A Sunday Interview with Jim Caviezel
*Quotes in this entry may not be entirely accurate, so don’t hold me to them. No recording devices were allowed, so I just did my best to remember what he said.
On Sunday, the head pastor of Oasis Church in Los Angeles sat down for an interview with actor Jim Caviezel, who’s most noted for his role as Jesus Christ in The Passion of the Christ. I’ve said in the past that I don’t want to be the next Kirk Cameron. However, I have no problem with being the next Jim Caviezel.
Although the questions asked of Mr. Caviezel were fairly straight-forward–things like, “How did playing Jesus impact your life?”–his answers were direct and challenging. To put it simply, Jim Caviezel doesn’t mess around, and you could sense his intensity in the answers he gave. Speaking to an audience largely made up of young, Christian artists, Jim spoke on the importance of not living a sinful lifestyle in a business where darkness rules. He also briefly alluded to his inability to find professional work now, as a result of his role as Christ.
Despite his seemingly strict lifestyle, Caviezel also spoke of the priceless freedom that comes with being a Christian. He told stories about being on the Passion set, being struck by lightning, and details regarding the hours per day working (2AM to 10AM was make-up, then filming until 4PM) and the sickness he endured throughout the filming process. As far as the arts go, Jim was firm in his beliefs that, as Christian actors, our job is to act. Speaking in response to someone saying, “Well, you swear in that movie,” Jim said something to the affect of, “I’m Roman Catholic. I don’t cuss. But my character is not a Roman Catholic… I hear Christians say, ‘I don’t watch R-rated movies.’ Sorry, pal, but the Bible is R-rated.”
Caviezel also spoke about the hypocrisy in modern society, where a nativity scene is offensive but a 1-900 number for phone sex is somehow protected by the Constitution.
The lasting impression I got from Sunday’s interview with Jim Caviezel was that he is a truly passionate individual who fears for the health of modern Christianity. “You were not called to fit in. You were called to stand out.” That sentiment is never more powerful than here in Hollywood, where standing out is only something you want to do in an audition and fitting in is of utmost importance. He spoke of true freedom in America, where “freedom is not having the right to do what you want, but having the right to do what you ought.”
“There are moments in [The Passion of the Christ], where I stop playing Jesus and Jesus is playing me…. In this business, you have to let Jesus play you.”
Jim Caviezel is passionate, direct, butt-kicking, and pretty flipping awesome. He may not have rubbed everyone the right way, but that’s okay. Jesus didn’t, either.