nodding sagely in approval – but Barack Obama may have reason to feel aggrieved after hit American mini-series The Bible cast an actor with a striking resemblance to the US President in a key role – Satan.
Viewers in the USA were left bemused following the first appearance of actor Mehdi Ouzaani in role of the Devil in the glossy History Channel series, which has become a surprise hit with American audiences, attracting 13.1 million viewers for a recent episode.
Right-wing commentator Glenn Beck was among the first to note the actor’s resemblance to the 44th president of the United States, tweeting that the Devil as portrayed on screen “looks exactly like That Guy”. The TV personality, a vociferous critic of Obama, has vowed not to say the president’s name all year and has been referring to him as “That Guy” ever since.
The Bible, produced by British-born Mark Burnett, the man behind the American versions of The Voice and Celebrity Apprentice has already been criticised for the dubiously good-looking cast of actors selected to play biblical characters in the series. However, its slick production values and religious theme has won over millions of viewers in the USA.
The series retells bible stories from Genesis through to Revelation, the last book of the New Testament, in a scripted format.
Mr Burnett has told Entertainment Weekly that “the hand of God” was on the series.
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