Jim Caviezel knew that he was taking a risk when he signed on to play Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s 2004 blockbuster The Passion of the Christ, but did so anyway, telling the director, “I have to carry my own cross.”
Now, as the 42-year-old tells it, he’s in Hollywood exile, unable to land the types of high-profile roles he did in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Caviezel, who had a string of hits with The Thin Red Line, Frequency and The Count of Monte Cristo, chalks this up to his controversial role in Passion.
Speaking at Orlando’s First Baptist Church last Saturday, Caviezel told of an exchange he had with Gibson early in the movie’s production. “(Gibson) said, ‘You’ll never work in this town again.’ I told him, ‘We all have to embrace our crosses…’ I told him, ‘Mel, this is what I believe. We all have a cross to carry,” the actor said, according to multiple sources.
Since playing Jesus, Caviezel has appeared in movies such as 2006’s Déjà Vu and Unknown and 2008’s Outlander, but certainly hasn’t been a consistent box-office draw following that fateful career move.