The 35-year-old actor plays the title role in the movie Bobby
Jones, Stroke of Genius, which opens on April 30.
SI: Why did playing Bobby Jones appeal to you?
Caviezel: He reminds me of guys like Roger Staubach:
high-integrity guys, people who were offered temptations and
turned them down. Jones took the road less traveled.
SI: You were offered the part of Walter Hagen, but you wanted to
play Jones even though you're a lefty and had never golfed
Caviezel: Well, I played the Count of Monte Cristo, and I never
knew how to fence. They asked me if I golfed, and I said, "No,
but I can learn."
SI: You played basketball for two years at Bellevue (Wash.)
Community College, and your father, James, played at UCLA under
John Wooden. What's the best Wooden story your dad told you?
Caviezel: I remember him telling me about putting my sneakers and
socks on correctly. That was the first thing Wooden taught his
SI: Having played Jesus in The Passion of the Christ, do you
expect other players to give you the benefit of the doubt if you
call a foul in a pickup basketball game?
Caviezel: Not the good ones. They would still kick my butt at any
opportunity. As they should.
SI: Though you just started playing, you told Golf Magazine that
you thought you could eventually be a scratch golfer. With or
without divine intervention?
Caviezel: People said the same thing about acting. You have
40,000 actors coming to Hollywood every year, so how will you be
able to work? It's just my mentality to say it's a possibility.
Bobby Jones said anything worthwhile is worth being good at.
SI: Your brother-in-law, Scott Linehan, is the Vikings' offensive
coordinator. You recently said that when you were on the cross
during the filming of Passion, you would think about the Vikings.
What, you weren't suffering enough?
Caviezel: (Laughs.) Well, you have to go somewhere when you are
up there in hypothermialike conditions. I would start thinking
about the Vikings back in the days before the dome. Everybody was
wearing parkas, and I had a little loincloth on.
For more from Jim Caviezel go to si.com/siexclusive.