Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Mel Gibson's Fall from Grace
2004 was a banner year for Mel Gibson. His Passion of the Christ defied critics to be one of the most acclaimed (and profitable) movies of all time. He was the darling of both Hollywood and the Christian community (no easy feat) and was happily married to the wife of his youth, Robin, whom with he had seven children.
I remember the first Mel Gibson movie I ever saw. It was about 1982 and my dad and brothers were carpet cleaning a movie theater. We always enjoyed the free movies that came with the job. Anyhow, that evening we watched Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. It was the first movie of a theme that Gibson did so well. Happily married husband and father loses both to "bad guys". A tortured Mel then rains holy vengeance down on the perpetrators. No one in movies does justifiable revenge better than Mel Gibson
After that movie, I was a fan. Through the years whether it was Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, or The Patriot, Mel Gibson often personified on film what a man and a husband was meant to be. This was solidified with an article I read years ago by a female reporter that made special note of a particular moment. Gibson had just emerged from a film set where a legion of beautiful women were dying to get close to him. He was cordial and polite but when he saw his wife, his eyes lit up. I was so impressed by the actions of a guy who could literally have any woman he wanted, and yet was a faithful husband.
Oh, how they mighty have fallen!
Since the release of The Passion, Gibson has had multiple run ins with the law often including alcohol fueled racist diatribes. Many of his fans and supporters (and if I'm honest, myself)tended to try to write these off as unguarded talk of a passionate man who had too much to drink.
It seems though that in 2009, Gibson's long suffering wife had enough and filed for divorce. Gibson, instead of realizing he was losing the wife of his youth and the mother of his children, used the opportunity to hook up with a silicon enhanced Russian model who he preceded to have a child with. He then threatens her and, in a recorded phone message, delivers a rant of some of the most vulgar and indefensible racism imaginable.
The result? Even an A-lister like Gibson found himself dropped from his agency, William Morris and a famous unnamed producer was quoted as saying, "I wouldn't work with Gibson again if he were the last actor on earth".
To go from "golden boy of Hollywood" to persona non grata is quite a fall from grace.
Anyhow, as an early Gibson fan and a big believer in redemption, here's hoping Mr. Mel can begin looking some more at that Jesus fellow he was talking about so much a few years ago, get his wife back, stop embarrassing his children...and you know...
...be a man again!