|Jim Caviezel became the world famous actor with leading role in Mel Gibson's movie "Passion". In Medjugorje he had experienced certain dimension of faith that was unknown to him up to that point. In February 2010 he came to Medjugorje for the sixth time as pilgrim.|
Jim Caviezel: Bez Međugorja nikada ne bih bio igrao u "Pasiji"
Glavnom ulogom u filmu Mela Gibsona „Pasija“, Jim Caviezel postigao je svjetsku slavu. Tko je taj glumac koji se tako dojmljivo suživio s likom Isusovim? Osobno tvrdi da bez međugorskih iskustava nikada ne bi bio prihvatio tu ulogu. U Međugorju je, naime, iskusio jednu do tada nepoznatu dimenziju vjere. U veljači ove godine po šesti je puta hodočastio u Međugorje, a nakon toga posjetio i Beč. S njim je u Beču razgovor vodio Christian Stelzer za časopis "Oase des Friedens", a hrvatski prijevod donosi najnoviji "Glasnik mira" iz Međugorja.
P. Jim, možeš li nam ispričati kako si čuo za Međugorje?
O. Moja je supruga bila u Međugorju dok sam u Irskoj snimao film „Monte Cristo“. Stvari nisu stajale baš dobro iako sam radio po sedam dana tjedno. Jednoga me je dana nazvala i po njezinom sam glasu prepoznao da se kod nje dogodila neka promjena. Počela mi je pričati o Međugorju, te da će jedan od vidjelaca doći u Irsku… Prekinuo sam ju riječima: "Čuj, imam ozbiljnoga posla. Ne mogu se sada upuštati ni u što ni s kakvim vidiocima." Osim toga, mislio sam da kao katolik ne moram bezuvjetno prihvatiti Fatimu, Lurd ili Međugorje.
Tako sam razmišljao. Sjećam se da smo u katoličkoj školi u koju sam išao u početku bili oduševljeni međugorskim događanjima, ali smo onda čuli da mjesni biskup odbija ukazanja i da tvrdi da su lažna, pa se naše zanimanje ugasilo.
Kako bilo da bilo, Ivan Dragićević došao je u Irsku. Meni je bilo jasno da ne ću imati vremena za njega, budući da sam morao non-stop raditi. Jednoga se četvrtka moj filmski partner Jim Harris nije osjećao dobro, pa sam dobio slobodan dan i mogao sam nazočiti jednom ukazanju. U prepunoj crkvi stajao sam sasvim otraga, nije mi bilo baš sasvim jasno što se događa. Kada je u trenutku ukazanja čovjek pored mene ustao iz svojih bolesničkih kolica i pao na koljena, bio sam duboko ganut. Ovaj hendikepirani čovjek, pomislio sam, usprkos bolova kleči na hladnom kamenom podu i moli! Danas mi je jasno da me je samo Bog mogao tako dobro poznavati da bi znao gdje me treba taknuti.
Iako možda zvuči neobično, u nedjelju koja je uslijedila dobio sam još jedan slobodan dan, tako da sam se mogao susresti s Ivanom, što je zapravo bila posebna želja moje supruge. Za vrijeme ukazanja klečao sam pored njega i rekao sam u svojemu srcu: "OK, tu sam. Spreman sam. Učini sa mnom što god želiš." U istom sam trenutku osjetio kako me nešto ispunjava. Bilo je to sasvim jednostavno, a opet jedinstveno. Kada sam ustao, suze su mi tekle iz očiju i počeo sam svim srcem plakati. Ivan mi je rekao: "Jim, čovjek uvijek nađe vremena za ono što voli. Ako netko tko nema vremena susretne djevojku u koju se zaljubi, nađe vremena za nju. Ljudi nemaju vremena za Boga jer ga ne ljube." To me je doista pogodilo, i pitao sam se imam li ja vremena za Boga? Ivan je nastavio: "Bog te poziva na molitvu srcem." "Kako da to učinim?" upitao sam ga. "Tako da počneš moliti." U tom se trenutku otvorio jedan prozor u mojemu srcu. Nisam mogao ni sanjati da bi to moglo biti moguće. Otišli smo u restoran i moram priznati da mi hrana i vino nikada nisu prijali tako dobro kao te večeri. U meni se nešto počelo mijenjati. Često me je žena htjela naučiti moliti krunicu, a ja sam to uvijek odbijao. Sada sam htio moliti krunicu, iako nisam točno znao kako. Samo sam osjećao da se moje srce otvorilo. Jednoga sam jutra rekao vozaču koji me svakoga dana vozio na snimanje: "Ne znam što vi o tome mislite, ali ja bih htio moliti krunicu." Na moje iznenađenje odgovorio mi je: "OK, hajmo moliti."
