When Jim Caviezel was first asked to play Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, he felt it was a great honor. He also hoped it would help him get his career back on track after years of trying to find work in Hollywood.
But, he quickly learned that playing the most famous figure in history meant enduring a lot of hardships on the set of the film. During the filming process, Caviezel suffered from a dislocated shoulder and hypothermia. He was also accidentally whipped twice and struck by lightning several times, according to Newsweek magazine and other media outlets.
It was a grueling experience for the actor, who had to endure all the beatings and floggings that were part of the movie’s depiction of Jesus’ crucifixion. Despite his injuries and pain, Caviezel fought through the challenges to give audiences a realistic depiction of the events in Christ’s life.
The Passion of the Christ went on to win an Academy Award for best picture and became a box-office sensation. However, the film’s grueling filming process made for some unusual incidents that are not often seen in the big screen.
For starters, Caviezel was whipped by a whip-like prop while he was being crucified. He said that this was an experience that left a 14-inch scar on his back. He was also struck by lightning several times during the movie, including in the Sermon on the Mount and during the crucifixion scene.
He also dangled nearly naked on the cross in bone-chilling winds for weeks while filming. He even contracted pneumonia from the cold.
Ultimately, it was this grueling experience that led to his need for open heart surgery after he filmed the controversial movie. It took him two and a half years to heal from the trauma of the experience.
But, he says that he was able to forgive himself for all the suffering he experienced while making The Passion of the Christ and that he is grateful to God for saving him. He also believes that he is blessed with a strong faith, which helped him through these tough situations.
When he got back to work after the filming of The Passion of the Christ, Caviezel was immediately cast as John Reese in CBS’s Person of Interest (2011-2016). The show’s central premise is that former CIA agent Reese and billionaire software genius Finch join forces to fight crime in a fictional world where criminals have access to technology.
After Person of Interest, Caviezel worked on films like Pay It Forward (2000) and Angel Eyes (2002). He refused to do some nude scenes in these movies out of respect for his wife and his Roman Catholic beliefs.
Although he has worked on a number of popular movies and TV shows, Caviezel is most well-known for his role as Jesus in The Passion of the Christ. He was nominated for an MTV Movie Award in the category of ‘Best Male Performance’ for his role in this movie. He was also a member of the American Actors Studio, which helps actors gain access to more roles and offers them professional development opportunities.