May 6, 2011
Caviezel "Rejected in My Own Industry"
'Passion of the Christ' star says that offers have decreased since playing Jesus
In a recent speech at First Baptist Church of Orlando, actor Jim Caviezel said he's been "rejected in my own industry" since playing Jesus in 2004's The Passion of the Christ.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that Caviezel said that director Mel Gibson actually encouraged Caviezel not to play the role, because it could ruin his career. Caviezel: "He said, 'You'll never work in this town again.' I told him, 'We all have to embrace our crosses.' ''
Caviezel also talked about how Gibson's personal life has been in a very public tailspin in recent years; the director has been labeled an anti-Semite and has threatened and cursed at the mother of his youngest child.
"Mel Gibson, he's a horrible sinner, isn't he?" Caviezel said. "Mel Gibson doesn't need your judgment, he needs your prayers."
The Sentinel story also reported that Caviezel, a Roman Catholic, "has never shied from films with religious subtexts, sometimes controversial ones, from The Passion of the Christ (2004) and The Stoning of Soraya M. (2008) to I Am David (2003) and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (2004).
Caviezel has said his faith is his guide, both personally and professionally. He speaks of being "called" to the acting profession and says it was no coincidence that "in my 33rd year, I was called to play Jesus." He even joked about his initials — J.C. — with Gibson at the time of his casting, which "freaked him out a little."
Caviezel and his wife have adopted "special-needs" children from China, and one has cancer."Maybe God, through my son's death, is going to teach me something."