Jim Caviezel

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Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel in May 2012 (cropped).jpg
Caviezel at Paley Center, 2012
BornJames Patrick Caviezel
(1968-09-26) September 26, 1968 (age 45)
Mount Vernon, Washington, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Kerri Browitt (1996–present)
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Jim Caviezel
Jim Caviezel in May 2012 (cropped).jpg
Caviezel at Paley Center, 2012
BornJames Patrick Caviezel
(1968-09-26) September 26, 1968 (age 45)
Mount Vernon, Washington, U.S.
Years active1989–present
Spouse(s)Kerri Browitt (1996–present)

James Patrick "Jim" Caviezel (born September 26, 1968) is an American film and television actor, known for portraying Jesus Christ in the 2004 Mel Gibson film, The Passion of the Christ. Other notable roles have been: Bobby Jones in Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, Detective John Sullivan in Frequency, Edmond Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo, Catch in Angel Eyes, Carroll Oerstadt in Déjà Vu and Private Witt in The Thin Red Line. Since September 2011, he has starred as John Reese on the CBS crime drama Person of Interest.

Early life and education[edit]

Caviezel was born in Mount Vernon, Washington, on September 26, 1968. His mother, Margaret (née Lavery), is a former stage actress and homemaker, and his father, James Caviezel, is a chiropractor.[1][2] He has a younger brother, Timothy, and three sisters, Ann, Amy, and Erin, and was raised in a tight-knit Catholic[3][4] family in Conway, Washington. His surname is of Romansh origin. His father is of Swiss (paternal) and Slovak (maternal) descent, while his mother is of Irish descent.[5][6] Caviezel's father attended UCLA and played basketball for coach John Wooden, prompting all the Caviezel siblings to play the sport.[7]

Caviezel attended Mount Vernon High School for two years, and then moved to Seattle and lived with family friends in order to play basketball at O'Dea High School, a Catholic high school. The following spring, he transferred from O'Dea to another Catholic school, John F. Kennedy Memorial High School in Burien, where he played basketball, graduating in 1987. Following high school, Caviezel enrolled at Bellevue College, where the 6'2" athlete played college basketball. A foot injury in his second year put an end to his hopes of a basketball career in the NBA. He transferred to the University of Washington where he turned his focus to acting and became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity.[7]


Caviezel began acting in plays in Seattle. He earned his Screen Actors Guild card following a minor role in the 1991 film My Own Private Idaho. He then moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career. He was offered a scholarship to study acting at New York's Juilliard School in 1993, but he turned it down in favor of a role in the 1994 film Wyatt Earp, where he played Warren Earp.[8][9]

He appeared in episodes of Murder, She Wrote and The Wonder Years in his early career. After appearing in G.I. Jane (1997), Caviezel had a breakthrough performance in Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, based on World War II. He played Black John, a Missouri bushwhacker, in Ang Lee's Ride with the Devil (1999), a film budgeted and intended as a summer blockbuster, but it fell flat at the box office. He was originally cast to play Cyclops/Scott Summers in X-Men (2000), but dropped out because of a scheduling conflict with the film Frequency.

Caviezel starred in such mainstream Hollywood films as Pay It Forward (2000), Angel Eyes (2001), and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). In 2000, he filmed the lead role in Madison, a film that tells the story of hydroplane racing in Madison, Indiana. The film completed post-production in 2001, sat on the shelf for several years and did not appear in theaters until 2005, in limited release. In addition, his work in High Crimes (2002) was highly praised by critics. In 2002, he played a pivotal role in the film I Am David from the Danish novel known as both David and North to Freedom, written by Ann Holm.