U toplom svjetlu ljubavi koju sam osjećao u sebi, počeo sam spoznavati gdje se doista nalazim, kolike imam napasti, gdje su moji osjećaji, kako sam slab i kako kruto u svojemu srcu sudim ljude.
P. Kada si prvi puta došao u Međugorje?
O. Na kraju snimanja koje je završilo na Malti odlučio sam otići u Međugorje. Bio sam prepun
unutarnjih očekivanja. Kada sam imao dvadeset godina, jedan mi je unutarnji glas bio rekao da bih trebao postati glumac. Kada sam o tome govorio s ocem, on mi je odgovorio: "Ako Bog nešto od tebe želi, to je sigurno da budeš svećenik. Zašto bi želio biti glumac?" Ni ja tada nisam razumio.
Sada sam si iznova postavio pitanje želi li Bog da budem glumac zato da bih zaradio puno para i da bih postao bogat? Bio sam svjestan neravnoteže u svijetu između malobrojnih koji posjeduju mnogo i mnogobrojnih koji imaju premalo za goli život, i bio sam siguran da Bog ne želi da bude tako, i da se i sam moram odlučiti komu želim služiti: bogatstvu koje mi ne daje trajnu radost, ili Bogu koji želi voditi moj život?
Medjugorje me je podsjećalo na Betlehem i mislio sam: kao što je Isus rođen u malenom mjestu, tako se i Majka Božja ukazuje u jednom siromašnom mjestu među brdima. Četiri dana koje sam proveo u Međugorju bila su moja prekretnica. U početku sam se još čudio koliko ljudi ovdje mole. Sve me je podsjećalo na košarkaški logor i mislio sam da se i tamo ne igra samo jednom na dan, nego uvijek iznova, stalno. U školi isto tako, ne čita se samo jednom na dan, nego stalno, uvijek iznova. Prvih sam dana u Međugorju kod molitve osjećao unutarnji nemir jer nisam bio naviknut toliko moliti, pa sam molio Boga da mi pomogne. Nakon četiri dana htio sam još samo moliti. Kad god bih molio, osjećao sam se povezan s Bogom. To je iskustvo koje želim svakom katoliku! Možda sam kao dijete doživio nešto slično pa onda zaboravio. Sada mi je to bilo darovano.
To iskustvo se nastavilo i kod kuće. U obitelji zajedno živimo sakramente. S djecom svakoga dana molimo krunicu da putu u školu. Ako ja odmah ne započnem, onda moj sin počne moliti.
Kada sam u Međugorje došao po drugi put, očekivao sam da će se ponoviti iskustva prvoga dolaska, ali je bilo drugačije. Poslije jednoga ručka, hodočasnici su me pozvali da s njima odem na Široki Brijeg fra Jozi. To je nadasve željela moja žena. Nisam poznavao fra Jozu, ali ono što se o njemu pričalo duboko me se dojmilo.
Susreo sam se s njime. Položio je ruke na moja ramena. Ja sam položio svoje ruke na njegova ramena. On je položio ruke na moju glavu. Ja sam položio svoje ruke na njegovu glavu. U tom sam trenutku u sebi osjetio riječi: "Ljubim te, brate. Ovaj čovjek ljubi Isusa." Fra Jozo se spontano okrenuo prema svojoj prevoditeljici i upitao ju na hrvatskom tko sam ja, i rekao je da želi sa mnom razgovarati. To je bio početak jednoga prijateljstva koje traje još i danas.
