Mel Gibson on his ‘Mad Max’ past and new epic aspirations

Feb. 06, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.

Reserved and reflective, Mel Gibson came to the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood to celebrate the legacy of his “Mad Max” films but, of course, the 56-year-old star’s recent career calamities were the silent passenger that accompanied him during the trip down memory lane.

Thirty-three years have passed since “Mad Max” exploded on the scene with a high concept and a low budget (about $400,000) and began the minting of an international movie star. Sitting in the dark with the time-capsule moment, Gibson found it hard to recognize his 21-year-old self up on the screen. “I thought,” he said, “it was one of my kids.”

Above, you can watch the full video from the American Cinematheque event where I interviewed Gibson about the career-launching franchise and you’ll hear that the conversation veered off at times to his filmmaking future, the TMZ era and the emotional wear and tear of recent seasons. There was also a lot of applause — and two standing ovations — from the sell-out crowd. And, for that, the two-time Oscar winner seemed truly thankful.

— Geoff Boucher


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22 Responses to Mel Gibson on his ‘Mad Max’ past and new epic aspirations

  1. Loser says:

    That Viking movie sounds badass. Hope he keeps directing movies for a long long time. Great to see him back.

  2. Linda says:

    Great interview, definitely a naturally gifted storyteller; very expressive and the light has started to come back into his eyes! Can hardly wait to see another one of his movies. Would like to read a biography about him….another project maybe?

  3. Daniel says:

    He is incredibly talented, hope he continues working for a good many years to come.

  4. Mike says:

    Mel is just a guy. It translates to some degree in all his movies; it's why I love him as an actor. I always got a feeling for his humility, his humanity, and you know what? I still feel in it in his movies. I've done many things I'll always regret, but not even one 1% of humankind will ever know them because I'm not in the spotlight 365. My adoration of the man is even more for he'll live with his mistakes while having to bear daily reminders. That's another great accomplishment to a long list.

    • Northern Star says:

      Absolutely right on Mike dude, Mel is THE MAN, so what if he made mistakes along the way, pobody's nerfect, and besides, it'll be his amazing films – especially the ones he directed – that will be remembered, not what he (allegedly) said after a night on the bends…

  5. Hotfingers says:

    Glad to see him back-PLEASE Mel don't say a word thats not in the script!!

  6. andie says:

    Thanks so much to whomever was instrumental in getting this little piece of a great interview to this website so that many of his fans could also enjoy it! I know I really enjoyed listening to the conversation and learning some of the experiences he has had. I look forward to his future endeavors. Love that voice!
    From MadMax to Maccabee,,,,what a road trip!
    Glad you're back, Mel! You still look as good as ever!

  7. Catherine says:

    I simply think a world of this man who despite all the opposition, risks, trials and tests pushes forward and time and time again entertains us, educates us, and elevates us!! ** THANK YOU Mel. ** You are truly gifted and have been blessed with the Divine love and power. May God be with you and your loved ones, always. YOU ROCK :D

  8. Combaticus says:

    They say you shouldn't meet your heroes…

    I've been a huge Mel fan since 1980, and I'm grateful that I got the opportunity to see him in person, but the Q&A was a major disappointment. Mel's body language was very closed up, and he mostly ignored the audience. At the very least he could have said thanks, or acknowledged that we'd shown up *for him.* I, for one, would have appreciated a small display of gratitude, other than a wave on the way in and out. I mean, it wasn't like he was being forced to answer questions in front of a hostile audience. (cont'd)

  9. Combaticus says:


    Mel came across as distracted and unfocused (it's less than an hour out of your life; would it have killed you to *act* enthusiastic?). Maybe it's unfair to blame Boucher for a lack of interview skills or ability to coax a better performance from his subject; then again, maybe it's not. Finally, we were there to see Mel and the Mad Max trilogy, not a career retrospective, so a little more focus on the trilogy would have been nice. As I said, I was grateful for the opportunity, but disappointed in the outcome. I still have a great fondness for Mel the Actor (or at least Mel as Max and Mel as Riggs) and a great respect for Mel the director, but Mel the Man? Eh.

    I did meet Tom Kenny, the voice of Spongebob, so that was a bonus.

    • BATMANIAC says:

      Maybe the guy was just nervous about speaking infront of a live audience, especially if he was uncomfortable about what they thought. His nervous body language was obvious that that could have been the case.

      Anywayz, Mel is back! And his VIKING EPIC is my no 1 anticipated film so far! If its anywhere as awesome as Braveheaart i will feel so lucky to witness lightning striking twice. No, 3 times even, Apocalypto was brilliance too. But a real gritty Viking epic called BERSERKER! Off the frickin chain!!!! Bring it on, save maccabee for afterwards.

  10. Loser says:

    I actually thought he was a bit under the weather when I saw the interview which would explain his kind of nervous apperance. That said can`t wait for more Mel. And please keep bring us more of these kind of interviews.

  11. dude says:

    I like how he seems a bit reserved at first, but once he begins to talk about his potential projects, he becomes really animated. Hope we get to see these flicks.

  12. michelle says:



    most people would develop a reserved stance

    whilst interacting with strangers

    esp. if ‘their’ prior experience has been to have their words twisted into some unintended meaning





  13. Josie says:

    We all have up and down, a life in the public eye is a fantastic opportunity one makes for oneself. A double edged sword also. Bravo to all those who take a shot, and keep on standing tall after getting taken "down". There is no down, no up, each choice gives us a trip to take

  14. Mark says:

    Mel Gibson is a cinema legend, and I can’t wait to see his Viking epic – it sounds amazing. Thanks so much for posting this Q&A.

  15. Klpa says:

    I love this guy, I hope he get 11 oskars next year for this Viking movie if filmed soon which Leonardo dicaprio act in the movie….They Can Take Our Lives But They Can’t Take Our FREEDOOOOOOOOM

  16. Klpa says:


  17. Corn says:

    I've been wanting to watch this video for months and just now had the time to watch it. Unfortunately Mel is being bashed by the media again. His personal problems are none of our business, it sickens me how the media trys to destroy people. He comes across nervous in many of his interviews, I don't think its a pleasant task for him but it comes with the territory. I would guess that one on one he is more relaxed and perhaps appreciates the give and take of a conversation as opossed to being asked question after question. I hate to hear that raspy sound in his voice and hope he will be successful at quitting smoking some day soon. I hope he is able to make his viking film as it will certainly contain the three E's Entertain, Enlighten and Educate.

  18. terry gibson says:

    dear mel this is terry pie Gibson in 1977 I bet you 20$ that this movie would make you famous I think I won that bet + bye way that was dale bensch gets hit in the head I run over jessi + sprog that made you mad cheers terry ps send me that 20 when your reddy

  19. kendra20 says:

    I can't find the entire video online. Anyone have a link?

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