‘THE PASSION OF CHRIST’ – AMAZING FACTS
The Passion of Christ is America’s highest-grossing R-rated film of all time with $370.8 million! Worldwide, it grossed $611 million. More importantly, it has reached many souls across the world. Mel Gibson, the movie Director, paid $30 million out of his own pocket for the production because no studio would take over the project.
“Mel Gibson warned Jim Cavieziel that the character of JESUS would be very difficult and that if he accepted, he could be marginalized in Hollywood. Jim asked for a day to think about it and his response was, “I think we have to do this, even if it’s difficult. And another thing, my initials are J.C. and I’m 33 years old. I hadn’t noticed until now.”
Mel responded with a sincere, “You’re scaring me.”
During filming, Jim Caviezel (playing Jesus) lost 20 pounds, was struck by lightning, accidentally whipped twice, leaving a 14-inch scar, dislocated his shoulder, and suffered from pneumonia and hypothermia from hanging nearly naked from a cross for several hours outside.
His body was so stressed and exhausted from playing the role that he had to undergo 2 open heart surgeries after production. The crucifixion scene alone took 5 weeks out of 2 months of shooting.
“I don’t want people to see me. I just want them to see Jesus. Through this, conversions will occur”, Jim declared.
Almost like an advertisement, many strange things happened, Pedro Sarubbi, who played Barabbas, when playing this role felt that it was not Caviezel who was looking at him, but Jesus Christ himself. “His eyes held no hatred or resentment for me, only mercy and love.”
Luca Lionello, the artist who played Judas, was an outspoken atheist before filming began. When he was finished, he was converted, confessed, and baptized his children. One of the technical chiefs who was a Muslim also converted to Christianity.
Some producers claimed to have seen people dressed in white giving advice, which at the end of the recordings did not appear again.
MY TAKE: When God is involved, all is resolved. God must have breathed upon the project because he saw the passion in the hearts of Mel Gibson and Jim Caviezel. ‘The Passion of the Christ’ turned out to be a powerful weapon of soul-winning.