The famous American actor, screenwriter, director, and producer Mel Gibson celebrates his 66th birthday on January 3. Probably none of his colleagues knew such a frequent change of waves of adoration and condemnation that fell on him.
At 23, he won world fame after the release of the film Mad Max, at 39, he received an Oscar for the film Braveheart as best director, which is not all. At 48, he shocked the audience with the “sadistic” scenes of his film ‘The Passion of the Christ’. And as soon as the noise subsided due to his divorce from his wife, who gave him seven children for the sake of the Russian woman, here, he again ruined his reputation and became an outcast in Hollywood.
Mel Gibson grew up in a large Irish Catholic family, he was the sixth of 11 children. When he was 12 years old, they left America – his father was afraid that his sons would be taken to the Vietnam war. The family went to Australia, home of Mel’s grandmother, opera singer Eva Milott. At first, Mel did not even think about the acting profession. To get rid of shyness, he wanted to enter the Faculty of Journalism, but then his sister decided his fate.
Unbeknownst to him, she sent a petition on his behalf to the acting department of the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Arts. Although he not only had no experience but even the slightest idea of what would be required of him in the entrance tests, Mel ventured to audition and passed it successfully.
First starring role after bar fight
When director George Miller was looking for the protagonist, a brutal police officer, for his action movie Mad Max, he imagined him like this: harsh appearance, Australian accent, lack of excessive ambition – the size of the fee was modest. Gibson met all of these parameters. Plus, he’d had a drink at a bar the night before and had a fight, and his looks fit perfectly.
The actor allowed the director to save not only on his fee, but also on the work of make-up artists. The bruises were still very noticeable when filming began, and bruises from new fights were regularly added to them. As a result, “Mad Max” became the most successful Australian film, and Mel Gibson won worldwide fame at the age of 23.
Two years later, the actor consolidated his success by filming the second part of Mad Max. This time, his fee has grown almost 10 times.
In the early 1980s. Mel Gibson returned to the United States. He appeared in Hollywood already in the status of a world-class star, and the main roles began to be offered to him one after another. True, they were all the same type, and it was already difficult for viewers to imagine an actor in any other genre, except for an action movie, and in any other image, except a police officer.
The images of brutal heroes, unpredictable, courageous, and unrestrained, he succeeded best of all. And his fees were already numbered not in thousands but in millions.
The actor tried to go beyond the established role and even played the main role in the film by Franco Zeffirelli “Hamlet” in 1990. This was probably the most unexpected choice of the director among all contenders for the role of the Prince of Denmark, and many accused him of going too far from the Shakespearean original. Nevertheless, the film received an Oscar nomination.
Oscar for Braveheart
In the same 1990, the actor continued his experiments in other areas. He founded his own film company and tried his hand at directing. His debut film in this capacity was “A Man Without a Face”, and his next work brought him worldwide recognition and “Oscar” for the best director and in 4 more nominations. The film “Braveheart”, where Gibson appeared as the legendary national hero of Scotland, William Wallace, has become a cult film.
Ability to surprise and amaze
We must pay tribute to Mel Gibson: having finally gained a foothold in heroic images, he was not afraid of experiments. Many were surprised by his role in the comedy “What Women Want”, where his character begins to hear the thoughts of women and tests on himself various attributes of female life. Here the actor demonstrated his comedic talent and fearlessness of a different kind – doing wax depilation in front of the camera. The film enjoyed great success with viewers all over the world, but Gibson was able to surprise not only as an actor but also as a director.
In 2004, Gibson made the film The Passion of the Christ, where he tried to recreate the last 12 hours from the life of Jesus Christ in the most naturalistic and detailed way. The public and film critics were amazed and outraged by the abundance of “sadistic” scenes. At the same time, the film enjoyed incredible success at the box office and was highly praised by the Pope.
Hollywood actor Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson made a dizzying acting career in Hollywood in a very short period and just as quickly collapsed from Olympus. His reputation was spoiled by his addiction to drinking, because of which the actor got into very unpleasant stories more than once. The first time he was stripped of his driver’s license for drunk driving was in the mid-1980s. And in 2006, Gibson not only drank and got behind the wheel but also began shouting anti-Semitic statements during his arrest, blaming Jews for all the wars in history.
Later, the actor publicly apologized and admitted that he had “temporarily lost his mind” and considered his behavior to be ugly. However, then he more than once amazed the audience with his statements. For example, Gibson once said that the “Passion of Christ” helped him remove the Holy Spirit and descended into his body. A traditional Catholic, Gibson opposed stem cell research. And once, an audio recording of a telephone conversation was posted on the network, where the actor expressed his racist views.
At the same time, intolerance in him coexists with religiosity and passion for charity. But because of all his controversial statements, one of the most successful actors suddenly turned into the main outcast in Hollywood.
The directors refused to work with him, the agencies broke contracts. 2003 to 2010, he starred in only 4 films. The boycott was arranged for him also because he thoroughly ruined his reputation as an exemplary family man.
Father of nine children and treacherous husband
The actor married for the first time in 1980, and his wife Robin Moore gave birth to seven children. For a long time, he was considered an exemplary family man, they spent more than 25 years together. And suddenly, in 2009, there was news that the couple had not lived together for a long time, and Robin filed for divorce. A few days later, the actor appeared in public with his new darling.
She turned out to be the Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva. In the fall of the same 2009, the couple had a daughter, but their union broke up a year later. The girl accused him of assault, which finally ruined the actor’s reputation. The trial ended not in his favor, Gibson was sentenced to 3 years probation, and that then put an end to his career.
His fate is an example of the fact that behind every fall there can be another rise, and from the ashes, you can rise like a Phoenix. When no one expected his return to the big cinema, Mel Gibson again made the whole world talk about himself.
Critics called the main role in A Games of Minds in 2018 a triumphant return of the actor to the big cinema. There is also complete calm in his personal life: the actress Rosalind Ross gave birth to his son in 2021. Over the past few years, Gibson has continued to act in films actively, and no one doubts that it is too early to give up on him.