The Virgin Mary Will Be Played By… Wait, What?! November 30, 2011

The Virgin Mary Will Be Played By… Wait, What?!

Catholic media are not giving a “Hail Mary” to Pamela Anderson‘s casting as the Virgin Mary in the upcoming “A Russell Peters Christmas Special” featuring the Canadian comedian.

Anderson will play Mary in a sketch during the special, holding baby Jesus in her arms with Peters as Joseph at her side. Maybe I’m being presumptuous, but I’m guessing Catholics are offended about Mary’s casting because Anderson is no virgin. She’s famous for running on beaches in “Baywatch,” various nude Playboy photo spreads and a homemade porn video that was leaked years ago with her then-husband Tommy Lee.

National Post’s Rex Murphy writes that objecting to Peters’ choice in getting a “lewd exhibitionist to play Mary, to call in a pop-culture tart to play the very Mother of God” would be considered intolerance from Christians, and so, they should just turn the other cheek:

Of episodes of this kind there is no end, and it will surely be accounted a kind of prudery or humourlessness to make objection to them.

What a martyr.

Despite the attempt to hold his frustration back, Murphy misses a key element from this story: Russell Peters is playing Joseph. Is he chaste enough? I haven’t seen any actual proof one way or the other, but I’d be surprised if Peters’ a virgin. What about Jim Caviezel when he played Jesus in “The Passion of the Christ.” Was he a virgin at the time, too? It’s a shame we can’t ask for their bloody sheets. Do these casting choices also offend the Catholics who aren’t fans of Pamela Anderson playing Mary? Why the double-standard?

Murphy goes on to write:

It would be rather nice if so many people, the Christians of the West, who offer respect, tolerance and regard for beliefs other than their own, could be treated with equal civility and courtesy.

This, according to the adherents of a faith that believes nonbelievers are going to have a second death in a lake of fire and brimstone. How’s that for tolerance and regard?

Meanwhile, for those of us who can laugh at the silliness of virgin birth (and get Canadian TV), Peters’ special will air Dec. 1st at 9:00p ET.

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  • Anonymous

    The actual Mary was no ‘Virgin’  either……….. She just never revealed to Joseph who she was banging!  2,000 years ago, every young woman, unmarried, was refered to as a virgin. 

  • T-Rex

    Ever notice the resemblence between Jesus and Tommy Lee? I wonder if Jesus had “Mayhem” tattooed across his abdomen and played the drums too?

  • The only reason I would object is because Pam Anderson is a white, blonde lady. We know that Mary wasn’t. Other than that, I say go ahead…

  • Andrew Morgan

    I actually think Rex Murphy’s article is pretty spot-on for much of it.  Stunts like these are rather tiresome, and there’s nothing particularly funny or clever about them.  Christians ought to roll their eyes at the casting, but everyone else can, too.

    Her casting by Peters was clearly meant to be edgy, but it’s really just banal. As to the issue of male vs. female chastity, it strikes me as a bit disingenuous to claim there’s no difference between an Anderson and a Caviezel.

  • Anonymous

    What, they don’t object to the baby Jesus being played by a piece of plastic?

  • It’s 

  • Adi Rule

    I read on the internetz (so it has to be true) that Peters really didn’t think much about Anderson’s past when he cast her, that he just was like, “Oh, yeah, she’s a famous Canadian.”

    In any case, thanks for the article, Hemant. You’re spot on with the observation that Anderson’s personal life is being scrutinized much more than is customary with men who play sacred characters. I think this controversy says a lot more about misogyny than religion.

  • george.w

    Second the motion that there must be any number of actresses who more resemble the likely appearance of Historical Mary.  Many of them fine actresses as well, which would be a bonus over Anderson.

  • Anonymous

    Russell Peter (Canadian of Indian origin) makes for a hell of a lot more convincing Palestinian than Pamela Anderso.

    Of course, if you really wanted a slightly more accurate portrayal of the couple, you might want to go with this Joseph and this Mary.

    Of course, the rating agency would up the movie to Restricted, at best, but it would be totally biblical!

  • I’d add the fact that Pam Anderson is in her 40s to that list.  The real Mary would have been in her (early) teens when she had Jesus.

  • Pamela should recuse herself.

  • Do angels have “you-know-whats”?

  • Rayla

    Virgin birth? So was Augustus Caesar LOL The concept of a great man being the literal son of a god, and therefore born to a human virgin who is impregnated by “god” was a common theme in ancient mythology.  

  • Erik Cameron

    Plastic that has never sinned. Will come much closer to pure than any human baby could (what with their constant crying and trying to strangle twins in the womb).

  • Erik Cameron

    Good point, the following shitstorm would also be biblical.

  • Anonymous

    Also this piece of plastic has an infinitely greater measurable effect on the environment than the “real” son of God/God. 

  • Anonymous

    Caviezel starred in the most-watched BDSM film of all time, and was mostly naked for the majority of the film. Anderson appeared in nude photos (intended for public consumption) and a sex tape with her husband (not intended for public consumption).

    Granted, prior to the release of Passion, Caveziel’s reputation was squeeky clean. But after the film, it was even more so! There is a double standard at play, even if the two cases are not parallel.