To je bilo vrijeme neposredno po završetku snimanja "Pasije" tijekom kojega sam u sebi mnogo puta iskusio kakve se sve snage u meni suprotstavljaju snimanju toga filma.
P. Možeš li nam ispričati zašto si to tako doživljavao i kakva je veza između toga filma i Međugorja?
O. Sigurno poznajete izraz "prijeći Rubikon". To znači da se više ne može natrag. Film "Pasija" za mene je bio jedan takav Rubikon. Kada je počelo snimanje imao sam 33 godine, upravo kao Isus.
Uvijek sam se pitao jesam li dostojan igrati Isusa. Ivan Dragićević me ohrabrivao i govorio da Bog nikada ne bira najbolje, što on, Ivan, vidi na samome sebi. Bez Međugorja nikada ne bih bio preuzeo tu ulogu, budući da se u Međugorju moje srce otvorilo molitvi i sakramentima. Ako želim glumiti Isusa, znao sam da mu moram biti sasvim blizu. Svakoga sam dana išao na ispovijed i na euharistijsko klanjanje. Na Svetu Misu dolazio je i Mel Gibson pod uvjetom da bude na latinskom.
To je bilo dobro, jer sam tako učio i latinski. uvijek su dolazile nove napasti od kojih sam se morao braniti, i u toj unutarnjoj borbi često sam osjetio veliki unutarnji mir. Na primjer, u sceni gdje mi prilazi Marija, Majka Božja, a ja joj kažem: "Vidi, sve činim novo." Tu smo scenu ponovili četiri puta i ja sam svejedno osjećao da stojim previše u prvom planu. Onda je netko udario u križ i iščašilo mi se lijevo rame. Od te nagle i strahovite boli izgubio sam ravnotežu i pao pod teretom križa. Licem sam udario o prašnjavu zemlju i krv mi je briznula iz nosa i iz usta. Ponovio sam riječi koje Isus govori majci: "Vidi, sve činim novo". Rame me je tako neopisivo boljelo kada sam polako zagrlio križ i pri tome osjetio kako je dragocjen. Tada sam prestao glumiti, i vidjelo se samo Isusa. On je stupio naprijed kao odgovor na moje molitve: "Želim da ljudi vide tebe, Isuse, a ne mene."
Zahvaljujući neprekidnoj molitvi krunice - ne znam kolike sam krunice izmolio tijekom snimanja - osjećao sam posebno ozračje. Znao sam da ne smijem psovati, da ne smijem biti bezobrazan kada članovima ekipe želim nešto reći. Većina od njih ne poznaje Međugorje, sve su to izvrsni glumci i bili smo sretni što smo ih dobili. Ali kako da im prenesem Međugorje, ako ne svojim životom?
Međugorje za mene znači živjeti od sakramenata i u jedinstvu s Crkvom. Zahvaljujući Međugorju počeo sam vjerovati da je Isus doista nazočan u Euharistiji, i da mi prašta moje grijehe. Preko Međugorja sam iskusio kako je krunica moćna i kakav je dar svakodnevna sveta Misa.
Kako bih mogao ljudima pomoći da više vjeruju u Isusa? Shvatio sam da se to može dogoditi samo ako je Isus u meni nazočan po Euharistiji, pa ljudi preko mojega života vide Isusa. Kada smo snimali scenu Posljednje večere, na posebnom džepiću na unutarnjoj strani odjeće imao sam relikvije svetaca i jedan komadić relikvije Kristova Križa. Imao sam snažnu želju da Isus bude doista nazočan i zamolio sam svećenika da izloži Presveto. Najprije nije htio, ali sam ga uporno molio jer sam bio uvjeren da će ljudi, ako budem gledao u Krista, Njega lakše u meni prepoznati. Svećenik je stajao s Presvetim u rukama tik uz snimatelja i zajedno s njime mi se približavao. Kada ljudi u filmu vide svjetlucanje u mojim očima, ne shvaćaju da zapravo vide Isusa, odraz posvećene hostije u mojim zjenicama. Tako je bilo i u sceni razapinjanja: svećenik je bio nazočan i držao je Presveto u rukama, dok sam ja molio bez prestanka...
