Jim Caviezel on playing Jesus: 'There were moments I thought I was going to die'

Actor Jim Caviezel discussed his experiences acting in faith-based films during several interviews this week.

Caviezel is promoting his new film, "When the Game Stands Tall," which is out in theatres today. The movie is based on the true story of the high school football team with the longest winning streak in history, but Caviezel explained that it is also about faith and values.

The 45-year-old plays the team's head coach, Bob Ladouceur, who Caviezel heralded as a man who uplifted and cared about his players.

"Coach Lad, Bob Ladouceur, could have coached anywhere," Caviezel told The Virginian-Pilot. "He chose to stay with this small Catholic school and to push values with the guys on his team.

"No matter how you get there, this is a film about commitment to effort and belief, and, most of all, to one another. These things are more important than winning. That's something not often in movies."

Caviezel has chosen to take the road less travelled when it comes to choosing film roles – opting for parts in line with his Christian beliefs over unsavoury or compromising roles, he revealed.

The actor's most famous, and religious role, was in the biblical epic "The Passion of the Christ." Although the film was financially successful, and catapulted Caviezel to superstardom, he suffered pneumonia, hypothermia, a lightning strike, and other illnesses and injuries on set.

"Physically, the experience was beyond what I thought I could do," he admitted. "I did it. I was committed to do it, and I did it. I was raised that way. But there were moments I thought I was going to die. Literally."

Caviezel also felt committed to live up to the real life Coach Ladouceur in his latest film.

"In order for this world to be a better place, people have to make great sacrifices," he told Breitbart. "I have a responsibility ... to do what's right playing figures like this."