Jim Caviezel Sounds Off On Stem Cell Research & Mel Gibson

LOS ANGELES (October 28, 2006) — Jim Caviezel sat down with Access Hollywood?s Shaun Robinson this weekend to promote his new film ?Déjà Vu.?

But the topic quickly turned to Caviezel?s outspoken opposition of Missouri?s current embryonic stem cell initiative ? the same measure Michael J. Fox has publicly supported.

Caviezel appears in a TV commercial (alongside Patricia Heaton and several professional athletes) opposing Missouri?s Amendment 2, which if passed, would prohibit state legislative interference in any federally allowed stem cell research.

?You?ve always been private and low key. Is it interesting to find yourself in the middle of a national debate?? Shaun asked Jim.

?Well, I got involved and that?s the first time I?ve even been involved. I really care about people and the public. I believe the public needs to be informed. What they decide to choose is their choice, but I care very much,? Caviezel explained. ?I am absolutely for adult stem cell research. I care very much about people who have diseases, especially Parkinson?s disease and I?d be through the moon if they ever came up with a cure for any of those diseases, especially Parkinson?s.?

While Caviezel supports research using adult stem cells, he and the others in the ad oppose the use of human embryos.

The ?Passion of the Christ? star actually speaks Aramaic at the beginning of the ad, as he did in the film.

Caviezel also opened up about the antics of his good friend Mel Gibson, who was arrested in Malibu for DUI and made derogatory statements towards Jews during his arrest.

?Have you reached out to him?? Shaun asked.

?Privately,? Caviezel said.

?How?s he doing?? Shaun asked.

?Mel Gibson is a brilliant? everyone knows he?s a brilliant director, but I don?t agree or support his views,? Caviezel replied. ?I would say that my experience working with him is such that I hope things come back around. [But] I can?t support his views on that.?

Gibson has since apologized for the remarks, calling his anti-Semitic rant following his arrest “the stupid ramblings of a drunkard.”

“The last thing I want to be is that kind of monster,” Gibson told Diane Sawyer in a recent interview.

He adds that he plans to continue making movies and working to heal himself and those he offended.

The 50-year-old actor-director says he knows there are some in Hollywood who will refuse to work with him because of those statements.

“I feel sad because they’ve obviously been hurt and frightened and offended enough to feel that they have to do that,” he said. “Um, and it’s their choice. There’s nothing I can do about that.”

Gibson pleaded no contest to charges of drunken driving on Aug. 17 under a deal in which he will serve three years’ probation, pay a fine and attend alcohol rehabilitation classes. He also volunteered to make a public-service announcement about the hazards of drinking and driving.

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