Jim Caviezel made a surprise appearance Wednesday evening at the SLS18 (Student Leadership Summit 2018) conference sponsored by The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS).
Caviezel played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ.
- During the film shoot, the actor suffered a lung infection and double pneumonia. Plus, he says, “Going to work every day with only one eye functioning … gives you headaches.”
- It would usually take 8-10 hours to put Jim Caviezel into the scourged makeup, which also left him with severe headaches plus skin infections.
- The film was shot during the dead of winter in Italy, with 25-degree temperatures and 30-knot winds. In one scene while hanging on the Cross, the actor’s skin looks blue. This was not makeup or a special effect, but hypothermia.
- During the filming, the 150 lb cross dropped on the actor’s shoulder, causing it to be separated. He was also whipped twice by accident and has a 14-inch scar on his back. The scenes are in the movie.
- He was also struck by lightning and, after the film was finished, had to have heart surgery to repair damage from the lightning strike.
- The figure of Christ during the crucifixion is actually Jim Caviezel in many scenes. The movie’s make-up effects creator/producer Keith VanderLaan also forged an articulated, rubber stand-in for Caviezel that even made breathing motions. It was used for dangerous shots and also for certain wide shots to allow the actor some physical relief.
- Mel Gibson had a Canadian priest, Fr. Stephen Somerville, celebrate the Traditional Roman Catholic Latin Mass of the Apostolic Rite for the film crew each day before production began.
- Because of their experiences during film production, many of the cast and filming crew converted to Catholicism after the completion of the film. Among those who converted was an atheist who played Judas Iscariot.