October 24, 2003


Lightning strikes Gibson's 'Christ' (CNN/Associated Press, 24th October 2003)

Actor Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in Mel Gibson's controversial film "The Passion of Christ" was struck by lightning during shooting.

Caviezel was uninjured, but a producer described how he saw smoke coming from the actor's ear.

An assistant director on the film, Jan Michelini, was also hit -- for the second time in a few months.

The first time, a lightning fork struck his umbrella during filming on top of a hill near Matera in Italy, causing light burns to the tips of his fingers, VLife, a supplement to Variety publications said in its October issue.

A few months later the second strike happened, a few hours from Rome.

Michelini was again carrying an umbrella, and standing next to Caviezel on top of a hill, the magazine said.

Both were hit, with the main bolt striking Caviezel while one of its forks hit Michelini's umbrella. Neither were hurt.

The film, which is spoken in Latin and Aramaic, has come in for criticism from some religious leaders. It portrays the last hours of Jesus, but some Jewish and Roman Catholic groups are concerned the film will fuel anti-Semitism.

It'd have been pretty darned impressive if Caviezel had died and come back to life at the premiere. Anyway be careful to keep away from anybody called Michelini during stormy weather.

Posted by M Ali Choudhury at October 24, 2003 6:39 PM

Heh, heh. Standing by for Jeff and Harry.

Posted by: Peter B at October 24, 2003 7:13 PM

I believe that if I were struck once by lightning, I'd stop carrying umbrellas on hilltops during thunderstorms. I guess Mr. Michelini isn't one of those, you know, rationalists...

Posted by: mike earl at October 25, 2003 12:56 AM

I wonder if this could be considered a form of higher criticism?

Posted by: RDB at October 25, 2003 1:54 AM

Great headline.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 25, 2003 4:09 AM

I've been hit by lightning. Twice.

When I lived in Oklahoma, a twister went through a church, killing the minister's daughters and several other people.

Oddly, when a tornado hits a porn shop, it is an act of God, but when it hits a church, it is an act of nature.

Or, weather happens.

I think I'll go with the latter. Is that what you were looking for, Peter?

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 25, 2003 3:42 PM

Jeff, I'll go with that, but did you ever hear about the time it rained for forty days and forty nights?

Posted by: Peter B at October 25, 2003 5:42 PM

Methinks Caviezel is taking the Stanislavsky method a bit too far....

Posted by: Barry Meislin at October 25, 2003 7:57 PM


Yeah, I did. I happened to live in England at the time.

Posted by: Jeff Guinn at October 25, 2003 9:56 PM

Jeff: That was pretty good.

Posted by: Chris at October 27, 2003 11:55 AM