Mel Gibson was on The Tonight Show on Friday to talk about his latest caught-on-tape rant, this time against a screenwriter he’d hired to write a script about an historical Jewish hero. We covered this story when it broke a couple of weeks ago, and you can read the background here. Basically, Mel invited a bunch of writers to visit him at his estate in Costa Rica, including the screenwriter, Joel Eszterhas, and his family. Mel screamed, ranted and raved at Eszterhas in front of his family, other guests and the help. Mel’s rant, which Eszterhas leaked online, was allegedly about the fact that a script had not yet been delivered. It was really hard to understand what Mel was screaming about, and it seemed wildly inappropriate to say the least. Eszterhas’ 15 year-old son taped the episode on his iPod, and his Eszterhas said his son was so terrified after Mel’s breakdown that he slept with a butcher knife under his pillow.
According to what Mel claimed on The Tonight Show, he was just responding to a frustrating situation and his rant never should have been made public. Here’s more, thanks to E! Online:
Following yet another one of his raging rants-caught-on-tape, the Get the Gringo star hit The Tonight Show and commented for the first time about his now infamous tirade against Showgirls screenwriter Joe Eszterhas.
“Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I’ve got a little bit of a temper,” Gibson quipped of the profanity-filled rant, which Eszterhas taped unbeknownst to him while they were together in Costa Rica in December.
Eszterhas was originally hired to write the first draft of Gibson’s now-in-limbo passion project, The Maccabees, but the flick hit a snag when the screenwriter reportedly failed to produce an acceptable script.
Then, to make matters worse, The Wrap obtained a nine-page letter from the writer in which he accused Gibson of using anti-Semitic remarks throughout his writing process, among other things.
Gibson denied those claims, replying in a letter to Eszterhas, “I was very frustrated that when you arrived at my home at the expense of both Warner Brothers and myself you hadn’t written a single word of a script or even an outline after 15 months of research, meetings, discussions and the outpouring of my heartfelt vision for this story.”
And that frustration was still evident as the 56-year-old thesp continued to share his side of the script fiasco with Jay Leno.
“The guy writes a nine-page letter…if he put half as much time and effort and creativity and imagination into a screenplay, which he was supposed to write, as he did into that letter…we wouldn’t be having this conversation,” Gibson said on the show. “It’s kind of like you build a house, you hire a guy to put a roof on it. He comes over and talks about the roof and then you get rained on all night.”
Needless to say, Gibson wasn’t game for an on-air apology.
Saying he felt justified in the rant, Gibson explained, “A guy tapes you in your own home…when did it come to the place where you can’t blow off steam in your own home?”
[From E! online]
There’s a difference between being a grumpy bastard and blowing off steam occasionally vs. going on an extended scary rant that leaves your guests fearing for their safety. This wasn’t just Mel and this guy in a room during a business meeting, during which this tirade would have also been completely unacceptable, it was Mel screaming and going off in front of a bunch of people, including children. According to Ezterhas, even the staff sent their children away from the main house after Mel’s rant. I get that Eszterhas had a product that he should have delivered, but when is a tantrum ever an ok response to anything? Three year-old children get disciplined for what Mel did, and yet he still thinks it’s justifiable.
Mel also made a reference to all his scary threatening phone calls to Oksana Grigorieva. (at 3:00 in the video above) “I just had a business idea. We should find a fledgling tabloid website, give them my phone number and they record me. But don’t do it to anybody else, though, because you’ll get in trouble because it might be illegal. I’m special.”
He added “it’s been kind of weird the past couple of years. It’s like living in a bad B movie.” Then he mimicked someone calling in a threatening kidnapping in a deep voice. “We have the girl.” He’s a scary guy, even when he’s trying to be funny.