HOLLYWOOD – Advance copies arrived of Mel Gibson‘s new autobiography Sad and Angry and Studio Exec was given exclusive permission to publish extracts. By popular demand, this is the fourth and (and by even more popular demand) final series of excerpts.
Chapter Twenty Six: Patriots
Although I was brought up in New York many people think of me as an Aussie and I’m proud that that is the case. I don’t often play them in films cos well, who gives a shit about Australia, right? But I did have a script which was all about the way I feel about my country. It was epic and we had the convict ships coming and the first settlers and it was really good. Peter Weir was on board. Then he had to do something else and we got Roland Emmerich and he went away and rewrote the script and now The Patriot as we called it was set in Dresden just before the firebombing and it was all about Germans and in German. The studio weren’t having it so they gave it to Robert Rodat to rewrite and he set it in the American war of Independence. I turned to Heath Ledger at the first read through and said “How’s your American accent Heath?” But he was in no mood for jokes. That poor kid always had the flu.
Chapter Twenty Nine: Apocalypto Now
It had always been in my head to make film that was utterly incomprehensible and I felt I had almost achieved my ambition with The Passion of the Christ, but people still knew the story and so could follow it so I decided with my next film there would be no way people could get. Then of course the studio went and stuck subtitles on the motherfucker. Still, I was happy with the way the film turned out. There was a lot of running and jumping. We redressed any myth that the indigenous people of South America were anything other than savages and Jesus got to turn up again at the end. Which was like my little Hitchcock signature.
Chapter Forty: Get the Gringo
When I first got the script I was like Wow, this is fantastic a real chance for me to break new ground and try something new. No longer just the old violent Mel that everyone was beginning to get tired of, including me. But I really versatile character piece with (I don’t want to speak too early) but even a whiff of Oscar about it. When I spoke to Adrian the director, I said to him this is fantastic. And I gave him the voice I’d been working on. He said that’s great. But he didn’t look sure. I said “I can do this, trust me.” So I went out and I got my own costume. And I turned up on set and he fucking freaked. “Have you been drinking Mel?” he said. I said, in character, “You can’t talk to me like that gringo, you not know noteeeng!” He got really agitated so I broke character and told him I was getting into my role and how stoked I was to be playing a Mexican woman and with a kid. He took me aside and told me that Dolores was playing the Mexican mother and I was playing Driver, the tough violent American, who’s a little crazy and racist and has a violent fantasy of killing his ex-wife. “It’ll be really easy for you,” he said. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was. I sat in my trailer and cried like a child. I felt like Al Pacino in Godfather III: “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.”