He’s an accomplished Hollywood actor, responsible for enduring characters like the iconic Mad Max, “Lethal Weapon’s,” troubled Martin Riggs and his unforgettable performance in “Braveheart,” as William Wallace. When he sits on the opposite side of the camera, Gibson has directed 2004’s deeply moving “The Passion of the Christ,” 2006’s “Apocalypto,” and last year’s Academy Award nominated “Hacksaw Ridge.”
Gibson is also one of the few people on earth that Charlie Sheen can look at and say, “man, that dude is crazy.”
Gibson’s first directing effort in 10 years marks the polarizing director’s return after a public fall that began with his infamous drunken-driving arrest in Malibu in 2006, during which he hurled anti-Semitic slurs.
But “Hacksaw Ridge” has been a worldwide hit with nearly $158 million in box office. Praise for the film started with a standing ovation at Venice Film Festival in September and has carried into awards season result.
(“Hacksaw Ridge” actor Andrew) Garfield told USA TODAY he’s excited to see Gibson overcome his troubled past.
“I know Mel in a personal way, and I know that period of time has haunted him for the past 10 years,” Garfield said Tuesday. “I think people are finally starting to let go of (it), as he has. He’s moved on from it.
“He’s done so much work internally with himself and externally with those he needed to do it with, that I admire maybe more than anything,” Garfield added.
As cynical as we’ve become, it’s not surprising that many still doubt Gibson’s turnaround. There are those that will never believe Garfield’s words. And that’s ok. But as our friends at The Blaze recently reported, perhaps Gibson’s reboot goes beyond press releases and glowing praise.
Actor and director Mel Gibson has been quietly aiding Holocaust survivors for several years.
The “Hacksaw Ridge” director has been working with the Survivor Mitzvah Project to provide “emergency aid to Holocaust survivors in eastern Europe who are in desperate need of food, medicine, heat and shelter” as well as “friendship and hope,” Zane Buzby, founder of the charity, told Extra last week.
“The goal of the Survivor Mitzvah Project,” Buzby said, “is to make sure that no Holocaust survivor who has endured the darkest days of human history will ever be hungry again or suffer or be forgotten or neglected.”
For most of us, Mel Gibson is one of those figures far off on the horizon, a man in our periphery that we spend little time concerned about. I think about Mel Gibson about as often as I think about the kid I sat next to on the bus in third grade with the Buck Rogers lunch box. But still, in this era of perpetual motion and never ending noise, it’s nice to see someone making the most of his chance for redemption, both on the screen and off. Well done, Mr. Gibson.