Hollywood alienation

Director Mel Gibson warned Caviezel that he might become a Hollywood outcast by taking on the role of Christ. Caviezel replied: "Mel, this is what I believe. We all have a cross to carry. I have to carry my own cross. If we don't carry our crosses, we are going to be crushed under the weight of it. So let's go and do it." The star later revealed he did feel shunned by Hollywood for having taken the role.


With his matching age of 33 and of course his initials JC, playing the role of Jesus Christ came at the perfect time. However, the actor shared how "he was half exhilarated and half terrified, honestly."

Painful make-up sessions

With his piercing blue eyes, Caviezel seems a good match to play Jesus. However, to really physically play the part, the actor spent eight endless hours in make up, which caused hypothermia and a dislodged shoulder. Caviezel's simple response was: "It forced me to pray."


Being up on a wooden cross while others were busy getting on with their regular filming tasks or just chatting was hard for Caviezel. Similar to the same indifference Jesus experienced. Yet, as the actor points out, Christ was able to forgive those who were indifferent to his plight.


Taking the role to heart, Caviezel was on a mission. This role wasn't about him; he wanted viewers to see Jesus in his portrayal: "That's what I wanted more than anything, that people would have a visceral effect to finally make a decision whether to follow Him or no."

5+ Weeks of crucifixion

Being up on the cross for hours on end, fearing for his life as it precariously swayed in strong winds, Caviezel had to endure five extra weeks of filming to ensure the perfect footage.

Struck by lightning

As if the crucifixion scenes weren't enough, Caviezel was also struck by lightning while filming the scene for the Sermon on the Mount. The star was "lit up like a Christmas tree" but miraculously survived to tell the tale.