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The Rehabilitation Of Mel Gibson: A Cameo In 'The Hangover 2'?

The Playlist By Jessica Kiang | The Playlist October 18, 2010 at 3:25AM

Too soon for a career comeback you say?
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Too soon for a career comeback you say?

The oft-quoted Fitzgerald sentiment, "no second acts in American lives" obviously doesn't apply in modern times and certainly not for American-born, Australian-bred Mel Gibson, who looks like he might be entering his third comeback chapter.

According to the New York Post, Gibson's career rehabilitation will begin with a cameo role in Todd Phillips' currently-underway sequel, "The Hangover 2" starring Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, and Bradley Cooper. Gibson will allegedly play a tattoo artist and one we presume the 'Hangover' gang meets in Thailand where most of the picture takes place.

We also assume Gibson's cameo role will be somewhat akin to Mike Tyson's in the original film. A source tells the NYP's Page Six, "It's a done deal. Mel will make a cameo as a tattoo artist. Filming is taking place on the Warner Bros. lot, where a Bangkok set has been built, and Mel is expected to film his role in two weeks. Then the production moves to Thailand at the end of October."

In case you've been living under a rock, Gibson became persona non grata for a second time in less than five years when a ugly phone conversation between him and his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva leaked earlier this year after the couple had split. The virulent, misogynistic and epithet-laden conversation led to a massive public outcry and a second career meltdown when his agents, William Morris Endeavor, dropped him. Every Gibson project in the works then immediately collapsed (including a proposed Viking film with Leonardo DiCaprio). Gibson still faces allegations that he assaulted and made threats against Grigorieva and has a restraining order preventing him from seeing her.

In 2006, Gibson was infamously arrested for a DUI charge and a leaked report revealed that during Gibson's arrest he made anti-semitic and sexist remarks to the arresting female officer. Gibson basically disappeared from Hollywood for four years before he returned with "Edge of Darkness" which appeared in theaters earlier this year (and he continued to tussle with journalists about his anti-semitic remarks and drinking issues). His project, "The Beaver" directed by Jodie Foster remains in limbo, in part because Gibson plays a lunatic in the film and it might land too close to home (though the film is rated PG-13). Even before then, Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" was met with anti-semitic allegations in when it arrived in theaters in 2004. His father, Hutton Gibson is a well-known Holocaust denier and has never really helped the younger Gibson's case in the media.

Will howling laughter make audiences forget all this? Is Todd Phillips tempting a little fate, by reintroducing Gibson back into the wild so soon? Is this New York Post report even true? Stay tuned, though our guess is that it might be fact. In our accelerated culture, redemption and forgiveness may be available for serious transgressions much sooner than they have in the past. We'll see. This rumor arrives on the heels of the news that Heather Graham won't be reprising her escort role in "The Hangover 2."

-Edward Davis


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