Jim Caviezel Deja Vu

Interview with Jim Caviezel (Carroll Oerstadt)

Denzel Washington's Interview (Detective Doug Carlin)
Paula Patton's Interview (Claire Kuchever)
Val Kilmer's Interview (Agent Pryzwarra)
Jim Caviezel's Interview (Carroll Oerstadt)
Tony Scott's Interview (Director)
Jerry Bruckheimer's Interview (Producer)

Jim Caviezel on the set of DEJA VU, directed by Tony Scott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. Photo Credit: Robert Zuckerman. © TOUCHSTONE PICTURES and JERRY BRUCKHEIMER INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Jim Caviezel - best known for playing Jesus in The Passion of the Christ - makes a dramatic about face in his new film, the action thriller Deja Vu, in which he plays a home grown American terrorist who sees the innocent casualties of his carefully planned atrocities as collateral damage. Produced and directed by the powerhouse duo of Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean and National Treasure, among many others) and Tony Scott (Enemy of the State), Deja Vu stars Denzel Washington as Doug Carlin of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Carlin and the ATF are called in to investigate a cataclysmic explosion on a New Orleans ferry. With the help of a group of braniac scientists working on the outer edges of modern physics and the latest theories of time travel, Carlin gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to prevent a crime that has already happened. It's not often that a Hollywood film takes time out to explain the basics of String Theory. Since 21st century physics apparently justifies Tony Scott in ensnaring Denzel Washington in a car chase that is simultaneously happening right this minute and four days ago, the science lesson turns out to be fun. "I love that Deja Vu is a film that tackles both the seen and unseen, " says Caviezel, who makes a worthy opponent for Denzel Washington and gives a performance characterized by the haunting intensity that is rapidly becoming the actor's trademark.

Going from Jesus to the devil – was that a conscious decision?

Not really, because I got the script and read it and called my agent to say I loved the character of Carlin, the ATF guy. I didn't realize Denzel was already cast. Then I met Tony Scott with the idea of playing one of the other investigators in the film and it was Tony who suggested the role of the bomber, Oerstadt. What I loved about the screenplay was how in the first third of the movie it's almost as if everything is settled – the deed has been done and it looks like the bad guy is going to get away. Then everything changes in ways you could never anticipate.

Was it intriguing to play the villain for a change?

He sees himself as the good guy and Denzel and the government as the enemy. I'm always looking for really good stories, so in this particular case, I don't fall on the good side but the story still has great truth in it. As an actor I've always played different roles, except for comedy so far.

In playing a character as single-minded as Oerstadt, you have to give expression to his beliefs with complete conviction. How do you do that if that's the opposite of what you believe? Do you have to see the terrorist's point of view?

The characters that are more interesting to me are the ones that believe what they believe in. But all you do is remove the particular words and plant something else in there, like righteousness and peace versus murdering. In my character's mind the real bad guy here is the government who watched all these people suffering when Katrina went down in New Orleans and did nothing about it. So okay, so I believe in peace and not violent action and I think about that, but it comes out as something else and he doesn't come across as someone who's telling lies.

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