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Hannity

From King of Kings to King of Swings

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes", April 27, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: His passion made him a legend. Golf icon Bobby Jones left his mark on the sport like no other golfer before him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CAVIEZEL, ACTOR: To be an amateur is to love the game. Once you play for money, you can't call it love anymore.

COLMES: The Bobby Jones movie, "Stroke of Genius," examines the life of this legend and how he impacted the sport of golf. It hits theaters this Friday, April 30.

Joining us now is Jim Caviezel, the star of the new movie, "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius." That's quite a transition, right? From Jesus to Bobby Jones.

CAVIEZEL: Absolutely. From the king of kings to the king of swings.

COLMES: Exactly. Did you have -- Now, did you have this role sewed up while you were doing "The Passion," or this happened after the passion?

CAVIEZEL: It happened afterwards. And I was so tired from "The Passion, that I didn't want to do anything until it came out.

And then, you know, my manager talked to me about -- Beverly, she was talking to me about this golfing film. And they originally wanted me for Walter Hagen, so I read the screenplay and I loved it. And I wanted to know who was playing this great guy Bobby Jones.

And so after getting discouraged a few times I thought playing golf might be a nice change.

COLMES: When you went up for "The Passion" you thought you were up for a surfing film, right?

CAVIEZEL: That's correct. The producer, Steve Maccabee, that was the front. That was the front.

COLMES: That was the front?

CAVIEZEL: That was the front.

COLMES: They didn't want to reveal what was going on?

CAVIEZEL: That's right. They wouldn't tell me. And -- But I didn't know Mel was going to show up, and Mel showed up and I thought, hey, how are you doing?

And he started talking about "The Passion" films in the past. And I said, "You want me to play Jesus?" And that's how it all began.

COLMES: You had turned down similar roles in the past, right?

CAVIEZEL: That's correct.

COLMES: But this is the one you really wanted to do.

CAVIEZEL: I mean, they weren't appealing to me. And -- and, you know, the script was there. When I read the script, it was there.

COLMES: You just knew? You felt that it was the right thing to do.

CAVIEZEL: Right. It didn't matter if it was Mel Gibson. I mean, that helped, but it still always comes down to the story.

COLMES: When you -- I would think a lot of interesting things that come over the transom in terms of roles being offered since this, what kind of things have come your way?

CAVIEZEL: Well, since "The Passion," I went and did this film with Robin Williams called "The Final Cut" that will be out in the fall. Of course "Bobby Jones." And then I had this film "Madison" will be out in September.

COLMES: Some of the things that happened to you when you did that film, like you were struck by lightning.

CAVIEZEL: That's right.

COLMES: You dislocated your shoulder. You really physically took abuse. People think it's all stunts and that the actor is never hurt but you clearly got hurt in this one.

CAVIEZEL: Well, we had a problem. Obviously, I was in a loincloth on a 1,000-foot cliff and, you know, you have 25-, 30-knot winds coming up the mountainside. And then the mountainside, and then my shoulder is dislocated, so every time that cross moved...

COLMES: And it was freezing, right?

CAVIEZEL: That's correct.

COLMES: So you had to suffer.

CAVIEZEL: It was enormously. The hypothermia was the worst part of it.

COLMES: So golf was a good move after this?

CAVIEZEL: Absolutely.

COLMES: So you'll be on the green, you'll be in warm weather.

CAVIEZEL: Yes. But in this movie, "Bobby Jones," which is released Friday -- I was not drawn to golf. I never played much before and I wasn't any good at it. And so I was just drawn to this story.

And so my concern with people watching, I wanted them to know this isn't just about golf. It transcends it. Just like as much as, you know, "Seabiscuit."

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Are you a good golfer now?

CAVIEZEL: No, not yet. I'm working on it.

HANNITY: I hope you got a piece of the action of "The Passion."

CAVIEZEL: I'm going to be OK, but we didn't do this for money.

HANNITY: I know you didn't. And actually, I never thought I'd be as impressed with any one movie as I was with that.

Can I ask you on that, and I know your new movie opens Friday and I want to go see it. I thought you were great in "The Passion."

I look at, like, the scenes with the striking that we were just showing part of that. How do you feel that and not really strike you?

CAVIEZEL: Well, it was an accident early on. There was a metal board behind my back.

HANNITY: Is that true? So as they're striking, they're really striking but there's a board and you can't it?

CAVIEZEL: That's correct. And then on accident he actually hit me.

HANNITY: What did that feel like?

CAVIEZEL: It knocks the wind out of you.

HANNITY: Just one strike?

CAVIEZEL: One strike and you can't breathe. So then it was like, "Jim, get up." And a couple more times later, he hit me again, and then I just said, "Look, we've got to figure out a way to do this, because I'm reacting before it hit me -- so...

HANNITY: Did you ever think it would be such a phenomenon and what do you think of it, now that it has become such a phenomenon?

CAVIEZEL: Well, I think it's done a lot of good. I've talked to many ministers, priests, who have said that -- people are coming to church that haven't been in years. I think it's -- you know, it's a response of the people.

At the end of the day, you know, we went through a lot of criticism and we didn't go out to bad badmouth anybody's faith. But nonetheless, we had to stick to what it said. And he was controversial. And he was put to death for it. So...

HANNITY: I just love the fact -- and I've gotten a chance to interview Mel. And I met him once.

And what I love about him is he put it all on the line. What I love about what he did is he put his money, put his reputation, for something that he believes in deeply. You just don't see that in life.

Is that the guy you got to know?

CAVIEZEL: Absolutely. And another thing, I've heard a lot of criticism on him making all this money. He gives a lot of money. But even if he didn't, OK, he went to people and begged them, you know, over and over again, please finance my film with me. I'll give you this and that. And there were many people that were there to sign the dotted line and backed out at the last second."

HANNITY: I remember, when I met him"

I only met him one time in my life. I met him, like six, seven months outside of the movie. He didn't think he'd get distribution, and he thought there was a very good likelihood he would have lost his entire investment. Because he really didn't know.

Let me go on to your new movie. What attracts you to a character like Bobby Jones and, you know, how do you play a golfer if you're not a golfer?

CAVIEZEL: It's pretty tough. I mimic.

COLMES: So that's what a good actor could do.

CAVIEZEL: And I was an athlete for quite a few years and played basketball in college. And I was a lower level player. But I still understood the basic fundamentals of balance.

Now, Bobby Jones was a remarkable human being. He was also someone who was kind of the antithesis of what you see now. Like, for example, "I'm not your kid's role model." You hear that all the time. "I'm not your kid's role model."

I think that's an irresponsible thing that, you know, we hear quite a bit just to make a big bag of money.

HANNITY: But you feel you have to be a role model as an actor. I actually feel the same way. I feel that, you know, I advocate certain strong positions. And the minute I don't live the life that I advocate, I'm a hypocrite, right?

CAVIEZEL: Yes. And sometimes we are hypocrites.

HANNITY: I hope not. I'm hoping.

COLMES: Best of luck with your new movie. Thanks so much for being here tonight. A pleasure meeting you.

CAVIEZEL: Thank you very much.

HANNITY: You're a terrific actor and you're going to have a great career and we're very, very honored you came by.

CAVIEZEL: Thank you very much.

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