- Mel Gibson’s early interviews revealed his true personality as a self-proclaimed “professional liar,” which played a role in his later controversies.
- Gibson’s controversial comments and behavior were not a sudden change, but rather reflected his long-standing beliefs that went unnoticed by the public.
- The negative reception of his films and erratic interviews led to the decline of Gibson’s career, prompting him to rebrand himself and carefully choose his interviews in an attempt to rebuild his image.
Mel Gibson rose to fame after he starred in the post-apocalyptic film, Mad Max. For the next several decades, Gibson was in demand and starred in several films per year, with a net worth at one point of $850 million. During this time, the Maverick star was able to keep his true personality under wraps and the public was none-the-wiser to his controversial beliefs. However, had more attention to Gibson’s interview answers in the earlier days of his career, it was clear that a shady personality trait was revealed far sooner than anyone realized.
Long before any blatant comments that were anti-Semitic, racist, or sexist in nature were said, Gibson never hid who he was. Instead, Gibson became famous at a time when social media did not exist, there was no such thing as video clips going viral, and there was a different standard that celebrities were held to that allowed them to get away with behavior that would be considered unacceptable to most. It was not until one of Gibson’s controversial comments was released by his ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva during a custody battle over their infant daughter that it became clear what ideals Gibson had about any minority and why he was canceled, though just momentarily, by Hollywood.
Had anyone looked closely at what Gibson was saying during his interviews in the past, however, they would not be shocked by what was to come in the future, specifically given that Gibson never claimed to be anything he was not.
In A 1998 Interview, Mel Gibson Talked About How His Career Began
Gibson went into acting not because he thought he would become an award-winning actor, but because he wanted to have a job that did not require him to go to university or do physical labor.
“I had absolutely no idea and my options were, you know, get some quick fast job, probably physical labor, to, you know, to earn the bread,” Gibson explained about his decision-making process after high school.
He went on to say, “I’d finished high school. Did average but finished. I really hated school and could have gone into journalism. The other option that was open to me was a sort of auditioning for a drama school, which I did. I could tell jokes and stories and make stories up.”
This, in conjunction with a sneaky move from one of Gibson’s sisters to send in an application to the National Institute of Dramatic Art, helped to move Gibson in the direction of taking acting seriously.
The big break would come when Gibson received an audition for Mad Max. The night before the audition, however, he got into a bar brawl that left him with the appearance of a “busted grapefruit.” This worked out in Gibson’s favor though, as it was what director, George Miller was looking for of his lead actor in the film.
Whether Gibson lied about what happened to him when walking into the audition is unknown. But, what the Lethal Weapon star has been frank about is that he is a “professional liar” which helped him to become the successful actor he became.
Mel Gibson Is A Self-Proclaimed “Professional Liar”
For anyone who ever wondered when a switch flipped in Gibson that he became so completely different from the man fans thought he was, all they need to do is look at early interviews of the Braveheart star and see that he was honest about the fact that he was a fantastic liar.
It was this ability to make others believe what he was saying that launched a decades-long career before it imploded.
Gibson explained during his 1998 interview that what made him a good actor when he was starting out was that he could “make stories up and convince people of things that weren’t true.”
When flat-out asked if he was a liar, Gibson replied, “Yeah, a great liar. A good liar.”
Gibson went on to say, “I’m not as good a liar now as I was then because, if you know the whole lying thing is something you have to try and overcome, I guess. I try and put it into a framework where I can call it a profession now.
I can’t say that I have a method. I don’t. I don’t think I do. I mean, there is a method but I find that it constantly shifts and changes and I think that’s a good thing.”
Gibson’s attempts at lying about who he was would eventually come to a head when tapes were leaked and interviews were given that showed his true nature.
Because of this, projects were scrapped, stars dropped out of films, and eventually, Gibson was dropped from his talent agency as well.
Mel Gibson’s Early Interview Didn’t Bode Well For His Career
When Gibson gave his 1998 interview, he likely thought he was just giving some background into what made him a successful actor. Instead, the interview just laid the foundation for what was to come, which was anti-Semitic, racist, and sexist comments, both fueled by alcohol and in a sober state that would lose Gibson fans by the droves.
The first time that fans began to take notice that Gibson was more controversial than they first realized was via the films he was not only starring in but directing as well.
As such, with The Passion of Christ, Gibson was seen as an anti-Semite. With Apocolypto, Gibson was seen as making a film that was disrespectful of the Mayan culture. Other films were seen as not being historically accurate, all of which began to diminish Gibson’s star power.
In addition to films not being viewed favorably, there were interviews being given that showed the armor built up around Gibson was starting to become weak. He was not handling himself the way he had in the past, which led to the Conspiracy Theory star becoming erratic and walking out on an interview.
At the 1996 MTV Movie Awards, Gibson and Janeane Garofalo were supposed to have an exchange. However, not liking the line of questioning that was being sent his way, Gibson “bolted” from the auditorium without a word.
This left producers scrambling with what to do for the segment and Gibson showed he had no tolerance either for the questioning or for Garofalo. All the situation did was confuse fans and make people leery of interviewing Gibson.
Given the turbulent nature of interviews given in the past, Gibson’s team appears to be working on rebranding him. This means that the interviews given are chosen with care. This might be why when the Will Smith and Chris Rock slap was brought up to Gibson, his handlers shut down the interview immediately, not knowing what Gibson might say on the matter.
There were other interviews in between these two with which Gibson either made remarks that damaged his image further or flat-out shut the interview down. This was likely why handlers were brought on set with Gibson to ensure that the image he was trying to promote that he had changed began to stick.
Just how well this image rebranding will work remains to be seen. But the more people see interviews from the past, it appears that Gibson may have a long way to go to show real growth in character.