Compiled by: Jack Foley
On the reality of the story:
I want people to understand the reality of the story, I want
them to be taken through an experience- I want them to feel.
On making art:
Caravaggio did all this amazing religious art. You go round the
churches in Rome and there it is, its everywhere in the
cathedrals and its tremendous. Hes pretty dark, and
pretty violent and it is kinetic. The way its lit, the sense
of light in his imagination when he did these pictures is just
amazing. Its beautiful. We emulated that where we could.
On Jim Caviezel:
Hes got some other world or unworldly
knowledge that seems to envelop him like a glove. And I thought
that very presence was a key thing; to cast somebody who emits
that kind of light. And he has a very good light coming from him,
but thats just natural to Jim, thats who he is. Hes
very clear, its not that complicated - until it needs to
be - all of a sudden it is. He can get pretty complex on you.
On Monica Bellucci:
Shes a knockout, and a very good actress. Shes just
not afraid to look filthy and dirty and beat up, crying
it was awful because we were messing her up saying "More
dirt! Put more dirt on her! More tear streaks, mess her hair up."
You couldnt- it was like, the messier she got, the better
looking she got.
On Maia Morgenstern:
Shes so soulful, its in her eyes- the eyes are so
beautiful. The first time I met her and saw her it was electric.
A lot of energy goes into that. At the end of any given day I
was drained, just from moving, just from the movement thats
involved. So its a very physical and emotional experience
for me to try and realise it and have it happen, and create an
environment for them where it can happen and not to dictate too
heavily, because quite often you can over-do it. You just have
to stand back sometimes and just let things happen once youve
set it up and trust that its just going to be there: let
it happen and trust the talent.
Its a hero story:
This is the ultimate hero story for all mankind: he suffered,
he died and he still won. Its as if he came back to say
Look, see, I told you I could do this..
Jim is perfect:
Jim is just perfect. He doesnt actually make one single
mistake, anywhere, in this film. Its perfectly unflawed.
He just was. You never see him acting or anything, he just was,
he was Jesus. Theres nothing that takes your attention away
from that, you can just watch him and think Wow. Thats
Its an experience:
You find the level of reality all of a sudden when youre
making it, but its not far off. What I wanted to accomplish
with it, I think I did, and that is to provide not a filming experience
for people, but an experience for people.
As far as directing this film, its probably about the hardest
gig that Ive done. It wasnt as big as Braveheart,
with all the horses and people but there were more precise things
that had to happen.