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!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • 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.