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From Being Famous to Being Worshiped – Celebrities Who Have Played God On Screen

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From the outset, celebrities seem to have enviable lives with fame and fortune at their footsteps. Unless, they do something silly or stupid they are always well regarded and admired by their fans and followers. In some cases however certain actors through their endearing performances and affable personalities are able to elevate themselves beyond the league of normal celeb-hood to being worshiped as Gods. While some of these actors like Rajnikanth and Amitabh Bachchan achieve such a position after many decades of hard work, others achieve such a pedestal through one-off performances in movies or TV shows.

This phenomenon is more common in Bollywood than Hollywood since Indian culture is heavily influenced by religion and worship, specially on Television. However, even in Hollywood there have been movies revolving around certain actors playing god, which have gone on to become hits at the box office. In this special feature we take a look at a couple of instances where Hollywood and Bollywood actors have played god on screen and in some cases they have even gone to achieve god-like status in their countries.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor, The God of Thunder

Chris Hemsworth played the title role of Thor in the movie by the same name that released earlier this year and was rated to be a moderate success. In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility.

Chris received some critical acclaim for his portrayal of Thor and in general his performance was appreciated. In 2012, he will be seen reprising the role in the much anticipated release of the Avengers. While it is extremely unlikely that Chris will be worshiped as the God of Thunder in real life, he will always be remembered for this particular role, specially if he doesn’t produce any other hits during the rest of his career.

Dara Singh as Lord Hanuman in Ramayana

The Ramayana and Mahabharata are two timeless classics that are well known around the world and strongly etched in the memory of each and every Indian on the planet. Indian television has seen countless remakes of these epics but the one’s that have stood out through the ages have been Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and B.R Chopra’s Mahabharata.

The Ramayana in particular saw such amazing performances by the main cast members that almost all of them are remembered and revered for their role as Lord Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Hanuman and Ravana. The role of Hanuman was played by the acclaimed International wrestler and Bollywood film star Dara Singh, who can also be thought of as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of Bollywood. Even to this day more than 20 years after the airing of the show, Dara Singh is remembered and admired for his portrayal of Hanuman and is the living embodiment of the great god.

Jim Carey/Morgan Freeman as God in Bruce Almighty

While most examples of movies and television shows that revolve around mythology have had people playing named mythological characters, the 2003 Hollywood flick Bruce Almighty had Jim Carey and Morgan Freeman simply play the role of God. While Jim’s character stayed in the role only for a short period it was Mr. Freeman who played the character flawlessly. Morgan Freeman, reprised his role as God in the sequel to the movie titled Evan Almighty.

Back home in Bollywood, Rumi Jaffery tried to do a remake of Bruce Almighty with God Tussi Great Ho starring Amitabh Bachchan in Morgan Freeman’s role and Salman Khan as the desi Jim Carey. Sadly, like all things Bollywood, while the casting was top notch the storyline was horrible and the film didn’t do well at all.

Do you know of any other examples where actors who played God on screen left a big impact on you and your perception of that actor? Share your thoughts and let us know by leaving a comment.