Gene Hackman Inspired Leslie Bibb's Satan in 'God's Favorite Idiot'

The new Netflix series follows a regular guy and office worker who's chosen as God's messenger to prevent the apocalypse.

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Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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Patrick Holland
2 min read
Leslie Bibb as Satan on the side of the road

Leslie Bibb plays Satan in the new Netflix comedy God's Favorite Idiot. And she's unlike any Satan you've seen on screen before.

John Platt/Netflix

What's the meaning of life? It's a question that's nearly impossible to answer and one that many struggle to understand. But what if you could have a clear direction for what to do with your life? That's part of the premise behind the new Netflix series God's Favorite Idiot. Created by Ben Falcone and starring him and his wife Melissa McCarthy, the comedy follows Clark (Falcone), a seemingly regular guy who's struck by lightning, which causes his body to glow. Unbeknownst to Clark, he was chosen as God's messenger to prevent the apocalypse. He now has to balance his new divinity with his duties as an office worker and the demands of a new romance.

One of Clark's many foils is Satan. After playing a superhero in Jupiter's Legacy, a reporter in Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and being married to Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, actor Leslie Bibb plays Satan in God's Favorite Idiot. But this isn't your typical red devil with a pitchfork and tail. Bibb's Satan is first seen in a leather catsuit riding a motorcycle and giving an onlooking child the bird. There's a lovely childishness to her badassery.
Bibb was on CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast to discuss the show and what makes it both endearing and unique. She also explained how she handled playing scenes opposite McCarthy.

"The show is about being kind to one another, and being loving and patient," said Bibb. "It's set in an office, and so nobody's a superhero saving the world. It's not like a Marvel movie."

Bibb said she drew inspiration for Satan from Gene Hackman's performance as Lex Luthor in the film Superman. Bibb's Satan has a vanity and intelligence that make her seem less like an evil bully and more like someone you don't mess around with. The result is that Satan's charisma alternates between silliness and menace.
"Bad guys are fun. You can get away with murder. I can throw hot dogs at Melissa [McCarthy]," said Bibb, explaining a scene outside Clark's house. 

God's Favorite Idiot streams on Netflix starting June 15. During our interview, Bibb opens up about her love for German Shepherds, her time on the show ER and her favorite Sam Rockwell film.

Subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo or I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about work, career and current obsessions.

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