Joaquin Phoenix is bloody and bruised in his role as Jesus Christ while he and ...

He's played a corrupt and vain Roman Emperor, Country music legend Johnny Cash, and even a lonely writer who fell for an artificial intelligence.

But for his latest role Joaquin Phoenix is taking on a very hefty mantel indeed, as the 42-year-old actor takes on the role of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, opposite Rooney Mara's Mary Magdalene in a new biblical biopic.

The two co-stars were seen in full-costume, with Joaquin sporting a wild beard and straggly long hair, as they filmed the crucifixion and Jesus' burial in rural , on Saturday, as work got underway on Garth Davis' latest project.

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The greatest of roles? In his latest role Joaquin Phoenix is taking on a very hefty mantel indeed, as the 42-year-old actor takes on the role of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, opposite Rooney Mara's Mary Magdalene in a new biblical biopic

The greatest of roles? In his latest role Joaquin Phoenix is taking on a very hefty mantel indeed, as the 42-year-old actor takes on the role of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, opposite Rooney Mara's Mary Magdalene in a new biblical biopic

For his latest role the three-time Oscar nominee had grown a big, coarse bushy beard, whilst he also appeared to have let his hair grown wild and long.

Filming Jesus' death on Calvary - which Mary is said to have witnessed - Joaquin sported a white sheet wrapped around his lower body, whilst his back was covered in red lash mark and cuts.

Fixed to the cross by safety straps and harness hidden beneath his costume, the actor's arms were strategically positioned through ropes to mimic him being suspended on the cross.

As a crowd watched on, which included Rooney as Mary, the actor was stabbed in the side with a spear by a Roman soldier (which John writes about in his gospel). 

Back to biblical times: The two co-stars were seen in full-costume, with Joaquin sporting a wild beard and straggly long hair, as they filmed the crucifixion and Jesus' burial in rural Italy on Saturday, as work got underway on Garth Davis' latest project 

Back to biblical times: The two co-stars were seen in full-costume, with Joaquin sporting a wild beard and straggly long hair, as they filmed the crucifixion and Jesus' burial in rural on Saturday, as work got underway on Garth Davis' latest project 

During break in the shooting of the dramatic scene, Joaquin was wrapped a quilted jacket around his torso to keep warm as he chatted to a member of the crew.

The shoot then switched to focus on the aftermath of Jesus' death, and his burial in the tomb. 

Braving the ever-cooler conditions on the continent, Joaquin changed into wrapped a white sheet about him, under which the actor could be seen sporting what appeared to be a rough, short tunic - also in white.

His sacrifice: Filming Jesus' death on Calvary - which Mary is said to have witnessed - Joaquin sported a white sheet wrapped around his lower body, whilst his back was covered in red lash mark and cuts

His sacrifice: Filming Jesus' death on Calvary - which Mary is said to have witnessed - Joaquin sported a white sheet wrapped around his lower body, whilst his back was covered in red lash mark and cuts

Safety first: Fixed to the cross by safety straps and harness hidden beneath his costume, the actor's arms were strategically positioned through ropes to mimic him being suspended on the cross

Safety first: Fixed to the cross by safety straps and harness hidden beneath his costume, the actor's arms were strategically positioned through ropes to mimic him being suspended on the cross

A brutal scene: As a crowd watched on, which included Rooney as Mary, the actor was stabbed in the side with a spear by a Roman soldier (which John writes about in his gospel).

A brutal scene: As a crowd watched on, which included Rooney as Mary, the actor was stabbed in the side with a spear by a Roman soldier (which John writes about in his gospel).

Time for a respite? During a break in the shooting of the dramatic scene, Joaquin was wrapped a quilted jacket around his torso to keep warm as he chatted to a member of the crew

Time for a respite? During a break in the shooting of the dramatic scene, Joaquin was wrapped a quilted jacket around his torso to keep warm as he chatted to a member of the crew

Time for a respite? During a break in the shooting of the dramatic scene, Joaquin was wrapped a quilted jacket around his torso to keep warm as he chatted to a member of the crew

Rooney, 31, who plays the titular character of Mary was seen sporting a simple costume as she shot the sombre and violent crucifixion and sombre burial scenes.

Clad in her costume, Rooney looked a far cry from her usual glamorous and immaculate self, clad in a simple, floor-length grey linen dress which was belted around the waist.

Wearing her long black tresses swept back off of her face, and worn down her back, leaving her alabaster features firmly on display.

Preparing for his end? The shoot then switched to focus on the aftermath of Jesus' death, and his burial in the tomb

Preparing for his end? The shoot then switched to focus on the aftermath of Jesus' death, and his burial in the tomb

A moment of reflection? Braving the ever-cooler conditions on the continent, Joaquin changed into wrapped a white sheet about him, under which the actor could be seen sporting what appeared to be a rough, short tunic - also in white

A moment of reflection? Braving the ever-cooler conditions on the continent, Joaquin changed into wrapped a white sheet about him, under which the actor could be seen sporting what appeared to be a rough, short tunic - also in white

The two-time Oscar-nominee's costume was rounded off by a cape which she wore wrapped around her as she sat down next to her co-star. 

Mary Magdalene will focus on painting an authentic portrait of Mary, and as part of building this real-world view up the film looks as though it will focus strongly on the bond between her and Jesus of

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