Mel Gibson is going back into the Thunderdome of public opinion. The actor, filmmaker and polarizing persona will appear onstage on Jan. 21 for a “Mad Max” triple feature at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.
Gibson will sit for a Q&A at the American Cinematheque event that will include screenings of “Mad Max,” “The Road Warrior” and “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” the post-apocalyptic action trilogy that helped launch Gibson’s star in America. The films were directed by George Miller (the third one had George Ogilvie as co-director) and he has plans now to return to the brand with a fourth film, “Mad Max: Fury Road,” this time starring British actor Tom Hardy, who is also playing the villain Bane in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming Batman film “The Dark Knight Rises.”
For Gibson, who turns 56 next month, the event is a way to focus on his silver-screen glory. But any public appearances the two-time Oscar winner makes these days are framed by his career and legal issues in recent years. Gibson’s views on religion and politics long ago made him a firebrand figure in Hollywood, but his standing in the industry was shaken by more personal controversy. A DUI arrest in the summer of 2006 became a life-changing calamity after anti-Semitic remarks he made while in custody were reported across the planet. Gibson apologized and called it “a moment of insanity” and a “public humiliation on a global scale.”
Last summer, tapes of an enraged Gibson berating his girlfriend were made public, and the star’s racist, violent and misogynistic comments made many observers predict his career as a bankable Hollywood player was over. Gibson later said it was “one terribly awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day,” and something that “doesn’t represent what I truly believe or how I’ve treated people my entire life.” Early this month, the actor was in the news in a more positive light when a judge praised him for being ahead-of-schedule on his court-ordered counseling.
The “Mad Max” event is part of American Cinematheque’s Mayan calendar countdown series. The group is hosting one end-of-the-world evening each month in 2012 — the year that some believe the Mayan calendar has pinpointed for the apocalypse. The onstage interview will be handled by Hero Complex lead writer Geoff Boucher — who has previously written about Gibson’s career, crises and upcoming plans. Tickets for the “Mad Max” marathon are now on sale.
– Noelene Clark and Geoff Boucher
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