from John Bradford
“Mel Gibson warned actor Jim Caviezel that playing the character of Christ was going to be very difficult and that if he accepted, he most likely would be marginalized by Hollywood.
Caviezel asked for a day to think about it and his response to Mel who was funding and directing the movie was: “I think we have to make it, even if it is difficult.” And something else, my initials are J.C., and I am 33 years old. “I didn’t realize that until now.”
Mel responded with “You’re really scaring me know.”
During filming, Jim Caviezel who plays Jesus lost 45 pounds, was struck by lightning, accidentally struck twice during the scourging scene leaving a deep ￼14-inch scar, he dislocated his shoulder when the dropped the cross into the hole which him on the cross. He then suffered pneumonia and hypothermia from being nearly naked with only a loin cloth on the cross for several hours.
His body was so stressed and exhausted from playing the role that he had to undergo two open heart surgeries after production.
The crucifixion scene alone took 5 weeks out of 2 months of shooting.
“I don’t want people to see me.
I just want them to see Jesus. Conversions will happen through that.” Almost like a clairvoyant prediction many amazing things happened. Pedro Sarubbi, who played Barabbas, felt that it was not Caviezel￼ who was looking at him, but Jesus Christ himself, as he played that role he said of Caviezel, “His eyes had no hatred or resentment towards me, only mercy and love.”
Luca Lionello, the artist who played Judas, was an avowed atheist before shooting began. He eventually converted, confessed and baptized his children.
One of the main technicians who was a Muslim also converted to Christianity.
Some producers said they saw people they didn’t know during the filming dressed in white, but when the recordings ended they weren’t in the footage.
The Passion of the Christ is the highest grossing US R-rated film of all time, with $370.8 million!
Worldwide, it grossed $611 million.
More importantly, it has reached many souls around the world. Mel Gibson paid $30 million out of his own pocket for the production because no studio would take on the project.
Jim Caviezel simply and proudly proclaims his faith in Christ and the miracle it was to represent him as an actor and believer.
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