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.

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5 Comments on “A Sunday Interview with Jim Caviezel

  1. Pingback: A Sunday Interview…

  2. I have had the chance to hear Jim speak a few times in the past; he is a wonderfully honest Christian man who is not ashamed nor afraid to express his beliefs. His interviews are very thought-provoking, and he never sugar-coats anything he says. He is a joy to talk with as well; I have never met a person who loves Jesus as much Jim does, and I find that to be a truly admirable trait. He blesses people with what he has to say, and he may also “rub some the wrong way” – but then again, who doesn’t? None of us are perfect – we all have our faults, and Jim does too, but he is a really great guy, and has a heart for Our Lord.

  3. I enjoyed listening in online to Jim’s interview this past Sunday and was truly surprised by his passion and sincerity! It’s great to know that his walk with Jesus is the most important thing to him beyond working in Hollywood. I do however think that his viewpoint of a person who does not watch R-rated movies is a little shallow. Granted, the Bible is very R-rated in parts, some could even be considered X-rated, but we must not lose sight of what the Bible is: It is God’s Holy Word for us. By studying it we grow a better understanding of who God is and His love for us, plus it gives us guidance on how to live this life for His glory. The vast majority of R-rated movies being produced by Hollywood do not do this. In some cases, they are created as an afront to God and His Word. So, in defense of the non-R-rated-movie-watching Christian, they are mearly trying to maintain a separation from the world by removing the influence of morally questionable materials from their lives. However, this blanket idealogy can also be detrimental to their spiritual maturity if they refuse to acknowledge that the world is a messed up place with R-rated stuff going on.

  4. Thanks for the comments, folks!

    Ryan, as usual, you’re spot-on. I think Caviezel would probably agree with you for the most part, too. I may have exaggerated his viewpoint a little, so hopefully he doesn’t come on here and pop a cap in my cyber butt. The quote I used had a judgmental connotation, and I certainly didn’t intend for that to happen. Hollywood’s R-rated movies are often an attack on Him and His word. For example, Black Swan is a popular topic here right now. It’s a psychological thriller, completely well done, the epitome of cinematic art in our generation, and it also is centered on lesbian sexuality. Much like American Beauty and all those types of movies, it’s still “art” but it’s not truly beautiful. In my opinion, rejecting R-rated movies for a lack of beauty (which is essentially why many Christians reject them) can be seen as a very open-minded and artistically-driven choice.

  5. aside from looks,his wife is one lucky lady,i would love to meet such a intense,honest,and gorgess guy,like jim,it takes guts too come out and say your not going too change who you are and your beliefs,when you work in Hollywood,he hates abortion though,obviousley i know why and wont get in too that,
    but god if you are listerning,please let my soulmate be like jim cavizal,ive waited,and retained my self control and want a man that says”I know i will be happy with my wife till the end of my life”
    he is amazing i whish i could meet the guy one day,it wont happen,but at least we are all blessed to have the guy in our life even if its from a distance,
    he gives me the faith to believe that there is still intense,intelligant,honest,and faithfull men in this world
    im going to add this fellow and his family too my prayers
    everynight,
    bless u all.

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