The hunky actor who stars as Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's controversial new movie was struck by lightning on the set.

Jim Caviezel, who escaped injury, was filming THE PASSION OF CHRIST near Rome, Italy when the incident occurred.

Producer STEVE McEVEETY says, "I'm about a hundred feet away from him when I glance over and see lightning coming out of Caviezel's ears."

The movie has provoked a flurry of criticism since its conception - particularly from Jewish leaders, who say it suggests Jews were responsible for Christ's death. But some Catholics who have seen the film have called it a "powerful rendering" of the hours leading up to Christ's Crucifixion.

24/10/2003 00:07