Mel Gibson is an American-Australian actor, film director and producer and screenwriter. The movies he has acted in have grossed more than two billion dollars in the US alone. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
Gibson broke through with the Australian cult classic Mad Max series and graduated to the A-List with Lethal Weapon in 1987. He went on to star in a number films, usually appearing in action or comedic roles. In 1995 he directed and starred in the Academy Award-winning Braveheart, becoming the sixth actor-turned-filmmaker to receive an Academy Award for Best Director. Behind the scenes, Gibson was known as a Three Stooges fan and a notorious on-set prankster.
After 2002's Signs, Gibson withdrew from the Hollywood system and focused on his own self-financed productions. In 2004, he directed and produced The Passion of the Christ, a controversial but successful film that portrayed the last hours of the life of Jesus Christ. He followed up with another ambitious, self-financed project filmed in an obscure language, Apocalypto.
A devout Traditionalist Catholic, Gibson became more outspoken with his conservative religious and political beliefs after the release of Passion. He also come under fire with allegations of antisemitism and racism, fueled by his father's beliefs as well as comments he made during a DUI arrest. Gibson's controversial statements have made him the subject of frequent parody in the media.
Gibson returned to the Hollywood scene in 2010 with a starring role in Edge Of Darkness. Soon after the film was released, Gibson again drew controversy when his ex-girlfriend released recordings of his expletive and slur-laden phone conversations and also accused him of domestic abuse.
His following film was The Beaver, which tells the story of a man whose life was ruined by alcohol and finds a very unusual way to get his life back in order--by using a sock puppet beaver as a seperate personality. The film didn't do too well at the box office and his future career remains uncertain although its critical reception was So Okay It's Average at worst.
His next film Get The Gringo (originally titled How I Spent My Summer Vacation) is scheduled for release on May 1st, it will bypass theaters and premiere on Direct TV with a VOD release shortly after.
- The Alcoholic: He has a self-acknowledged problem with alcohol, and it often brings out his other problems.
- Author Appeal: His characters like dogs.
- Badass: Often cast as such.
- Doing It for the Art: The Passion of the Christ and its marketing was funded out of his own pocket, when regular studios wouldn't touch it due to the controversy surrounding the film. Likewise, his intentionally avoiding Translation Convention in the film's dialog was technically unnecessary.
- Meta Casting: The Beaver almost reads like his own life, and this was certainly intentional.
- Pet the Dog: He has helped co-stars like Robert Downey Jr and Joaquin Phoenix deal with their own addictions.
- The Prankster: Well known for his love of practical jokes, such as including a still of himself hidden in the "Apocalypto" trailer.