Najveći izazov u filmu nije bio, kao što sam u početku mislio, naučiti tekstove na latinskom, aramejskom i hebrejskom jeziku, nego tjelesni napori koje je trebalo savladati. Kod posljednje
scene imao sam iščašeno rame koje je iskakalo kad god bi netko udario o križ.
Kod bičevanja, bičevi su me dvaput doista zahvatili i na leđima sam imao ranu od 14 centimetara. Pluća su mi bila puna tekućine i imao sam upalu pluća. Tome treba dodati i kroničan nedostatak sna: mjesecima sam svakoga jutra ustajao u tri sata, jer je samo šminkanje trajalo po osam sati...
Poseban izazov bila je hladnoća: temperature su bile jedva iznad ništice, što je bilo posebno teško u sceni razapinjanja. Moje se kostim, naime, sastojao od samo jednoga komada laganoga
platna… Kod snimanja posljednjega kadra oblaci su bili vrlo niski i munja je udarila u križ na koji sam bio pričvršćen. Oko mene je odjednom zavladala mukla tišina i osjećao sam kako mi se kosa diže na glavi. Oko 250 ljudi koji su stajali oko mene vidjeli su kako je moje tijelo zasvijetlilo, i primijetili su vatru lijevo i desno od mojega tijela. Mnogi su bili šokirani onime što su vidjeli.
Znam da je "Pasija" film ljubavi, možda jedan od najvećih. Isus je danas predmet kontroverze, možda više nego ikada. Mnogi čimbenici prijete stvorenomu svijetu, ali vjera u Isusa je izvor radosti. Mislim da nas Bog u ovo vrijeme posebno zove, i da srcem i cijelim životom trebamo odgovoriti na taj poziv.
Jim Caviezel: If it wasn't for Medjugorje, I wouldn’t have ever played in movie "Passion"
Jim Caviezel became the world famous actor with leading role in Mel Gibson's movie "Passion". Who is that actor that has so impressively become one with character of Jesus? Personally, he claims that if it wasn't for Medjugorje, he wouldn’t have ever even accepted that role. Namely, in Medjugorje he had experienced certain dimension of faith that was unknown to him up to that point. In February he came to Medjugorje for the sixth time as pilgrim, and he visited Vienna after that trip. While he was in Vienna he had interview with Christian Stelzer for magazine "Oase des Friedens”, and interview translated in Croatian can be found in new edition of "Glasnik mira" from Medjugorje.
Q. Jim, can you tell us how did you hear about Medjugorje?
A. My wife came to Medjugorje while I was in Ireland, shooting movie "Monte Cristo". Things were not that great although I worked seven days a week. One day she called me, and I could notice in her voice that there was a change. She started talking about Medjugorje, and how one of visionaries is about to come to Ireland... I interrupted her by saying: “Listen, I really have some serious stuff to do, I am not able now to go into anything with any of the visionaries." Besides that, I thought that as Catholic I do not have to necessarily accept Lourdes or Fatima or Medjugorje.
That is how I thought. I remember that in the catholic school that I attended earlier in my life, once we heard about Medjugorje we were thrilled, but we found out soon that local bishop is objecting and considers apparitions to be false, and therefore we lost our interest immediately.
In any case, visionary Ivan Dragicevic came to Ireland. I knew straight at the beginning that I will not have time for him, since I had to work all the time. One day, my movie partner Jim Harris was not feeling well, I got the day off and I was able to attend one apparition. I stood at the very back of the packed church, and I wasn’t quite sure about what was going on. When the man who was next to me in his wheelchair fell down on his knees at the time of apparition, I was deeply moved. I thought, this handicapped man, despite all of his pains is kneeling down on cold stone floor and he is praying! Today I realize it was only God who knew me that well that He knew where exactly He needs to touch me to get my attention!
