Jim Caviezel Biography
Born: September 28, 1968
Growing up in rural Mount Vernon, Washington, Jim Caviezel was one of five children growing up as part of a devout Catholic family. While still in his teens, he decided to test his abilities by auditioning in Seattle for a small part as an Italian ticket agent in Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho. He landed the role by fooling casting agents into believing he was a recent Italian immigrant.
After making his film debut, Jim moved to California and went on to have a similarly minor role in Diggstown (1992). Subsequently accepted at Julliard, he declined the school's offer in favor of a supporting role in Lawrence Kasdan's 1994 Wyatt Earp. Unfortunately, the film turned out to be a fairly major flop which left him with little but scraps from major films such as Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane and The Rock, as well as the telefilm Children of the Dust.
After getting married in 1997 to Kerry, a high school teacher, Jim came to critical attention in Terrence Malick's Oscar nominated The Thin Red Line (1998), in which he portrayed Private Witt, the Kentucky-born idealist and former regimental boxer who goes AWOL only to later rejoin the company he loves.
The following year, Jim gained further recognition with his role as one of a group of renegade Civil War soldiers in Ang Lee's Ride With the Devil and his portrayal of a football coach's embittered son in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday. In Pay It Forward (2000), he played a homeless, recovering heroin addict taken in by a boy looking to start a program of good deeds. But perhaps Angel Eyes (2001), although it wasn't a big hit, showed a turning point in his career. His role as Jennifer Lopez's love interest showed audiences a completely different side of the versatile actor and established him as a leading man.
Starring roles in The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) and Highwaymen (2003) followed. He was chosen by Mel Gibson, also a devout Catholic, to star in the film The Passion of the Christ (2004), and the movie immediately became a worldwide box office smash, firmly establishing Caviezel as an A-list actor. For his work, Jim won a Grace Award from the MovieGuide Awards for Most Inspired Movie Acting. He has also earned two People's Choice awards — one in 2014 as Favorite Dramatic TV Actor and the other in 2016 for Favorite Crime Drama TV Actor for his starring role as John Reese in the ABC crime drama series Person of Interest, which aired from 2011 to 2016.
In 2018, Jim starred in another role in a movie based on a Bible story when he played Luke in Paul, Apostle of Christ.
Continuing with Christian-themed movies, he played the title role in Infidel (2020), as an American Christian who is kidnapped in the Middle East. He has also completed a role in the independent film Sound of Freedom, playing a former U.S. government agent who devotes his life to rescuing children from global sex traffickers.
Jim has escaped death twice — he was struck by lightening on the set of The Passion of the Christ— co-workers saw smoke coming out of his ears. In July 2009, he survived a potentially fatal motorcycle crash when a mentally-unbalanced man threw a bicycle in front of his moving Harley-Davidson.
Jim and his wife have three children, whom they adopted from China.