Jesus Christ Superstar's Jason Tam: Peter's Surprising Denial of Jesus Is 'Heavy, Human Stuff'

If you’re a Jesus Christ Superstar fan who’s not well-versed in the good-but-not-showstopping song “Peter’s Denial” while listening to the soundtrack, you’ve got good company… in Jason Tam, who played Peter in NBC’s live musical Sunday.

“I wasn’t very familiar with it beforehand. To be honest, it’s kind of the one that I used to skip over,” he tells TVLine, laughing, a week before the broadcast.

The One Life to Live alum adds that he understands why people might take issue with the disciple, who is one of Jesus’ most ardent followers but who also abandons the spiritual leader in Act II of the musical when things get hairy.

“Peter thinks that they’re just going to march into Jerusalem and change the way that everybody views the world and they’re going to be soldiers of love, and then everything is going to be accepted the way that he accepted Jesus into his life,” Tam says. But that’s not the way that it goes down, and because of that, Peter goes into this kind of fight-or-flight, whether he means to or not.”

Even worse, in “The Last Supper,” Jesus predicts exactly what will happen.

“He ends up doing exactly what Jesus said he would do,” Tam adds. “It’s interesting, heavy, human stuff.”