Kelsey Grammer enters the 'No Spin Zone'

Actor on playing King Herod in new movie 'Killing Jesus'


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," March 23, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET!

O'REILLY: "Impact" segment tonight. Big new movie "Killing Jesus" set to debut on the National Geographic Channel next Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. It will be replayed at 11:00 p.m. as well. One of those stars the film Kelsey Grammer playing a very, very bad bad guy. King Herod.



UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: A child born in your kingdom the God of Israel's chosen. The messiah.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: The king of the line to restore the glory of Israel as in the prophecy of Isaiah.

GRAMMER: Isaiah?

Of all the infants born in my kingdom, how will you find this one child? Destined to be the messiah?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Knowledge that the day and time of his birth match the position of the stars and the child will give us a sign.

GRAMMER: What a blessing.


GRAMMER: Find this child. Send me news that I may come. I welcome your holy mission.


O'REILLY: Here now is Mr. Grammer. Kind of like you were sitting around a bar in cheers.

GRAMMER: Pretty much so.

O'REILLY: You know, those guys --

GRAMMER: Dancing girls.

O'REILLY: Right. Yes. Interesting you didn't look him in the eye when you said find the child. You looked away.

GRAMMER: Malevolent kid now, right.

O'REILLY: You had malevolent.

GRAMMER: When he says the word ventilate -- I set off camera I said, ventilate.

O'REILLY: Yes. You were playing one of the worst men in the world. People don't know the story Herod orders the murder of all infants under the age of two in the Bethlehem area. How is it, you know, you are beloved actor here in America, you would play a really bad guy. You did that in Chicago with the boss program.

GRAMMER: Yes. Yes. It's fine. You know, I'm an actor. You lend yourself to the role. It's not -- it doesn't necessarily reflect on you. If it does, then maybe there is something wrong with the audience.

O'REILLY: People is going to be surprised though to see how evil you are in this movie. You are an evil guy. I wrote you evil and you played it evil.


O'REILLY: Now, before you did "Killing Jesus," you were raised Christian, I understand.

GRAMMER: Um-huh, yes.

O'REILLY: Did you have a frame of reference about Jesus?

GRAMMER: He is the savior. That's how I go about it. And so I -- without apology, I'm a Christian. I'm not -- I was raised as a Christian scientist but I'm not a practicing Christian scientist at this time day although I still observe many of the tenets. You know, the context of -- her writings.

O'REILLY: Uh-mm.

GRAMMER: But he is the guy. He is the one.

O'REILLY: Okay. When you got the role, and you start to research it, did you learn anything?

GRAMMER: Well, you know, it's funny, maybe it's a karma or a kids' math kind of moment. Different things happen to me all the time when I take a role. The universe sort of conspires to fill in the blanks. And all of the sudden I pick about history book in a hotel room. The first page opened up on Herod's palace.


GRAMMER: So, I started checking out, and I realized that he was a man of great accomplishment and survived his own sort of rule for 30, 40 years. Murdered half his own children, had 30, 40 children.

O'REILLY: Right.

GRAMMER: He was a very busy guy.

O'REILLY: He is busy.

GRAMMER: And this is what helped me realize that he probably was worried about being assassinated a lot of the time.

O'REILLY: All the time. Right.

GRAMMER: And then that lead to -- people used to say when I first got the role, they say, how are you going to, you know, play him? I mean, wow it's going to be so much fun. And I thought, what are they talking about, you know?

O'REILLY: This is a bad guy.

GRAMMER: This is a hamlet, you know?

O'REILLY: Right.

GRAMMER: Herod's Herod. But I thought he must sleep with a weapon in his bed. He must.

O'REILLY: Right.

GRAMMER: If he is that paranoid. And that helped me to play that whole first thing with the dagger in my hand.

O'REILLY: Right. And we might tell people that Herod is diseased at the time of the Magi appearing. He has got all kinds of physical problems because he has led such a desolate life. Now, the Magi appeared and this is, when we researched the book, Chinese astrologers and Persians and of course a Magi Persian both confirmed in writing that this sky activity, the red sky that led, actually physically.

GRAMMER: It did exist.

O'REILLY: Right. So, the scene of the Magi and Herod is real. It's not some pantheon religious thing that we pulled out of nowhere. We are going to talk to the guy who played Jesus young actor Sleiman on Wednesday.

GRAMMER: He's a lovely guy.

O'REILLY: Tough role of him playing Jesus.


O'REILLY: I mean, come on. Did you give him any advice as the older hand? He is a young guy.

GRAMMER: I don't really do that but I just tell guys just go for it you know, you know in your heart because I think we are all connected, everything you need to know to play anything you are told to play you just have to let it out.

O'REILLY: Summon it.


O'REILLY: Um-huh.

GRAMMER: And it will come.

O'REILLY: Right. Anything that you learned in the whole experience? You went to Morocco to shoot the film. It's come out. I don't know whether you have seen it or not.

GRAMMER: I am going to go see it tonight.

O'REILLY: It's fantastic.


O'REILLY: Anything you learn throughout the whole experience?

GRAMMER: Well, I loved Morocco.

O'REILLY: That's good.

GRAMMER: I had been to Morocco 20 years previous and I loved it then. Drove through the mountains, fantastic people.

O'REILLY: Right.

GRAMMER: Wonderful culture. A wonderful food.

O'REILLY: Did you keep the costumes -- run around West Hollywood now, you know?

GRAMMER: With that beard. I had sort of a full beard myself at the time and, of course, not big enough to play one of those guys. I am actually a gentile playing a Jew which is always very controversial.

O'REILLY: Right. You brought a lot of edge to the role.

GRAMMER: I had fun Bill, thanks.

O'REILLY: People are going to be surprised when they see it.

GRAMMER: Yes. Cool.

O'REILLY: Good to see you, Kelsey. Thank you very much.

Content and Programming Copyright 2015 Fox News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.