Actor was almost struck by lightning and converted after the film

The feature film stars Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ.

Today is Good Friday and there’s no way to talk about the date here in Brazil without mentioning one of the most popular religious films of that time. As the title of the article anticipates, we are talking about The Passion of the Christ, but, otherwise, it would be very easy to guess by the initial description in the paragraph.

Photo: Icon Productions / I love cinema

The feature film, considered one of the most controversial of its kind, is directed by Mel Gibson and presents the events of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. It all starts when, in the middle of the night, Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by soldiers on the Mount of Olives. What follows after that is a series of public beatings and humiliations until his crucifixion.

The film’s portrayer of Jesus, Jim Caviezel, went through some ups and downs during the making of the film, including two accidental lashes that left a 12-inch scar on his back and a fracture after his shoulder was hit by a 68-kilogram cross. And, for those who say that lightning never strikes twice in the same place, they certainly don’t know the actor.

Jim Caviezel was struck by lightning twice, the first time while filming the Sermon on the Mount and the second in the scene of Jesus’ crucifixion. Including, in one of them, his hair caught fire, but the actor was unharmed.

After filming the film, the actor converted to Christianity and already knew that his career would be compromised forever after the release of The passion of christ. In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, Jim Caviezel stated that Hollywood rejected him. Even director Mel Gibson had asked him to turn down the role of Jesus.

I told him, ‘We all have to embrace our crosses.’ Jesus is as controversial now as he ever was. He hasn’t changed much in two thousand years.

When he became a member of First Baptist Church Orlando, the actor said he learned to accept that the destruction of his acting career was a price worth paying. “We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to tell you the truth.”

Jim Caviezel wasn’t the only actor in the film to convert to Christianity. Later, due to experiences on set, many cast and crew members became religious. Among them was Luca Lionello, who played Judas Iscariot in the feature film, and a Muslim actor who played one of the torture guards.

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