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Mel Gibson Talks Return to Directing, Shia LaBeouf, Vikings at Karlovy Vary (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

by Anne Thompson
July 8, 2014 1:26 PM
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Getty Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson came to Karlovy Vary to accept the festival's life achievement award. He welcomed some 3000 cheering fans at an outdoor screening of "Mad Max," the film that made him a star, and gave a Master Class to another packed theater. Clearly, they still love him in the Czech Republic, even if he is still getting the cold shoulder from much of Hollywood.

We sat down for a twenty minute talk on the flipcam. He's funny, humble, candid and honest about what the downside of being a movie star can be. Clearly, Gibson could borrow a page from Ben Affleck, who redeemed the bomb "Gigli" and tabloid overexposure with Jennifer Lopez by building a career as a respected director--and eventual Oscar-winner. Clearly Gibson could build more good will --after a series of hideous PR setbacks, not improved by Gary Oldman's Playboy interview defense of him --by reminding people what a good director he is, even as he continues to support his fan base with B-movies like "Blood Father," "Machete Kills" and "Get the Gringo," which he wrote and produced.

I pressed Gibson a bit on why he doesn't go ahead and self-finance another directing effort. He has dug in his heels about not doing that. While his non-stop action film "Apocalypto," which his "Mad Max" director George Miller wants to outdo on "Fury Road," didn't make money, his modestly budgeted $30-million "The Passion of the Christ" made him millions. No, Gibson wants decent budgets from the studios or from foreign sales pre-buys, he says.

But Hollywood no longer goes for period adventures like "Braveheart," his Best Picture and Director Oscar-winner. Luckily, Gibson is still involved with foreign sales company Icon, and he is willing to talk to the cable companies, who may be more receptive to his Viking and Maccabee projects. 

And like Harrison Ford before him, Gibson was easily talked into starring in "Expendables 3" by the seductive Sly Stallone. He says he had a blast doing it. Video below. 


  • Clem | August 18, 2014 7:38 AMReply

    Mel is the most talented actor and director around.

  • MeMyselfand I | July 10, 2014 12:45 PMReply

    I always loved Mel as an actor and I think Apocalypto was a brilliant movie that is a metoaphor for the very times we live in. I'm not a conservative or religious so I passed on "The Passion of the Christ" Seeing him in this interview he somehow reminds me a tad of the character he played in the movie he did with Julia Roberts 'Conspiracy Theory". I wish him well in overcoming his demons, be it alcoholism or wrestling with bigoted beliefs.

  • MeMyselfand I | July 10, 2014 12:47 PM


  • Behn Chod | July 10, 2014 9:46 AMReply

    Mel Gibson's Jesus movie was called "The Passion of the Christ" - the movie you refer to "The Last Temptation of Christ" was a Martin Scorcese film ...

  • chandler windham | July 9, 2014 7:06 PMReply

    No intelligent black or Latino person that has self respect should see anything Gibson is associated with! If you want to hear my in depth reasoning on this please check out my blog on the subject at the peoples mic. blogspot. com - I promise you will not get anything like this spoon-fed, soft shell crab crap you just read….sigh*

  • Frank Kelly | July 9, 2014 3:05 PMReply

    I'd love to see Mel Gibson's Viking movie. I remember reading an interview years ago where he mentioned it, but never happened, glad he's still thinking about it!

  • a | July 9, 2014 2:53 PMReply

    Ben Affleck dated Jennifer Lopez. Mel Gibson is a racist. Don't get the comparison.

  • Anne Thompson | July 9, 2014 3:50 AMReply

    Agree with you about the studios. I'm afraid Gibson wouldn't get away with crowd-funding--many fans would happily support him, but he can't afford the inevitable blowback. He's wealthier than Spike Lee and Zach Braff--and they got grief. He must not be able to raise the level of budget he wants from foreign sales, so cable is the way to go. My reading of him is that he wants to feel supported by the studios, to not have to do it himself. And that he wants to be forgiven and allowed to do what he does best. But looking to the studios for recognition and approval is not the answer, methinks. They're not there for him, at least not right now. He's on his own. He should go forward.

  • tyler4all | July 9, 2014 10:29 AM

    He should go forward. I bet that Viking story he has in the works would be worth watching. He's definitely a risk taker. Apocalypto and the Passion were good movies and no one else would have made them but him. It's a shame that the studios haven't forgiven him and moved on. He made a mistake which shouldn't have affected his career except for the media's incessant scrutiny of actors and their private lives. How stressful that must be for an actor! It's sad hearing him talk about how you can't put the toothpaste back in the bottle. Hopefully he can turn things around, like Robert Downey Jr. did.

  • tyler4all | July 8, 2014 11:28 PMReply

    I think part of the reason that studios don't wanna back a Mel Gibson-project is because they only back franchises now. They don't wanna back actors. Look at Transformers, the biggest money making franchise in recent history. Shia Lebouf was the lead and now it's Mark Wahlberg. Has it affected the box office? not one bit. Studios don't like actors being in control. That's why they like franchises so much. They can plug anyone into a starring role.
    Thanks for the interview, Anne. Great hearing from him. He should crowd-fund, tho. I bet he has such a big fanbase, he could finance his next project through a kickstarter or indiegogo.

  • Mr. Hollywood | July 8, 2014 8:48 PMReply

    Glad that Mel is over in the Czech Republic ... FAR FAR away from Hollywood. A suggestion: just move there permanently Mel. You are done in Hollywood. An alcoholic anti Semite who hates women. Nobody wants to see you anymore. No one wants to pay a penny to go to one of your worthless movies. Goodbye

  • MISS PERFECT | July 10, 2014 1:16 PM

    Hey there, Hollywood. It must be great having never said or done anything wrong in your life. You're response gives us an insight to your misery.

  • No | July 8, 2014 2:27 PMReply

    Once again, another Ann Thompson interview with bad sound quality, which she would not tolerate in a film that she was reviewing

  • Seth | July 10, 2014 1:13 PM

    you must be a jew.

  • mac | July 8, 2014 2:25 PMReply

    The guy is a human being at the end of the day . Hes got issues some of them are pretty ugly alcoholism and his father are the reasons he is who he is . Thats not to say he couldnt have got help but if its kept behind closed doors and kept under the raidar by pr folks and agents then whose to know . Well now the world knows and hes having to try and rebuild where he can . hollywood as an industry are as much to blame for creating and or feeding these monsters they are not blameless . Its time to stop lashing out at gibson and time for folk like joe esterhausen to give it a rest . They are not helping this situation.

  • Vincent | July 8, 2014 1:45 PMReply

    Hey you may want to make a correction. Mel Gibson made The Passion of the Christ, not The Last Lie about Christ. I guess that saying about they all look alike applies to movies made about Jesus....NOT! Yeah I got that title right too. It should have been called "The Last Lie About Christ". Hollywood could get it right if they asked some who actually knows The Bible about The a Bible. You are forgiven! :^)

  • Rick | July 8, 2014 2:08 PM


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