The movie titled "The Passion of the Christ” was released in 2004, and made a great impact on the Christian community, and the world, for those who went to see it. Even though this depiction was graphic (parental discretion advised), it still failed to capture the full reality of what Jesus endured during his final hours on earth, but it came as remarkable close as we would expect a movie to.
What we want to challenge you with is some of the facts and secrets behind filming this historical, and epic movie. We have always been fascinated by what happens behind the scenes of a movie, and this one was no exception.
Here are the five things you probably didn't know about "the passion of the Christ";
1). Caviezel’s appearance was greatly changed for the role
The man who acted as Jesus Christ, Jim was given a prosthetic nose and a raised hairline during his makeup. His blue eyes were changed to brown in the film. We always thought Jesus had blue eyes. Now where did we get that crazy idea from? Better yet, what historical proof do we have that His eyes were indeed brown?
Mel wanted to transform the actor into as close an image of Jesus as they had in mind. We have seen many versions over the years, and this was one of the best. We have seen Jim in other movies, but we are just grateful that his impersonation of Jesus was very different from the villain he played in the Harry Potter series.
2). Jim Caviezel hurt himself carrying the cross
Jim Caviezel was seemingly the perfect candidate to play Jesus Christ. What you may not have known is that he experienced a shoulder separation when the 130-pound cross was dropped unto his shoulder. That scene is still in the movie.
That was a heavy cross. It was probably more than half the weight of a typical Jewish man. It took great inner strength for Jesus to carry such a weight after being severely scourged with a cat-o-nine whip, hit in the head with a reed, had a crown of thorn pressed into his head, and abandoned by all his friends.
Jim did it with a separated shoulder, though we are sure he did not traverse the full length of the journey but the pain in his face during that scene would have been real.
3). Lightning struck on-set multiple times
Assistant Director Jan Michelini was hit twice by lightning during the filming of the movie. There is actually a rumour that Jim was also hit while hanging on the cross. We are not sure of the spiritual significance of such an occurrence, but there were no reports of anyone turning into the flash.
In the scriptures, lightning comes from God. For example, Psalm 135:7 says, “He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightning for the rain, who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.” So, God sent forth lightning on the set of The Passion of the Christ. Was it a wake-up call, or a confirmation that He approved the film? Maybe it was a sign to those involved. Food for thought!
4). Most of the cast and crew converted after the film
Because of their experiences through production, many of the cast members and crew converted to Christianism (Catholicism) after the completion of the film. Among those converted was an Atheist who played Judas Iscariot. His name is Luca Lionello.
Being in a film and playing the worst character role in terms of flaws can eventually lead to finding salvation, how much of an impact could the film make on those who watch the finished movie? We believe quite a lot.
5). The actress who played Mary was pregnant
Maia Morgenstern, who played Mary, was pregnant during the shoot, but she did not tell anyone, until one day she approached Jim and said in broken English, and a thick Romanian accent, “I have baby in stomach.” Jim got the idea. It must have felt a little awkward playing Jesus at the end of His life, while the woman playing his mother was preparing to give birth to new life. Talk about miracles.
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