  • Anonymous

    i question mary’s existence, not just her “virginity” however some choose to translate/interpret that. there’s not exactly a lot of proof for either.  but anyway, i can see the value of someone like anderson in this role for a comedy sketch. the set up goes, “so, if you’re the all powerful being of the universe who regulates sex behaviors in your creations, what tempts you?” and the joke is built around how gawd couldn’t turn down a body like amderson has. a good comedian could do a lot with that, esp an atheist comedian. 

  • Yes, yes they do. I’ve run into quite a number of them and they all had “you-know-whats”. Eh, you’ve had one angel, you’ve had them all.
    As they say (whoever “they” are),  for every hot looking angel there is some God out there who is sick of her shit.

  • JimG

    Russell Peters’ moral status shouldn’t matter. After all, Joseph is an unneeded extra in the “God got me pregnant” story.

    Now, Rex Murphy really should be objecting to whoever’s playing Jehovah. His character has done much nastier things than make a sex tape: mass murder, encouraging incest, inciting violence, banging somebody else’s teenage bride ….

  • Sarah

    I think, in part, the difference in scrutiny comes from their respective values in the church.  Mary’s generally much more important than Joseph, right? Plus, the miraculous birth all hinges on her virginity.  Joseph’s is less important to the story.  Not saying it matters, for that a double standard isn’t at work here, just saying gender inequality may not entirely account for why they’re so upset over Mary being played by Pamela Anderson.

  • Who cares? There are better ways to spend the winter than laugh at the Immaculate Conception.

  • Anonymous

    This will be a skit on a comedy show folks….  in America it will appear on Comedy Central.  A perfect fit for anything Christian…..  Comedy,  Christianity…..  I Get it!!!!  Anything based on the amount of fabrication that christianity has been, deserves nothing but derision and humor.  You can’t take ‘original sin’ seriously.  Another of Peter’s sketches will have a Priest bangin’ a little boy….  and laughing about it behind the walls of the Vatican’t

  • Gus Snarp

    Isn’t “virgin” just a mistranslation anyway?

  • Denis Robert

    1. It’s the National Post, the Canadian equivalent to the Washington Times (i.e. a vanity paper created a right-wing con-artist to engage in high-level influence peddling)
    2. It’s Rex Murphy, one of the most humourless people in the entire world. I don’t think the man has ever smiled in his life, let alone laughed. And just like the founder of his broadsheet yellow rag, he uses a dictionary like a cudgel, aiming to distract rather than inform by the use of terms they gleefully believe no one else knows.

    Mary’s a fictional character in a fictional book. Who the hell cares who portrays her? I mean, it’s not like there’s some Oscar-worthy dialogue in that novel…

  • Anonymous

    And Monica Bellucci was fine as Mary in Passion of the Christ?  Double standards.

  • Gus Snarp

    I just hope whatever jokes he’s written to take advantage of having a sex symbol playing Mary give the Catholics something to really be offended by. I can’t imagine he cast her without regard to the comic potential…

  • Cjj

    She would be a good Magdeline.

  • Coconut


  • Monica Bellucci played Mary Magdalene, not Mary Mom O’ Jesus. 

  • I think I once saw a bio of Russel where he was touring his home and showed where he kept his porn collection. He has a dresser drawer full of DVDs.

  • The double standard seems to have reinforced itself through the Passion film. Is there a weak point in that cycle?

  • Sulris Campbell

    i am confused i dont think there is anything in the bible that is against running around on the beach while wearing a red bathing suit, and i posses no evidence to suggest that Mary did not do this in slow motion as well.

    secondly the bible does not say thou shalt not make sex video’s.  she was married to the man at the time… Why the hell shouldn’t she be having sex with him?  in fact there is nothing in the bible at all about pornography…lack of a printing press, would be my guess…. so i don’t see why they don’t like her playboy appearances either…. and once i again i have no evidence that even suggests that mary did not make a sex video with joseph or that she did not pose for erotic paintings…

  • Dan W

    Oh please. There’s no evidence that Jesus even existed anyway.

  • Dan W

    Or Mary, for that matter.

  • Anonymous

    It’s Rex Murphy, one of the most humourless people in the entire world. I don’t think the man has ever smiled in his life, let alone laughed. And just like the founder of his broadsheet yellow rag, he uses a dictionary like a cudgel, aiming to distract rather than inform by the use of terms they gleefully believe no one else knows.

    Rex Murphy, the man who “doesn’t understand” why Prime Minister Stephen Harper incites such extreme dislike and is such a polarizing figure   *mind boggled by that*

    I love that you said he “uses a dictiontary like a cudgel” (a word that he uses in almost every broadcast, btw 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Shock.  Horror.  Ridiculous beliefs ridiculed by comedian.  That’s going to keep happening until they drop the ridiculous beliefs.

  • GSW

    Insisting that Mary was a virgin (raped by a god) just so that Jesus could be born without the sin of his own conception, implies that all other children are ‘born-in-sin’, having inherited the mother’s implied sin-of-having-sex.

    Apart from the really offensive attitude this displays,  this is a sick and perverted view of sex, so who cares what they think?

  • I finished reading this story on Dec 1st, at 8.59:50, just in time to turn on the TV to start this show. It’s a Holiday miracle!

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