In 2004, Caviezel portrayed Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. During filming, he was struck by lightning, accidentally scourged, dislocated his shoulder, and suffered pneumonia and hypothermia.[10] Prior to filming, Gibson reportedly warned Caviezel that playing Jesus would hurt his acting career. In 2011, he admitted that good roles had been hard to come by ever since.[11][12]

He played a leading role in Unknown, an IFC Films project. Caviezel played the main antagonist in Tony Scott's 2006 action film, Déjà Vu. He played "Kainan" in Outlander (2008). He provides the voice of Jesus on the Thomas Nelson Inc.-produced New Testament audio dramatization The Word of Promise,[13] released in the fall of 2007.[14] In 2008, he starred in Long Weekend, co-starring Claudia Karvan and directed by Jamie Blanks at Wilsons Promontory.

In 2009, Caviezel played French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam in The Stoning of Soraya M., a drama set in 1986 Iran about the execution of a young mother. The film, produced by Stephen McEveety, also stars Oscar-nominated Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo. When asked about how his Roman Catholic faith was affected by this story, Caviezel says, "...you don't have to go any further than the gospels to figure out what the right thing to do is, whether you should be more concerned helping someone regardless of their religion or where they’re from."[15] That same year Caviezel lent his voice talents in the Thomas Nelson audio Bible production known as The Word of Promise, reprising the role of Jesus.[16]

Alongside Ian McKellen, Caviezel starred in The Prisoner, a remake of the British science fiction TV show The Prisoner, which aired in November 2009.[17][18]

BuddyTV ranked him #92 on its list of "TV's Sexiest Men of 2011".[19]

Since 2011, he has starred in the CBS drama Person of Interest, which received the highest rating in the past 15 years for a series pilot, and has consistently had over 10 million viewers in weekly ratings.

Caviezel is scheduled to star in the 2014 football film When the Game Stands Tall as De La Salle High School coach Bob Ladouceur, whose Concord, California, Spartans prep team had a 151-game winning streak from 1992-2003, surpassing all records for consecutive victories in any American sport. Thomas Carter will direct.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Caviezel went on a blind date with Kerri Browitt, an English teacher and flautist, in 1993. They married on July 20, 1996, and adopted two children from China: a boy, Bo James, and a girl, Lynn Elizabeth (LeLe).[21]

Caviezel and his wife Kerri are both devout Catholics[22] and he has been a featured public speaker at religious venues since the release of The Passion of the Christ. On March 19, 2005, he was the spokesperson for the first Catholic Men's Conference in Boston.[23]

Caviezel's wife is the sister-in-law of Dallas Cowboys passing game coordinator Scott Linehan. She and Linehan's wife, Kristen, are sisters.[24]

In 2006 Caviezel enrolled in at least one class at University of Notre Dame, but not as a full-time student.[25]

Public politics[edit]

On October 24, 2006, Caviezel was featured (along with Patricia Heaton, Kurt Warner, and Mike Sweeney) in an advertisement opposing embryonic stem-cell research. Caviezel began the advertisement by saying "Le-bar nash be-neshak", Aramaic for "You betray the Son of Man with a kiss", a reference to Judas's betraying Christ and a phrase used in the Greek version of the Gospel of Luke.[26][27] The line, however, did not include a translation into English. Caviezel closed the commercial with the line, "You know now. Don't do it." This was in reference to voting in favor of a Missouri Constitutional amendment, which later passed, allowing stem cell research and therapy in Missouri that is otherwise legal under federal law. The advertisement was a response to a commercial featuring Michael J. Fox, in favor of embryonic stem cell research.

Caviezel donated $2,100 to the 2006 campaign to re-elect U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.[28]


