Skip to comments.Jim Caviezel, actor: How being a dad has changed his life
Posted on 08/19/2009 5:07:14 PM PDT by NYer
Since playing Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, Jim Caviezel has been anything but idle. Catholic Digest caught up with him by phone to discuss his latest news, including how being a dad has changed his life and how he hopes his new film, The Stoning of Soraya M. out in theaters June 26 will change others. Caviezel, 40, spoke with us from one of his favorite haunts, a Jewish restaurant called The Meating Place in Agoura Hills, California, where he says he enjoys the best Israeli food hes had outside Israel.
You and your wife Kerri have become adoptive parents to an orphaned boy, Bo, and girl, LeLe, from China. How has becoming a father affected you and your faith?
I dont even know who I was before (laughs). Dennis Quaid told me a long time ago when he had his son Jack, 'Youll have emotions in you that you didnt even know existed before you had a child.' I now know what that feels like. Even though theyre adopted, its as strong as any instinct. Thats what blew me away. I always thought if I adopted that I wouldnt have the same feeling [as I would] if they were genetically my own children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
And how has that affected you and your wifes faith life?
Well, youre mirrors, arent you? Every day when we go to school we pray the Rosary. We dont talk, we pray. I always feel we communicate better in the prayer. If I dont stay consistent, they wont be consistent.
How else has being a father changed you?
I guess you love more. I see my wife take care of the children, and (to see) how they respond and how my children are makes me love them more. To add to that, Im more in control of my duties as opposed to being caught up in the world. Im not ruled by my feelings, Im ruled by love, which is a decision. And that is being implemented into my children that its not how I feel, its what Im going to do. Thats what my faith has taught me and now its teaching them, but it wont mean a hill of beans unless they see that coming from both of us.
What are some of the things you find most rewarding about being a dad?
The other day my little girl jumped in my lap, put her hand on my face, and whispered in my ear, "Papa, I love you so much." It pulls on your heartstrings. When you come home and the kids run to you, come up and grab your leg. We have a little thing. They stand on my feet and I walk them into the kitchen and we just laugh.
How did faith play a role in the adoption process for you and your wife?
I was walking out of Mass and Susie McEveety, the wife of Steve McEveety (click here to read Catholic Digest's interview with McEveety), who produced The Passion of the Christ, said, 'Will you adopt this child?' And I saw (a picture of) a baby with a tumor on top of its head and in its brain. And I saw his eyes and this sounds like such sentimental hogwash, but Im telling you the truth in my heart I heard this boy calling to me, saying, 'Will you love me?'
|Caviezel plays a journalist who encounters an
Iranian woman (Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Nativity
Story) with a story in The Stoning of Soraya M
Part of what had spurred the adoption was a pro-life challenge. Could you share a little about that?
This guy I know said, 'Youre pro-life. Tell you what, if you really believe in what you speak, adopt a child not any child, hes got to have a serious deficiency,' (and I will become pro-life). He never changed his (position), but it convicted me. I dont think he thought I would step up to the plate.
I was listening to Johnny Mathis the other day and I said, What an amazing voice. I have yet to hear another person sound like Johnny Mathis. How are we so arrogant to think the 51.5 million babies who have died in this country Look, I am for helping women. I just dont see abortion as helping women. And I dont love my career that much to say, Im going to remain silent on this. Im defending every single baby who has never been born. And every voice that would have been unique like Johnny Mathis. How do we know that we didnt kill the very child who could have created a particular type of medicine that saves other lives?
In [The Stoning of Soraya M.] this woman was brutally attacked by a group of Islamic people who believe in Sharia law (Islamic law), prevalent in many countries. Weekly, women are stoned to death. This story takes place [in Iran] and the man who wrote about it (Freidoune Sahebjam, in his 1994 novel The Stoning of Soraya M.: A True Story) went [to Iran and] came upon a woman who told (about an innocent woman who had been stoned to death for supposed infidelity).
The man who wrote this book chose to get involved in something that cost him his entire life. There were many a bully who went after him. They had been hunting this man down for years. Two days before I went to meet this man he died of a heart attack (in March 2008). You cant tell me that this man was not stressed when this thing was going to go public. If the book got him a death sentence, can you imagine what the film is going to be? I met a group of Iranian actors and one of the women said to me, 'Often in the West you say, We want free rights and free choices here in the United States. Well, what makes you think we dont want to have free rights and free choices in our country? You guys always write us off because of some religious fanatic thing.' If you speak out in their area, you disappear or you get publicly stoned to death.
