Apr 30, 2017 / 04:48 pm
Actor Jim Caviezel has starred in Hollywood hits from “The Count of Monte Cristo” to “The Thin Red Line.” But he is best known for playing Jesus in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” an experience that he says affected him very deeply and spiritually. In a new interview, Caviezel talks about the importance of his Catholic faith, the lasting impact that “The Passion” has had on his life, and his special devotion to the Virgin Mary.
The following interview was carried out by Polish journalist and film critic Lukasz Adamski, and published at http://wpolityce.pl. Reprinted here with permission, edited for clarity:
Lukasz Adamski: You became the narrator of a documentary about Karol Wojtyla called “Liberating the Continent: John Paul II and the Fall of Communism.” While in Poland at the invitation of the Knights of Columbus, you have visited the area where he lived and worked. Who is Karol Wojtyla to you in a personal, and not only geopolitical sense?
Jim Caviezel: During my visit to Poland, I came to understand that he was carrying problems of the entire world on his shoulders…And there is a more personal side to it. Playing Jesus himself, I faced a lot of criticism and often derision. I had to get on with it somehow. There wouldn’t be Jim Caviezel as Jesus if it wasn’t for John Paul II. Looking at his life and the power of his evangelization, I said to myself: Why would you even care about that nonsense (of the critics)?
As a young person, I read a lot about Nazism and the genocide carried out by Germans on Polish territory. My knowledge was limited to books, but during my stay in Poland I realized how much Wojtyla must have suffered by being directly exposed to Nazism. I’ve been to Auschwitz where Maximillian Kolbe gave his life as a martyr for a fellow prisoner. It made me realize the scale of suffering of the Polish people. And then the Communism that followed meant that John Paul II had lived under two of the most monstrous regimes. As an American, I lived peacefully worrying about the Cold War at most. I did not experience totalitarian regimes. John Paul II had to live under two of them, just like your entire country. He represents all of Poland. ..
Go here for the rest of the interview.