Skip to comments.JIM CAVIEZEL WHO PLAYED CHRIST REVEALS HIS DEEPEST HOPE FOR THE MEL GIBSON FILM
Posted on 02/28/2004 5:05:16 AM PST by Liz
(Pictured: Mel Gibson (director/producer) directs Jim Caviezel (Jesus) for The Passion of The Christ, a film by Mel Gibson. © 2003 Icon Distribution Inc. All Rights Reserved. A Newmarket Films release. Photo credit: Philippe Antonello).
My prayer is that I dont want people to see me in the film; I only want them to see Christ, he says
By Dan Wooding
BEVERLY HILLS, CA (ANS) -- Jim Caviezel, the talented actor who portrays Christ in the movie, The Passion of The Christ, which focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus' life, has revealed his deepest hope for the film. (Pictured: Jim Caviezel, who portrays Christ in the movie. -- Picture by Dan Wooding.)
My prayer is that I dont want people to see me in the film; I only want them to see Christ, he told a group of journalist in Beverly Hills recently.
Caviezel, who has soulful blue eyes, and a dark, almost eerie kind of good looks, was born in Mount Vernon on September 26, 1968. One of five children, he grew up as part of a devout Catholic family and has starred in many films and in 1998 Caviezel had his breakthrough role in The Thin Red Line. The film received a number of Oscar nominations, and its stellar ensemble cast, which included Ben Chaplin, Sean Penn, George Clooney, and Nick Nolte, earned almost unanimous acclaim.
He has starred in many movies since then including his portrayal of a football coach's embittered son in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday. In 2000, Caviezel starred in the supernatural thriller Frequency, playing the son of a long-dead man (Any Given Sunday co-star Dennis Quaid) with whom he is able to communicate over ham radio and he took the lead in the period adventure The Count of Monte Cristo (2002).
But he has never worked on a movie like his latest with his as Jesus Christ himself in Mel Gibson's The Passion (2004) in which he was struck by lightening during the filming and endured his shoulder being was separated during the crucifixion sequence.
Caviezel revealed what it was like during the making of the film that was shot in southern Italy and in Rome.
I would start with the makeup at 2:00 AM and at 10:00 AM we were ready for me to start the cross, he said.
He said that the actual crucifixion filming, things got really difficult for him. I separated my shoulder and then my eye began to cause me to hyper focus, he said. I also had to learn to breathe while on the cross. I would then have to get up early in the morning and go through the whole cycle again and then you have to take off the make up and it takes about two hours to take off and you sit the in the shower for about 25 minutes and then you start to sweat. I would have to drink water because I was dehydrated and then hypothermia would start to kick up during the day. Beside my problem with my shoulder, the wind would come up and it was like the Grand Canyon and the wind would go right through you.
My shoulder would experience terrific pain because of the wind hitting the cross and it kept pulling the shoulder out of joint and making me go insane. This was going on over and over again, plus I was getting only three to four and a half hours of sleep. When you go to sleep at night and you have hypothermia, I dont care how many sweats you put on, you shake through the night. So I would wake up and be shaking and then I would go to work and the skin was starting to become raw. When they were putting on the make up, I would shout, Ouch, please dont touch me here. You are hurting my shoulder.
That went on for five weeks just for the crucifixion. We would start on Monday and go through to Saturday night. On Sunday, I would go to church and then on Monday I would start the cycle over again.
At the same time, I had to lift weights for my quadriceps to be able to take the weight of the cross. They would put me on for about 12 minutes at a time and so all my weight was going into my right leg.
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
Then I got struck my lightning. I was on Golgotha when it happened. It almost makes you want to quit. I can tell you that Jesus wasnt smiling on the cross. It really hurts, but as an actor, I didnt go through anything that He went through. I was reading a book and read that he has suffered over 5,000 blows to His body and that really meant something.
During the scourging scene, I got hit. When they came in with these whips, they were supposed to hit a metal board behind me, but one of them hit me square in the back. You know what happened? I went ouch and I couldnt breathe. It was an automatic response. When the guy hit me, I said something I shouldnt have. I added, I know I am playing Jesus, but I feel like Satan right now. Mistakes happen, but youre the mistake its not pleasant.
