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James Caviezel

James Caviezel was born and raised in Skagitt County, Washington. The Caviezels were a family of athletes, and James steered initially towards athletics, especially basketball. It wasn't until an injured foot sidelined him that James began to develop other interests. His first acting gig was an undergraduate stage adaptation of the Frank Sinatra musical Come Blow Your Horn. In the early 1980s he re-located to Los Angeles, working as a waiter and making the rounds of auditions.

He found small roles on popular TV shows like Murder; She Wrote and The Wonder Years. He talked his way into his big screen debut as an airline reservations clerk in Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho (1991) by pretending to be a recent Italian immigrant with a thick accent. He continued to get small roles in pictures like Diggstown (1992), Lawrence Kasdan's Wyatt Earp (1994), but he also began to be noticed. As Slov Slovnik in G.I. Jane (1997) he made his presence felt in several scenes of intense fraternization with co-star Demi Moore.

His breakthrough role, however, was another military assignment, the brooding pacifist Private Witt in Terrence Malick's The Thin RedLine (1998), holding his own in the presence of co-stars like Sean Penn, Nick Nolte, and Adrien Brody. His evident ability to mix soulful introspection with physicality and action came to the fore over the next few years in his work in projects like Ang Lee's Civil War-era Western Ride With the Devil (1999), and in Gregory Hoblit's ingenious time-twist thriller Frequency (2000), in which he played a troubled son hooking up across two decades of time with his long-dead father (Dennis Quaid). In 2001 he starred with Jennifer Lopez in Angel Eyes, directed by Luis Mandoki. He had all the soaring range needed to convincingly play the wrongly convicted Edmond Dantes in Kevin Reynolds's adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic The Count ofMonte Cristo (2002), and a war hero wrestling with a murder charge in Carl Franklin's courtroom drama High Crimes (2002), with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd.

It could be said that Caviezel's role in The Passion of the Christ is the ultimate in terms of making simultaneous physical and emotional demands upon a performer. The actor was chosen for the role because he was willing to commit to this unique project whole-heartedly. Prior to shooting, Caviezel spent several months preparing himself physically, spiritually and emotionally for the most demanding role of his career. It was a daily struggle learning Aramaic, the language actually spoken by Jesus, and during production he endured full-body makeup sessions that sometimes dragged on for ten hours. He spent entire shooting days exposed on the cross in freezing temperatures, and during the grueling scourging sequence at Cinecitta, one of his shoulders was dislocated. But Caviezel came away from the experience convinced that Someone had been watching over him, a sense that was borne out when the actor was struck by lightning while working on Golgotha ---and simply got up and walked away.

In 2004, James Caviezel will also appear with Robin Williams and Mira Sorvino in Omar Naim's Final Cut and with Claire Forlani and Jeremy Northam in Rowdy Harrington's Stroke of Genius.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

James Caviezel Facts

Birth Name James Patrick Caviezel
BirthdaySeptember 26, 1968 (55)
BirthplaceMount Vernon, Washington, USA
Height6' 2" (1m88)  How tall is James Caviezel compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Count Of Monte Cristo
Ride With the Devil
When the Game Stands Tall
Pay It Forward
Family Favorites: 10-Movie Collection
Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius
Animal Friends 8-Movie Collection
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