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Quick Wit: Glenn Carter

The actor who plays the son of God in Jesus Christ Superstar talks to Christina D'Angelo about all those Jesus jokes. logo
Having already taken on the role of Jesus of Nazareth in London's West End, Glenn Carter makes his Broadway debut as Himself again in Jesus Christ Superstar. Carter had previously played The Man, another Messianic figure, in another Andrew Lloyd Webber musical: Whistle Down the Wind. If that's not religious enough, he has also played the title role in Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Oh...and he was Lamar in a production of Godspell.

This is certainly not meant to imply that he's a one-note performer. Carter has also been seen in such diverse roles as Alfie in Alfie), Johnny Casino in Grease (please hold the exclamation point; I have a headache), and Laertes in Hamlet. You can catch him on home video in the Les Misérables 10th anniversary concert and in Bernadette Peters in Concert, and listen to him on several cast recordings. The release of the new, high-budget film of Superstar in which he stars is imminent.

I spoke with Carter via phone recently. Here's what we had to say:

If you were an Easter egg, what color would you be?

Well, it wouldn't much matter the color but I'd definitely be chocolate on the inside, I really love chocolate.

What is you favorite line from Jesus Christ Superstar?

Actually, it was cut: "Jesus is cool."

You've got a great head of hair. What products do you use?

Sebastian Potion #9.

What was your favorite year?

1966, when England won the World Cup.

In "Jesus H. Christ," what does the "H" stand for?

I have no idea. "Holy," maybe?

If you could resurrect anyone and take him or her to dinner, who would that be?


Haggis. What's up with that?

I had it once, and it's actually quite lovely. It's somewhat like a paté with vegetables and other organs cooked in a sheep's stomach.

Delightful. Who are your favorite composers?

Elvis Costello, and I'm very much into this group called Delirium right now.

What role would you most love to play?


What are your three favorite films?

The Big Blue, The Matrix--a really interesting film--and Spinal Tap.

What is your favorite production that you've seen since you've been here in New York?

I have only seen Cabaret and Rent, and they're both terrific.

What is your greatest temptation?

My greatest temptation would be not working. I would enjoy just sitting in the park all day instead.

Who is your favorite character in a novel?

Edmund Danté in The Count of Monte Cristo.

If you were trapped in a cave with a boulder blocking the entrance for three days, what would you most like to have with you?

A radio.

What's under your bed?

Under my bed in London, I have a saxophone case.

What are your three favorite books?

I never, never read, so this is difficult. But what I've been reading a lot recently is the manual to my Palm Pilot. Um, let's see. Oh, The Little Prince. And I read a book about a man in the Gulf War called Tornado Down that was very good.

Do you ever get sick of the Jesus jokes and references?

Oh, no. How could I?

What bread do you use in the Last Supper scene?

Well, in London, we used chapatti. But I have no idea what we use here.

What songs do you want played at your funeral?

I wouldn't have one, I wouldn't want anyone crying over my casket, so I'd leave my body to science.

What website do you visit most often?

What magazines do you read?

Elle and Cosmopolitan, and other ones like that. I like women's magazines very much. I enjoy reading about what women are thinking, and I love looking at their fashions. I find it much more interesting than most men's magazines.

Now, I don't think I'm giving anything away here: When you're crucified, does that hurt?

No. It's uncomfortable, but it doesn't hurt.

What's the first thing that comes to mind when I say...Jesus?


Tony Blair?


Ben Brantley?

I would like to have a conversation with him.


Times Square should be called a triangle, not a square.




Pop music.


Freddie Mercury.


It lasts a lifetime.


I won't do it.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would that be?

I'd really like to go to Australia. And maybe when I'm finished with this show I'll get on my motorcycle and travel across the U.S. So far, I've only seen New York.

What's your favorite cocktail?

I do not drink alcohol, so I'd say a virgin pina colada.

What's the first thing you reach for in the morning?

My toothbrush.

What's the strangest thing a fan has ever said to you?

I was asked by a woman outside the stage door to bless her halo. I don't know if she was joking or if she was a bit off--but when I turned around, she was gone, and I never saw her again.

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