Faith and Hollywood: Jim Caviezel

Source: District of the USA

A rare outspoken Catholic in Hollywood, Mr. Caviezel has received negative treatment due to his beliefs

In a recent interview, Jim Caviezel, star of the 2004 film, The Passion of the Christ, speaks of the planned sequel and his devotion to John Paul II and to the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Caviezel was invited by the Knights of Columbus to visit the places in Poland where Karol Wojtyła (later Pope John Paul II) lived and worked, and to narrate a documentary entitled “Liberating the Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism.” During an interview while on location with Polish publication Polityce, the actor exclaimed:  


I came to understand that he was carrying the problems of the entire world on his shoulders. I never realized before what a great power there was in Karol Wojtyła’s prayers and his words that had truly ‘renewed the face of the earth.’

I’ve been to Auschwitz where Maximilian Kolbe...gave his life for a fellow prisoner. It made me realize the scale of suffering of Polish people. And then Communism followed [the Nazi occupation], making John Paul II live under two of the most monstrous regimes....Poland, just like Christ, had been crucified. The Virgin Mary is the mother of Poland. Before he died, Wojtyła’s father told him that Mary is now also his mother. It is a great symbol of your nation.”

Although as a teenager Caviezel did not go to see Pope John Paul II during his pastoral journey to the United States, he remembers:


...the Pope saying to Americans: ‘You can all be saints!’ It makes me sad that so many people in my country do not seek sainthood. They substitute it with drugs and hedonism. It is simply filling the emotional void.”

After filming The Passion of the Christ, the American actor met the Polish Pope in an audience at the Vatican. “I told him how much his letter to artists influenced me. It was aimed at those who look for the beauty and give it to the world in the form of art. I try my best to carry out his instructions.”

Mr. Caviezel on set as Our Lord with director Mel Gibson

Finding Work After The Passion


Despite the huge commercial success of Gibson’s film, it was difficult for Caviezel to find work in Hollywood afterward.


All of a sudden I stopped being one of five most popular actors in the studio and I haven’t done anything wrong. I just played Jesus....I did my job....Well, everyone has their cross to bear.”

The interviewer mentioned “reports of conversions after watching the film.” Caviezel responded:  “The film has inspired millions of viewers....My career is not over.” Caviezel views his career in terms of his Catholic faith:


My real duty is to live in accordance with the Gospel every day and to give witness to the truth. And it all boils down to John Paul II again. ‘Totus Tuus’ – ‘Totally Yours.’ If you want to know how he inspires me, this is it. Totally Yours.”

The American actor regards devotion to Our Lady as central. “This is the essence of my faith. My relationship with Jesus is thanks to her. She brought Jesus to us.” One practical consequence of his devotion to Mary is his strong pro-life stance. Caviezel and his wife adopted three abandoned children with cancer. “My wife said it doesn’t matter whether children are wanted or not. They are people, just like we are.”

On Playing the Role of Jesus Again


The actor admits that he has stage fright at the thought of performing the role of Jesus again.


I played various roles in my career. I once played a serial killer and I had to look into his soul. I had to ask myself whether I would be able to kill another person. I played soldiers and athletes.... The role of Jesus was the most difficult endeavor I’ve ever taken up. There is nothing more glorious and at the same time more humbling than this role....The thought of doing it again feels like a nightmare. However, when I come to a country like Poland and see the places of martyrdom and sacrifice, I come to realize that only love can save the world. The love of the Christ. Therefore, I want to work with Gibson again. This time it will be a film about the resurrection. If The Passion of the Christ inspired so many people to do good, why don’t we try again? I feel like there is a purpose in my life again.”


When I played Jesus I prayed a lot. I asked God to show me how I can present Jesus in the most accurate way. How to make the viewers feel closer to him. How to inspire the viewers. It has been my inner journey which as we can see hasn’t finished yet....I wouldn’t have managed to finish this project either if it wasn’t for the Virgin Mary. I’m absolutely devoted to her, just like Poland.”

We recommend to our readers the two 1955 exhortations to representatives of film industry by Pius XII.

Exhortation to Representatives of Cinema Industry

Sources: Polityce, LifeSiteNews