Major Actor Claims Harassment Over Making Of Movie On Passion Of Christ
By Michael H. Brown
In an interview aired over Fox News, actor Mel Gibson said Tuesday he is the subject of harassment and "attack" for making what many expect to be a highly realistic movie about the suffering of Christ on the Cross. Appearing on the network's "O'Reilly Factor," Gibson asserted that a reporter from a "reputable" publication was sent to "dig up dirt" on him. "Whenever you take up a subject like this it does bring out a lot of enemies," said Gibson, who related how the unnamed journalist has been scouring his private life, scrutinizing his banking records, friends, business associates and family members -- even charities he supports.
The movie, called The Passion, is using actual Aramaic dialogue and stars Jim Caviezel, who, as we reported earlier this week, underwent a conversion after visiting with a seer from the famed apparition site of Medjugorje. Both Caviezel and Gibson are devout Catholics. The film focuses on the last 12 hours of Jesus's life, and specifically on the Crucifixion.
Asked if he believed there was a direct correlation between this investigation and his work on the movie, Gibson said that was his view. "I'm a big boy and I can take care of myself," he said, "but when you start messing around with my 85-year-old father, watch out."
At the same time, Gibson said he has already forgiven the reporter who has been harassing him and his family. "This is a movie about love, faith, hope and forgiveness," Gibson said. "He died for all mankind. He suffered for all of us. It's time to get back to that basic message. The world has gone nuts. We could all use a little more love, faith, hope and forgiveness."
Expect this to be one of the most powerful and controversial films of the year when it comes out -- controversial in the negativity the press will try to conjure. Caviezel -- who is 33 -- has been trussed for hours at a stretch to a cross on a cold windswept hill in Italy during the movie's shooting. He has described how he experienced a profound change in his life after praying the Rosary with Medjugorje seer Ivan Dragicevic. "We talked, and later when we were praying the Rosary Ivan said Mary came in the room and I felt something wonderful happening to me," Caviezel told a Catholic radio broadcaster. "When the apparition was over, I got up and told Ivan I wanted them (Mary and Jesus) in my heart."
Gibson is known to attend Latin Mass and has raised eyebrows with his film peers in Hollywood because of his devotion. Much of the script for the movie is based on the diaries of St. Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824). Gibson has consulted the Vatican on the direction of the movie and has vowed to shoot it as close as possible to what occurred 2,000 years ago -- showing the true extent of Christ's suffering.