It’s the Second Coming of Mel Gibson

By Nathan Burstein

Published January 27, 2010, issue of February 05, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Following an absence that didn’t necessarily make the heart grow fonder, Mel Gibson returns to movie theaters January 29 with his first major film role in seven years — but only after an ugly dustup over a 2006 outburst of antisemitism.

Touchy: Gibson became angry with a reporter during an interview for his new movie.
GETTY IMAGES
Touchy: Gibson became angry with a reporter during an interview for his new movie.

In a January 19 interview with Los Angeles TV station KTLA, the tarnished “Lethal Weapon” star turned nasty with reporter Sam Rubin, who suggested that some moviegoers might be reluctant to welcome back the actor. “Why?” Gibson responded, suddenly wide-eyed and leaning forward in his chair.

When Rubin mentioned “remarks that were attributed to you” — Gibson’s 2006 declaration during a drunken-driving arrest that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world” — the actor responded testily, “I gather you have a dog in this fight.”

Gibson also appeared to deny the 2006 comments, for which he publicly apologized at the time, describing them as “remarks that I didn’t necessarily make.”

The interview provided the touchiest moment in Gibson’s ongoing efforts to resurrect his acting career, nearly dormant since his last leading role in 2003’s “The Singing Detective.” The actor earned a fortune — but also became a lightning rod for criticism — with his 2004 directorial effort, “The Passion of the Christ,” which opponents said revived church accusations of deicide against Jews.

Gibson’s box-office viability will be put to the test by “Edge of Darkness,” a new film that revisits themes from several of the actor’s biggest hits. A revenge drama that stars Gibson as a cop who is hunting his daughter’s killer, the film features a low-wattage supporting cast, but was co-written by William Monahan, an Oscar winner for 2006’s “The Departed.” Martin Campbell, who helmed two James Bond movies, is the director.

Acknowledging his new film’s uncertain fate at the box office, Gibson sounded a defiant note in his interview with Rubin. “Well, I’m back, and I hope it works out,” he told the reporter pointedly, “and I hope people will graciously accept me back.”


Watch the trailer for “Edge of Darkness” below:

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.