"The Passion of the Christ" actor Jim Caviezel has said that after he played Jesus Christ, he was suddenly rejected by Hollywood -- just like Christ was rejected by man during His time on earth.
"All of the sudden I stopped being one of five most popular actors in the studio, and I hadn't done anything wrong. I just played Jesus," the actor told Polish journalist and film critic Lukasz Adamski of his career following "The Passion". "Was I personally affected by this rejection? Well, everyone has their cross to bear. The world changes...but I will not be in this world forever. Neither will the producers from Hollywood. At some point, everyone will have to answer for what they have done."
"The Passion of the Christ", released in 2004, was a major commercial hit, earning a whopping $612 million worldwide on a $30 million production budget, making it the highest grossing religious film in history. The film also received three nominations at the 77th Academy Awards.
The 48-year-old actor, who has since appeared in the TV show "Person of Interest," said it was no coincidence that when he played the role of Jesus, he was 33 years old, and his initials were J.C.
"Don't you tell me it was a coincidence! There are no coincidences. I keep hearing about 'accidents' and 'strokes of luck.' Secularization affects the entire world, including the USA. Only atheists believe in coincidence," Caviezel said.
"There are no coincidences for God. Even when God resurrects the dead, they will say it happened by accident."
Caviezel added that like any believer, sometimes he struggles with faith. However, whatever role he plays or job he takes on, he never forgets the name of Jesus.
"Love is controversial and he is love incarnate. Jesus was telling the Romans about love and they killed him because of that. 'Who is that man to tell me what kind of person I'm supposed to be?' they asked arrogantly. He was betrayed by his own people and abandoned by everyone," he added.
"My duty was not only to show it all on the screen. My real duty is to live in accordance with the Gospel every day and to give witness to the truth."
Caviezel, who with his wife has adopted three children with cancer, also said he would love to play a part in Gibson's planned "The Passion of the Christ" sequel: "I want to work with Gibson again. This time it will be a film about the resurrection. If 'The Passion of the Christ' inspired so many people to do good, why don't we try again? I feel like there is a purpose in my life again," he said.
"That's why I've played in a TV series about a man looking for a purpose for the last five years. I don't do it just for the money. I do it for the love. It's my Christian mission."
When asked last year by Lakewood Church pastor Joel Osteen if the upcoming movie would be about the resurrection, Gibson replied, "Yeah, I think so ... We were talking about it. We're getting into some interesting areas on this that, between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, like, what was going on in there."
Gibson also opened up about the difficulties of telling a Bible story from a unique angle: "You do it so that it surprises," he said. "You do it so that it enlightens. Just some kind of telling, some kind of rendering that suffices is just not good enough. It has to be dug deep for and it has to have, in its image and its sound and its visual, it has to be able to delve to places that people have never even thought before, I think, on a theological level."
Gibson first discussed making a sequel to "The Passion" during an August interview with evangelist Greg Laurie: "We're talking about that. Of course, that is a huge undertaking," the actor said of the upcoming film. "And you know, it's not the 'Passion 2.' It's called 'The Resurrection.' Of course, that's a very big subject and it needs to be looked at because we don't want to just do a simple rendering of it - you know, read what happened."