What do you hope audiences will take away from the film?
When you go to church on Sunday, its absolutely worthless unless you apply what youve learned to your everyday life. What I hope they take away is the same story Jesus tried to tell years ago, which was the Good Samaritan. At some point, we all play a character in the Bible. We all think of ourselves, Oh, Im Peter, Im Paul, Im John. Im Jesus (laughs). But nobody says, Im Pontius Pilate. Im politically correct here.
|Jim Caviezel reprises his role of Jesus
on The Word of Promise audio bible.
for more information.
His version of “The Count of Monte Christo” is a must see....
Thanks for that post. JC is the real deal...Caveziel, I mean.
He was excellent in The Thin Red Line as well.
Guy Pearce is quite the villian in The Count of Monte Cristo...it’s a great rental.
As always, interesting posts by you!
I agree. I watched it not too long ago. He is amazing.
I played the lead of Comte de Monte Cristo in my junior high French class; none of the boys would volunteer for the part of Dante. I remember one of my lines, “Je suis libre! Je suis libre!” Our Mademoiselle Decker filmed it, and we laughed at how “retarded” (that was the word we used then) it was, and she was not amused. It was a very condensed version. Ah, memories. :^)
What exactly is this? Link?
what he said about adoption is soooo true. as soon as i saw the picture of this little girl with a port wine stain and a somber expression on her face i knew... i called my husband and said “ honey, you won’t believe this but i am right now looking at a picture of our daughter.” i sent the pic to his cell phone and he said “yep, that’s her, but why did God send her to China first?” that is really how we see it, our baby got rerouted to china and we had to go fetch her, but God made sure we found her.
Great post, thank you!
great profile article - warm and inspiring!
It does my heart wonders to see that there are good men out there in Hollywood who continue to live by their convictions and deep abiding faith!
This really looks good!
Boy, howdy! Took my breath away, it did.
Thanks for the ping. What a great story and I pray that God will continue to richly bless him and he can influence hollywood through his life.
I really am intrigued at the Word Of Promise audio version of the Bible. (Post # 12)
It sounds wonderful.
Thanks for the ping. What a great interview! Jim Caviezel spoke at our diocesan Eucharistic Conference a few years ago ... maybe the year I was expecting Vlad? I still have the notes somewhere. His wife spoke, too. She was charming.
Wow! Thanks for the ping.
He seems to be so genuine. I am hoping that perhaps he can help Mel Gibson out of his troubles that Mel has been bringing on himself.
What a humbling and true man.
Gibson, has the demons working overtime on him.
His fall from grace is understandable. (We need only look at Saul or Peter for that matter.) The human soul is weak if not armoured by prayer and grace.
A good way to start the morning.
Just got back from daily Mass. This morning it's rainy and cool. (60 degrees) I love walking into church and smelling the candles burning on the altar.
I feel like I am home.
Lol ... wonderful sense of humor! I am both adopted and an adoptive parent. And your husband is absolutely correct ... it matters not where you were born but the nurturing love of the family that raises you. Congratulations on your beautiful daughter! May she grow in the love and grace of our Lord.
thank you and congrats on your adoptive parent journey i found the process to be exciting, frustrating, nitpicky, panic inducing and amazing. when the adoption assistants walked thru that door carrying our girl..whoa nelly...i only recall feeling that kind of joy at the birth of my son. for me it was exactly the same.... only without the stretch marks and with a really long flight.
My experience was quite similar except my daughter's birth grandmother was carrying her with a nurse to one side and a lawyer to the other. She placed her in my arms and with tears streaming down her cheeks asked me to lover her as my own. We both embraced and I gave her the reassurance that she would always be loved and respected. My daughter is now 23 years old! How fast the years slip away.
I’m glad that there are a few Hollywood actors or actress who keep their values and sanity intact. Jim Caviezel is a good man and a good actor. I recall reading about him being very moved when he met the Pope several years ago. I hope he remains a good, decent gentleman.
Thanks for the ping, Northern Yankee. What a refreshing interview/article.