.- The Archdiocese of Madrid’s publication “Alpha and Omega” publised an article in its latest edition on the testimony of the actor who played Barrabas in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ,” who says he experienced a profound conversion while making the movie. Pedro Sarubbi, in an interview with the Italian daily Avvenire, said he had wanted to play St. Peter but Gibson “had already chosen the actors based on their resemblance to the different characters as portrayed in the paintings of Caravaggio and other masters.” “As Barrabas, Gibson told me to avoid looking at Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus, until the very scene in which we were to appear together. ‘Barrabas is like a ferocious dog,’ he told me, ‘but at one moment he becomes a puppy: when he meets the Son of God and is saved. I want your look to be that of somebody seeing Jesus for the first time’. I did as he said, and when our eyes met I felt a sort of surge. It was like I was really seeing Jesus. I had never experienced such a thing in all my years of acting,” he stated.
Sarubbi said “The Passion” “was not only a professional, but above all a human experience. I am not embarrassed to say that during the filming I had a conversion. All of the actors who took part changed a little bit after this experience, but I have learned much more from the film than from any conference.”
The actor said his spiritual search “began many years ago and took me around the world. I have done extensive anthropological research, as a man and as an actor. I have been instructed in the martial arts...I lived in a Tibetan monastery for six months with a vow of silence. I have practiced meditation in India, I have lived in the Amazon. I have reached the final goal of this search in Jesus.”
Now, he went on, “I do everything possible so that those eyes continue to be important for me. My family is first above all, and I also play a clown for orphaned children. On the other hand I have my work. I teach businessman how to act in public. I teach in various acting schools. I use what I call the warrior-priest-clown method. In life you have to be strong, honest, spiritual and funny.”
Although Sarubbi has traveled around the world, he is most at home on his farm on the outskirts of Milan, with his wife and four children, and dozens of animals.