Caviezel at Comic-Con, July 2012
1991My Own Private IdahoAirline Clerk
1992The Wonder YearsBobby RiddleEpisode: "Hero"
1992DiggstownBilly Hargrove
1994Wyatt EarpWarren Earp
1995Children of the DustDexterTV movie
1996EdDizzy Anderson
1996The RockF/A-18 Pilot
1997G.I. Jane'Slov' Slovnik
1998The Thin Red LinePrivate Witt
1999Ride with the DevilBlack John
2000FrequencyJohn Sullivan
2000Pay It ForwardJerry
2000MadisonJim McCormick
2001Angel EyesSteven 'Catch' Lambert
2002The Count of Monte CristoEdmond Dantès
2002High CrimesTom Kubik
2003HighwaymenJames 'Rennie' Cray
2003I Am DavidJohannesWon (shared) CAMIE Award
2004The Passion of the ChristJesus ChristWon MovieGuide Grace Award
2004The Final CutFletcher
2004Bobby Jones: Stroke of GeniusBobby Jones
2006UnknownJean Jacket
2006Déjà VuCarroll Oerstadt
2008The Stoning of Soraya M.Freidoune
2008Nature's GravePeter
2009The PrisonerMichael/SixTV miniseries
2011Generator RexAstral (voice)Season 4
2011–presentPerson of InterestJohn ReeseNominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Dramatic Actor
2013Escape Plan[29]Willard Hobbes
2013SavannahWard Allen
2014When the Game Stands TallBob LadouceurPost-production


  1. ^ "James Caviezel profile at". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  2. ^ "Parents of actor portraying Jesus in controversial film met in Q-C". Qctimes.com. 2004-02-21. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  3. ^ "Jim Caviezel". About.com. Retrieved 2010-06-22. "One of five children, he grew up as part of a devout Roman Catholic family." 
  4. ^ "James Caviezel (Film and TV actor)". Parade. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Passion loses realism with its blue-eyed Jesus (commentary)". The Virginian Pilot. highbeam.com. 
  6. ^ "I almost died on the cross - just like Jesus; My Irish mother called acting 'blarney' but..(News)". The People (London, England). highbeam.com. 
  7. ^ a b "James Caviezel" NNDB
  8. ^ Lee, Luaine (January 21, 1999). "Small-town Boy: Unknown Jim Caviezel Mostly Plays Himself In `The Thin Red Line'". Chicago Tribune. Knight-Ridder/Tribune. 
  9. ^ "Jim Caviezel". Encyclopedia of World Biography. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  10. ^ "'Passion' Filming Takes a Toll on Jim Caviezel". FOX News. December 1, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Jim Caviezel: 'Playing Jesus Christ cost me my acting career'". SFGate.com. May 3, 2011. 
  12. ^ Zakarin, Jordan (May 2, 2011). "Jim Caviezel: 'Rejected By My Own Industry' For 'Passion Of The Christ'". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  13. ^ "The Official Word of Promise Audio Bible Website". Thewordofpromise.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  14. ^ Kwon, Lillian. "Jim Caviezel Back as Jesus in New Audio Bible", The Christian Post, December 26, 2006; accessed June 10, 2008.
  15. ^ James Caviezel on "The Stoning of Soraya M.", CBN.com.
  16. ^ "BELIEFS : Stars lined up for elaborate audio Bible : Michael York, Jason Alexander and many others gave voice to a 79-CD reading of Old and New Testaments". 
  17. ^ "Ian McKellen cast in The Prisoner". BBC News. July 1, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Prisoner series set for remake". The Scotsman (Edinburgh). July 1, 2008. 
  19. ^ "TV's 100 Sexiest Men of 2011". BuddyTV. Retrieved March 9, 2012. 
  20. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (April 4. 2013). "Jim Caviezel, Laura Dern, Michael Chiklis to Star in 'When the Game Stands Tall'". Hollywood Reporter.
  21. ^ "Actor Jim Caviezel Announces Son's Terminal Cancer". First Active Media. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  22. ^ Christ Complex - Interview with actor Jim Caviezel - Gayle MacDonald; Globe and Mail, December 27, 2002
  23. ^ "James Caviezel" Superior Pics website, Celebrity profiles
  24. ^ "About Scott Linehan". Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  25. ^ Sydlik, Ryan. "Caviezel takes Notre Dame course", The Observer, August 31, 2006; accessed June 10, 2008.
  26. ^ "Response to Michael J. Fox ad". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  27. ^ Jesus' words used vs. stem-cell initiative, The Washington Times, October 25, 2006. Accessed June 10, 2008.
  28. ^ "Jim Caviezel's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". newsmeat.com. 
  29. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1211956/?ref_=nv_sr_2

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