He also talked about the horror of crucifixion. When you are on the cross, you die by asphyxiation, he said. You cant breathe. When I was up there, my legs were going numb and then my forceps would go numb. I could get diaphragm activated to get the air into my chest. They would bring me food and I would turn around and wretch right there on the cross. Its amazing. You would see people laughing. People love watching people suffer. Its amazing. There were others who couldnt stop watching because they were in love with Christ yet Im not Him!
He revealed how strange it was for him during the filming. People came up to me and called me Jesus, but I never felt adequate that I was Him. The first thing I said to Mel was, If we dont carry our cross, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it. He was under attack. The same time that he was directing, he fighting wars all over the place. I dont know how he finished this thing. It was a miracle. God gave us just barely enough to get through.
I knew what I was in for when I took this film, but I had no idea it would go in the direction it did. The only thing that scared me where the three languages, as I barely knew Latin, but knew nothing about Aramaic and old Hebrew was foreign to learn.
When asked how it had changed him playing Jesus, he replied, I now know Him in a more personal way that I have. I am proud of this film because it is the truth. It is as it was even though some have tried to discredit that line.
He then talked about meeting Billy Graham. I got to be with him for three hours and he is a wonderful man, he said. I remember watching him on TV one night and I wanted to be one of those people that walked out. When we met, I told him, I believe you carry the Holy Spirit with you; I believe you are a holy man.
This film is under such controversy. I told someone who said that he had heard it was a very controversial film, and I said, Have you seen other passion play that wasnt? Where they killed a good man? Jesus didnt die for some mythological story, he didnt die for fantasy.
I dont think I could have done this film without the faith that I have. During the day, when you work with an academy-award-winning director like Mel Gibson, why wouldnt you do a film that is based on the Gospels, but I tell you, it scared just about everyone away. It scared financiers. It is controversial. Jesus said, I did not come to bring peace to the world, but I came with a sword.
Dan Wooding is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times). Wooding is also a syndicated columnist, and was for ten years a commentator on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 41 books, one of which is "Blind Faith" which he co-authored with his 93-year-old mother Anne Wooding, who was a pioneer missionary to the blind of Nigeria in the 1930s. Copies of this book are available from the ASSIST USA office at PO Box 2126, Garden Grove, CA 92842-2126. t.
Not to worry Jim, Christians, the only people who really count, loved the film, turning it into an earth-shattering, life-changing phenom. In Hollywood terms---the only thing they know---that translates into an amazing $100 million opening-to-weekend estimated gross.
I didn't notice Jim, I saw "Jesus". Powerful stuff. Brutal, but powerful.
How powerful is THAT?
Later today I will post my own personal review of Mel's Passion. The film was brutal and violent but I was not repelled by the film in the least. It was not "too violent" by todays standards. It was a beautiful testiment to the divinity of The Christ!
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And that he is 33 years of age. Yes someone told me.
Pax TV played a documentary on the making of The Passion. Caveizel told Mel Gibson after he hired him for the film, "You know, I'm 33 years old and my initials are J.C."
The artistry was wonderful; great acting and outstanding cinematography. But this films value is on a much more personal level. This film will enhance whatever faith or belief you bring into the theater.
Christians at least this Christian tend to have a sanitized version of Jesus, his birth, ministry and death. Especially his death. We know that scourging and crucifixion are brutal, but I always intellectualized these events. OK, he was whipped, a crown of thorns was put on his head and he was put on a cross, dying after a few hours and in his dying atoned for my sins.
This film puts into context and forces you to face the fact that his torture and execution were so brutal that modern man would turn away. The Passion shows the physical agony and actual torture Jesus offered himself up to so that we may, if we believe in him, can be cleansed of our sin. It forces you to look, and see the evil that is in man, what we are truly capable of when we let go. It brought into sharp focus the actual sacrifice that Jesus made for me. And in that sacrifice, the love he has for those who follow him.
Amen. Jesus wasn't much into tolerating evil.
My feelings exactly. In all other "Jesus movies" I've been very conscious of the actor playing Jesus. "Why did they pick him?" Jim was Jesus.
Something a little more soothing for your soul.
I hope you're all having a wonderful start to the Lenten Season.
Months before he was selected for the part a stranger approached him and told him that he was going to play Jesus in a movie.
He cleaned house in the Temple.
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