Mel Gibson got invited to Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic over the holiday weekend. He attended the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and he picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award, because I guess the film festival was really, really desperate for someone, anyone to show up. I was going to ignore these photos, mostly because whenever I see photos of Mel Gibson these days, I can’t help but imagine a thought bubble above his head with his inner monologue: “Are you a Jew? Why do these Jews want to shake my hand? Is this trophy Jewish? Is this all some sort of Jewish conspiracy?” So, yes, I was going to ignore the pics but then The Hollywood Reporter published this interview with Mel and I couldn’t help myself. You guys, he’s TOTALLY changed. Totally.
THR: Gary Oldman revived discussion of your controversial comments and often strained relationship with Hollywood. Do you think you’ve resolved those issues?
MG: It’s behind me; it’s an 8-year-old story. It keeps coming up like a rerun, but I’ve dealt with it and I’ve dealt with it responsibly and I’ve worked on myself for anything I am culpable for. All the necessary mea culpas have been made copious times, so for this question to keep coming up, it’s kind of like … I’m sorry they feel that way, but I’ve done what I need to do.
THR: You’ve played a wide range of roles as an actor and made movies as a director with difficult themes, like Apocalypto and The Passion of the Christ. What do you want to do now?
MG: It’s tricky, those films you refer to, nobody would have financed them, they more or less worked, but I would never have got anyone else to finance them. I’m out of that business of financing my own films because they see you coming and take you for a ride. I’m not a fool. It’s difficult for the things I deem worthy to direct, where you can get a really good compelling story out of — nobody else has much faith in it and never did.
THR: Is there anything specific you can talk about now?
MG: There are specific things, but I don’t want to talk about them, you know why? Because every time I do somebody else goes and does it. It’s a kind of industrial espionage thing and they do it badly for TV.
Oh my God, I could parse his first answer all friggin’ day. Shall we? “It’s behind me; it’s an 8-year-old story. It keeps coming up like a rerun, but I’ve dealt with it and I’ve dealt with it responsibly….” Has he “dealt” with “it”? And why does no one remember that the anti-Semitic stuff wasn’t the only terrible crap that went down? Why does no one ever discuss his plea deal for violently assaulting his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, and how he stalked her and screamed at her all the time while they were together? And in those phone calls, he said tons of racist crap. Next: “I’ve worked on myself for anything I am culpable for…” That suggests that there’s part of the situation that Mel is NOT culpable for, at least in his own mind.
“All the necessary mea culpas have been made copious times…” Really? No, I think he apologized a couple of times for the 2006 arrest, but beyond that… no, he really didn’t apologize “copious times.” And lastly…“I’m sorry they feel that way, but I’ve done what I need to do…” Who is “they”? “They” are Jewish people, right?
Photos courtesy of WENN.