Jim Caviezel: The Power of 'Moral Reminders' in Film

The actor who played Jesus in "Passion of the Christ" talks about his new film and how his movie roles help him grow.

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Do you think that the new movie is going to affect people of faith the same way Passion of the Christ did?

Well, in the "Passion of the Christ," even though we don't go into this particular story, but in one of Jesus' sermons he talks about the Good Samaritan, where you have a man who was beaten up on the side of the road. Two people come by, one being a regular [man] and the other who was a priest, and they [each] did nothing. They sat there and watched the guy and went past [him thinking] "None of my business."

And so, the man that comes and helps him is his enemy, supposedly, the Good Samaritan. Picks him up, puts him on his camel, and takes him to the hotel and provides for him, and then tells the innkeeper, "Hey, I'll be back in a while, and I'll give you more than you basically need."

And he said, and Jesus is telling us, "That's what you need to do as Christians." So much of the time we try to convert through either judging or saying they're Muslim or they're another religion. Is it possible that, if we lived our faith, that people would want to be like us? And so much of the time they are repelled by it because of the lack of love, the lack of calm, the lack of peace, and really no strength.

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It's really until the last 30, 40 years where Christians have become amalgamated to the world--not being able to accept the cross, not being able to accept suffering. And that's part of the secular environment here, where we live every day in this place of "You deserve more. You deserve this." We don't deserve anything. [It's] just by grace that we're here and that we have to live our lives for Heaven, and to understand that, whether it is this story or the Christ one. The Christ [story] kind of hits [Christians] over the head because they can identify that, but [the question is] can they find the Christ in this [story]?

The point I'm trying to make is that you go to church on Sunday. But the real Christ is out there in your life every day, whether it be the guy you help on the street, how you live your life, and your countenance that makes people want to be you. And that comes with suffering, and part of that suffering is what draws others into it. It shines a light upon them [and] it's a part of the persecution that [Jesus] underwent as well.

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