Actor Jim Caviezel was so taken by the late POPE JOHN PAUL II, he dropped all of his plans to attend the pontiff's funeral last month (APR05).

The devout Catholic met with the church leader to receive his blessing before he shot scenes as Jesus Christ in the controversial movie THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

And when Caviezel learned of the Pope's death, he put plans to promote his long-delayed movie Madison on hold so he could fly to Italy for his funeral.

He says, "When I met with (the Pope) he said, 'Jim Caviezel, what have you learned playing Jesus Christ?' And I said, 'Pope, that I've been hanging around with Italians a lot and they're beautiful people... Well I think Jesus was Italian.'

"He looked at me and he goes, 'What?' I said, 'Look, he didn't leave home until he was 30, he always hung out with the same 12 guys and his mother believed he was God, so he had to be Italian... You're not upset with me are you?' He goes, 'No, I always believed he was Polish!'"

09/05/2005 02:21