Although it might sound strange, on Sunday that followed, I got another day off and I was able to
meet with Ivan, which was my wife’s special wish. During the time of apparition I knelt close to him and I said in my heart: "Ok, here I am. I am ready. Do with me what you want." In the same moment I felt as something was fulfilling me. It was very simple, and yet unique. When I got up, tears were running down my cheeks and I started to cry with all of my heart. Ivan told me: "Jim, man always finds time for what he loves. If somebody who doesn't have any time finds girlfriends and falls in love with her, he will always find time for her. People don't have time for God because they do not love Him." And he continued: "God is inviting you to pray with the heart." I asked him: "How am I supposed to do that?" "By starting to pray", he replied. In that moment doors of my heart were opened. I couldn't even dream about that being possible. We went to restaurant, and I must admit that wine and food I had that night were never as tasteful as in that particular night. Something started to change within me. My wife wanted to teach me on many occasions in the past how to pray the Rosary, but I always refused to learn that. Now, I wanted to pray, but I did not know exactly how to do that. I just felt that my heart was opened. One morning as I was driving to work, I said to the driver that was taking me for shooting every day: "I don't know how you feel about this, but I would want to start to pray the Rosary." At my amazement, he just replied: "Ok, let’s pray."
In the warm light of love that I felt within me, I was able to realize where I really was, how many temptations I had, where were my feelings, how weak I was and how strictly I judged other people.
Q. When did you come to Medjugorje for the first time?
A. After shooting was completed, and that was in Malta, I decided to come to Medjugorje. When I was twenty, inner voice was saying to me that I should become an actor. When I spoke about that with my father, he used to say: "If God wants something of you that is for you to become a priest, why would He want you to become an actor?" I did not understand either at that time.
Again, I asked myself the same question, does God want me to become an actor, to make lots of money and to become rich? I was aware of imbalance in the world between those who have a lot, and many of those who barely have for survival, and I knew that is not what God wanted, and I was to make a choice whether I will serve to richness that does not provide permanent happiness or to God who wants to guide my life?
At that time, Medjugorje reminded me of Bethlehem and I thought, as Jesus was born in a small place, in the same way Mother of God is appearing in one poor village in between hills. Those four days I spent in Medjugorje at that time were my turning point. In the very beginning I was still amazed at how much people in Medjugorje prayed. Everything reminded me of basketball camp, and I thought there you do not play one match a day, but always, constantly, anew. The same is in the school where you do not read just once a day, but always, repeatedly. In those first days in Medjugorje I felt inner unrest while I was praying, because I was not used to pray that much and I was asking God to help me. After four days the only thing I wanted to do was to pray. Whenever I prayed, I felt connected with God. That is my experience I would wish for every Catholic to experience! Maybe as a child, I felt something similar and I forgot about it. Now, it was given to me again.
The same experience continued back at home. In our family we live sacraments together. As we drive kids to school, we all together pray the Rosary, sometimes when I don't start to pray, my son starts first.
When I came to Medjugorje for second time, I expected to have those first, initial experiences
again, but it was different. After having lunch on one of those days, pilgrims invited me to go with them to visit Fr. Jozo Zovko in Siroki Brijeg. That was, above all, my wife's desire. I didn't know Fr. Jozo personally, but I was very much impressed by all stories I heard about him.
I met with him. He laid his hands on my shoulders. I laid mine on his shoulders. He laid his hands on my head. I laid mine on his head. In that moment I felt the words within me: "I love you, my brother. This man loves God." Fr. Jozo spontaneously turned towards his interpreter and asked her in Croatian who I was, and that he wanted to talk to me. That was beginning of a friendship that lasts up to now.
That was the time immediately after we finished shooting "Passion", and in that time I was able
to experience all conflicting forces within me regarding that movie.
Q. Can you tell us why did you feel that way, and what was the connection between that movie and Medjugorje?
A. You are probably familiar with expression "to cross the Rubicon". That means it is not possible to go back, you reach the point of no return. Movie "Passion" was such Rubicon for me. When shooting started, I was 33 years old, just like Jesus.
