The five best movie priests

So the UK show Fleabag (the one that everyone keeps going on about but that I managed to only watch one episode of before bugging out, possibly never to return) has got everyone talking about just one thing…

No it’s not its Emmy nomination, it’s Hot priests.

In the second season of the show, Sherlock‘s Moriarity, Andrew Scott, plays a smoking hot Catholic priest who Fleabag apparently gets to shag. Nice work, corrupting the faithful there, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (she plays the titular anti-heroine, and was that annoying robot in Solo: A Star Wars Terrible Idea).

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ANYHOO, Fleabag does not have the market in Hot Priests cornered. The movies have always had a bit of a wide on for men of the cloth. Here are five of my sacrilegious faves:

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Father Damien, The Exorcist

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With Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) it’s all about those soulful eyes. You just know when he’s on his knees contemplating the suffering of Christ, he’s also presaging his own tragic suffering as the vessel of demons and madmen in The Exorcist cycle.

And if there’s one thing we know, it’s that chicks love a sad fixer upper they can’t possibly have. Father Damien is that on speed.

Altogether now: “Why Dimi? Why you do this to me?”

Father Patrick McKenna, Angels and Demons

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Like all things that Dan Brown’s had anything to do with, this film is utter nonsense, except for the bits with Ewan McGregor as Father Patrick, the Pope’s Camerlengo, or right hand babe.

Everyone knows Ewan is too good for this world, and he’s certainly too good for this film, in which he plays a priest who tries to manipulate his way into the Vatican’s top job.

Maybe it’s the way he calmly sacrifices himself to save the faithful, maybe it’s the way he smugly walks to his own doom in the Conclave, maybe, just maybe it’s the way he rocks the frock, but being a religious chap suits Ewan.

St.John Rivers, Jane Eyre (he’s a parson, but I’m letting it slide)

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Yes St.John Rivers dour to the point of parsimony… (oh, now I get where that word comes from) and yes, he’s a mirthless drudge destined to die of something dreadfull in the slums of a far off land, but he’s also Jaime Bell.

I don’t know what it is about Jaime Bell, but when he’s on screen it’s very hard to take your eyes off him. He’s compelling. He’s engaging. He’s, you know, bloody good at everything he does.

I still don’t get why Jane doesn’t pick him over Mr Rochester (Michael Fassbender), who’s kind of a massive jerk to her, but maybe things would have played out differently if Charlotte Brontë had known St.John would be played by wee Jaime some day?

Father Andrew Kiernan, Stigmata

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Gabriel Byrne plays a former scientist and a Jesuit priest who investigates miracles for the Vatican in this criminally underrated 90s horror. Like, could that be any cooler?

Byrne was cool for the entire 10 years of the 90s (and a goodly portion of the 80s before it) so it was natural that he’d turn up in a list of smoking hot Hollywood priests.

As the skeptical Father Andrew he ramps his cool factor all the way up to 11 as he battles for the soul of Rosanna Arquette. Amen to that.

Father Greg Pilkington, Priest

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I just hope that when I die it’s a young Linus Roache as Father Greg Pilkington that reads my last rites, or whatever they are called these days.

I’m not even a Catholic, but I’d still like it to be him looking down at me, asking if I renounce the Devil and all his works,  debating with me whether Black Sabbath are in fact some of the Devil’s best work, because I can’t renounce them and that feels like a bit unfair really if you’ve got good taste in music but also don’t want to burn in a lake of fire for all eternity.

But I digress. Look at his face. Oh my Holy Lord Jesus and all the Saints.

Honorable mention: Joachim Phoenix as the Abbé du Coulmie in Quills.

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Amen.

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