‘Playing Jesus wrecked my career’: Passion of the Christ actor said Hollywood has shunned him
Actor Jim Caviezel has claimed his Hollywood career was wrecked by playing Jesus.
He said he was ‘rejected in my own industry’ after taking on the lead role in Mel Gibson’s controversial movie ‘The Passion of the Christ’.
Since playing the son of God in the 2004 film he said offers had dried up and he is shunned by many within the industry.
Although a box office hit taking more than $400million worldwide it was condemned as being anti-Semitic.
Gibson, the film’s director, was later accused of making anti-Jewish remarks after being arrested for drink driving.
Caviezel said he was warned against taking the part by Gibson who warned him he would never work in Hollywood again.
‘He said, “You’ll never work in this town again.” I told him, “We all have to embrace our crosses”.’ Caviezel told an audience of churchgoers in Orlando, Florida.
Since Passion of the Christ, the 42-year-old has only appeared in a handful of films.
Prior to playing Jesus he was considered one of Hollywood rising stars and appeared in The Count of Monte Cristo’ and ‘ngel Eyes with Jennifer Lopez.
One of his biggest hits was in 2000 with time-travel thriller Frequency opposite Dennis Quaid.
Caviezel, a devout Roman Catholic, said he knew playing Jesus would be risky.
‘Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been,’ Caviezel said. ‘Not much has changed in 2,000 years.’
During his 20 minute talk, Caviezel spoke of the troubles that have dogged Gibson.
Mel Gibson, he’s a horrible sinner, isn’t he?’ Caviezel said. ‘Mel Gibson doesn’t need your judgment, he needs your prayers.’
Caviezel said that his faith is his guide, both personally and professionally.
He said it was no coincidence that ‘in my 33rd year, I was called to play Jesus,’ and joked about his initials also being the same as Jesus Christ.
The actor spoke about the film and its negative effect on his career while at a megachurch in Orlando to promote a new audio book of the Bible.
Caviezel plays Jesus and other Hollywood stars, including Richard Dreyfuss, appear on the CD.
Pointing to a DVD of his famous film, Caviezel said ‘This is The Passion of the Christ.’
Pointing to the CD boxed set of the new audio book of the Bible, Words of Promise, he said: ‘This is The Passion on Steroids.’
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