I always wondered if I was even worthy to play Jesus. Ivan Dragicevic encouraged me and said that God does not always, necessarily choose the best, which is something he sees in his own example. If it wasn’t for Medjugorje I wouldn't have ever agreed to take that part, because it was in Medjugorje that my heart opened to prayer and to sacraments. If I wanted to play Jesus, I knew I needed to be very close to him. Every day I went to confession and I attended Eucharistic Adoration. Mel Gibson was coming to Holy Mass as well with the condition that Holy Mass is in Latin. That was good, in that way I learned Latin.
There were always new temptations that I needed to defend myself from, and in those inner battles, I used to feel, not just once, great inner peace. For instance, where Mother of God approaches me, and I tell her: "Look, I make everything anew." We repeated that scene four times, and I felt every time that I was standing too much in the forefront. Then, somebody hit the cross and my left shoulder was dislocated. Due to that sudden and sharp, intense pain, I lost balance and I felt under the weight of the cross. I hit dusty ground with my face and the blood gushed forth suddenly from both of my nose and my mouth. I repeated the words Jesus said to His mother: "Look, I make everything anew." My shoulder was in incredible pain when I took the cross again and felt how precious it was. At that point, I stopped acting and you could only see Jesus. He came forward as to the answer to my prayers: "I want people to see you, Jesus, not me!"
Thanks to continuous prayer of the Rosary, I can not even tell how many Rosaries I said during the time of shooting, I was able to feel special atmosphere. I knew I wasn't supposed to use bad language, I knew I couldn’t be rude if I wanted to say something to members of the crew. Most of them did not know about Medjugorje, they were all great actors, and we were lucky to get them.
But how was I to bring Medjugorje to them, if not by my own life? Medjugorje for me means to live out of sacraments and in the unity with the Church. Thanks to Medjugorje I started to believe that Jesus was really present in the Eucharist, and that he forgives me my sins. Through Medjugorje I experienced how Rosary is powerful prayer and what gift we have when we attend Holy Mass every day.
How could I help to other people to increase their faith in Jesus? I realized that can only happen if Jesus was present in me through the Eucharist, so people would see Jesus through my life. When we were shooting scene of Last Supper, I had one inner pocket made on my clothes where I placed relics of saints and one piece of relic of Christ's Cross. I had strong desire that Jesus is really present and I asked the priest to expose the Blessed Sacrament. At first, he did not want to do that, but I was persistent in my request because I was positive that people would recognize Christ more if I myself was looking at Him. The priest was standing with the Blessed Sacrament in his hands next to cameraman and together with him, he was approaching me. When people who are watching the movie see shimmer in my eyes, they do not realize that they really see Jesus, reflection of the consecrated Host in my eyes. The same was in the scene of Crucifixion: the priest was there, he held the Blessed Sacrament in his hands and I prayed all the time...
The biggest challenge in the movie was not, as I originally thought, to memorize all texts in Latin, Armenian or Hebrew, but all those physical efforts I needed to overcome. During the last scene, my shoulder was sprained and it would become dislocated every time somebody hit the cross.
While we made scenes of flagellation, I was caught by those whips twice and I had 14 cm long wound on my back. My lungs were full of fluid and I had pneumonia. Chronic sleep deprivation should be added to that, since for months I had to get up at 3 a.m. because only putting make up lasted for about 8 hours...
Another special challenge was cold whether, temperatures very hardly above zero, which was especially difficult to endure in the scene of Crucifixion. My whole costume was made of one single piece of light fabric. While we were shooting the last scene, the clouds were very low and one lightning stroke the cross on which I was tied. Suddenly dead silence was around me and I felt my hair going up. Around 250 people who were around me saw my whole body being illuminated and they all saw fire on the left and on the right side of me. Many were shocked with what they saw.
I know that "Passion" is movie of love, maybe one of the greatest of such movies. Jesus today is subject of many controversies, more than ever before. There are so many factors that threaten to this created world, but faith in Jesus is the source of joy. I think God is inviting us especially in this time, and we need to answer that call with our full heart and whole body.
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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