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updated 05/22/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/22/2000 01:00AM

>Jeremy Sisto

For Jeremy Sisto, the experience of filming Jesus was as disparate as, well, heaven and hell. While walking on the Moroccan set before filming his crucifixion scene for the CBS miniseries airing May 14 and 17, "I saw this dry, arid valley and all these crosses," says Sisto, 25. "It was impossible not to reflect on those times when people would kill each other this way. It was truly brutal."

Thankfully, playing Christianity's Messiah had some lighthearted moments as well. After Sisto donned his wig, Jesus was "an extreme journey," says Sisto. beard and robes each morning, he says, "so many people wanted pictures with me, I think some actually thought I was Christ."

Sisto, who is single and lives in L.A., also appeared in Clueless and TV's The '60s. The "not very religious" actor learned there is one drawback to playing Jesus: the jokes. "They do not end," he groans. "They'll say, 'Hey, could you turn this water into wine for me?' They're not even funny! But they will continue until I am long gone."

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