When it came time to cast the role of King Herod, the evil ruler of the Jews in NBC's live production of Jesus Christ Superstar, it wasn't a stretch for the producers to turn to Alice Cooper. After all, he fights and kills people nightly in his stage show, which is why he tells Rolling Stone he wasn't surprised.
"When this opportunity came across, they said, 'Hey, why don't you be in Jesus Christ Superstar?' And I said, 'I'm either Judas or Herod, right?' And they said, 'Herod.' I said, 'OK, I knew that was coming.' ... I look at it purely as a piece of art, and it's directly out of the Bible. I might have a harder time playing Judas than I would playing Herod. It would be hard to play the guy that stabs [Jesus] in the back."
In 1996, Cooper recorded a version of "King Herod's Song" for a London cast recording of the Andrew Lloyd Webber production, though he didn't play the role onstage.
On Sunday night's telecast, John Legend plays Jesus and Sara Bareilles is Mary Magdalene.