Nesbitt: 'Passion' role gave me new lease of life

James Nesbitt has revealed that his role in new four-part drama The Passion revived his love of acting.

The 43-year-old plays Pontius Pilate in the story of the days leading up to Jesus' death.

He said: "You can get a bit world-weary in this job and The Passion reminded me of what a fantastic job acting is and how lucky I am to be doing it."

However, he admitted that he had initially dismissed Frank Deasy's script because of his busy schedule, saying: "I was in the middle of shooting something else and my agent asked me to have a look at the script. If I'm honest I only skimmed it and didn't take it in. I was looking forward to a break.

"My agent told me to have another look and I'm glad I did. Reading it properly, Frank's writing jumped out at me. I come from a country that is steeped in religion so this was a story familiar to me. But he has re-told that beautiful and complicated story in a new and exciting way that people will be able to relate to."

Joseph Mawle and Paul Nicholls also star in the drama, which airs on BBC One from March 16.