The actor portrays Yeshua in new movie Risen and admits he had to make drastic changes to his lifestyle to get into character.

That meant locking himself away on the island of Malta and having no contact with his wife for a month.

"I had to figure out how to make it work," he told WENN, "and the first thing I had to understand was I had to set my ego aside and be of service to a significant divine being on this planet for many people. So the concept was he would only speak certain words. There was a cleansing process because I talk a lot and often a lot of nonsense unnecessarily, and certainly not divine!

"For a month I lived on my own in Malta and it was a really beautiful experience. I had very humble meals and I lived monastically pretty much. I never got out my phone and started Facebooking (sic). I would set time aside to respond to my family. I could not not speak to my wife because she's my other connection to the divine."

And his castmates and crew also got the silent treatment when filming began: "I didn't speak to anybody and I spent a lot of time in meditation and silence and would sit for hours alone.

"Kevin (Reynolds), the director, did request that I start to engage the apostles more, so I found ways without speaking. My first encounter that I wanted to have with them is I wanted to wash their feet without words, because that's what Jesus would do.

"It was lunch break and they didn't know what was going on. 'What's this dude doing?!' I wouldn't say anything. They were just eating their lunch and I'd just point to them to come to me and I'd point to a seat and wash their feet. It was beautiful, humble and very authentic. They each had different reactions which built our relationship... It was a great way to be present for them without speaking."