Mel Gibson pisses me off. He used to be one of my favorite actors. He could blather charmingly in a rom-com, or remain stoically silent while kicking ass in a post-apocalyptic actionfest, and be equally effective. He was like Cary Grant fused with Steve McQueen. Then he started directing movies. Braveheart hit a sweet spot when I was still pretty young, but I wasn’t necessarily sure I wanted Gibson behind the camera. Then he made the batshit Apocalypto and I became excited by the prospects of what this madman was going to do next.
But man, the guy seems hellbent on souring our relationship. All the drunk driving and the antisemitism and rants about getting raped by a gang of n*****s. Not to mention the allegations that he punched his wife in the face while she was holding their baby. I’m seeing The Beaver this Monday, and it is going to be awkward. At this point I find it nearly impossible to separate Gibson from his disastrous personal life. It was one thing to read horrible shit in the paper. It’s another thing to hear leaked recordings of him raving like a maniac. That’s now the voice I hear in my head when I think of Gibson. So fuck you, Mel. Thanks for making it weird when I watch The Road Warrior now.
Anyway, Gibson had been lying low since all this wife punching and gang of raping n*****s shit went down. But Deadline has an exclusive interview between Allison Hope Weiner and everybody’s favorite racist, sexist, violent drunk (boy, I bet he was happy Charlie Sheen decided to step up his game). We don’t normally toil in the gossip vein here on CHUD, but this feels relevant as the future of Gibson’s career is pretty uncertain at the moment and he talks a bit about that. For the whole interview – which has movie talk interspersed with chatting about Gibson’s personal life – hop over to Deadline. Here is a taste:
WEINER: Are you worried that audiences will hold what happened against you, and you won’t be able to act anymore?
MEL GIBSON: I don’t care if I don’t act anymore.
WEINER: Really? Is that true?
GIBSON: It really is true.
WEINER: Aren’t you going to be hurt if people judge you based on what they believe occurred here?
GIBSON: I’m beyond that, way beyond that. The whole experience has been most unfortunate. And so it’s not without all the downside.
WEINER: But if you don’t get to act again… I’m asking the same question.
GIBSON: I could easily not act again. It’s not a problem. I’m going to do something now because I want to do it and because it’s fun. I’ve already pulled another job and it’s going to be fun. I don’t know if it’s going to get off the ground, but I’m going to go work for [Best Picture Oscar winner Braveheart‘s screenwriter] Randy Wallace again. He’s got this script and he’s had it for years. He wrote some book and he’s adapted it to a script. And it’s almost like Alexander Dumas — like that swashbuckler kind of stuff.
GIBSON: Yes. It’s total bodice-ripping swashbuckling stuff, but it’s funny. It’s funny and yet it’s got really good serious undertones too. Randy writes a decent script. And I responded to it right away. I thought this is hilarious. I’ve got to do this. And I’m not the main guy in the film — which is great.
WEINER: You were going to do a small part in Hangover II. How did you respond to being asked to do that and then having cast members not want you in it? How did it feel to have them allow a convicted rapist [Mike Tyson] in the movie and not you?
GIBSON: You have to let that go. I sat here and talked to [director] Todd [Phillips] about it. I like Todd. How could you not like Todd? He’s smart and he’s gifted and so are the other people in the film. It’s okay. You just have to let that go.
WEINER: That’s a very Hollywood hypocritical moment.
GIBSON: It shows you a few things. You just move on and go okay. I’m not greatly offended by it. It seemed like a good idea at the time and it went south.
WEINER: What gets you to the point of ‘I don’t care’? I don’t believe you don’t care about people coming to see your work.
GIBSON: It’s like being a chef. If you’re making a cake, you don’t just make the cake and have it look nice and have nobody tastes it. But that doesn’t take away from your ability to execute what you do as well as you can and to have it be something for many. So that it’s like, say Apocalypto when it came out. I think it’s a good film. It doesn’t have a lot of dialogue; it’s mostly just like watching stuff happen in a language you never heard before. It didn’t do surprisingly well at the box office, no, but it has this life where people see it and they go “Whoa,” and the feedback is really amazing, so you know that you’ve hit. And that’s enough. That’s enough. And the end of the day, it’s what did they think of that? Did they get something from it? Were they entertained? Were they educated? Were they elevated? Were they all three? You know, which is really good? Entertain, educate, elevate. I think that’s what Jodie did [in The Beaver]. If you can get all three of those, you’ve got the Trifecta going.
WEINER: Do you think that the audio tapes have hurt your ability to make your own movies?
GIBSON: I don’t know. I don’t know. Guys like Robbie [CEO Rob Friedman] over at Summit [Entertainment] have been really nice. It didn’t seem to bug those guys at all. They were like, ‘This is crap. We’re going out with this movie.’ The next movie I’m in is How I Spent My Summer Vacation and it will have a distributor because we’re in the business of entertainment.