Mel Gibson has given his first interview since controversial audio recordings leaked in the summer of 2010 regarding his relationship with Oksana Gregorieva. The often-controversial actor spoke out on a variety of topics, ranging from the recordings to his new Jodie Foster-directed film, “The Beaver,” in an interview with freelance writer Allison Hope Weiner that was published on Deadline.com.
For the first time, the actor said that he has no hard feelings over being axed from the cast of the upcoming summer comedy sequel “The Hangover Part II,” late last year.
“You have to let that go,” the actor said. “I sat here and talked to [director] Todd [Phillips] about it. I like Todd. How could you not like Todd? He’s smart and he’s gifted and so are the other people in the film. It’s OK. You just have to let that go.”
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, Gibson had signed on to film a cameo as a tattoo artists in Thailand in the buddy comedy, but reports surfaced last fall that the actor was fired. Liam Neeson later replaced Gibson in the part, and it has since been reported that Neeson was himself replaced by director Nick Cassavetes because Neeson was unable to film any reshoots.
Not long after Gibson was axed from the project, Phillips told Access the firing was the result of a group decision.
“As much as I’m the producer and the director and a writer on the movie, I don’t operate like that in that, it’s a family,” Phillips explained. “A lot of the crew that I’ve worked with, I’ve worked with for 10 years now on seven movies. A lot of the actors, obviously, I’ve worked with before. So you don’t want necessarily, a two-minute moment in your film to come in between that family.”
When Weiner suggested the actor’s firing was “a very Hollywood hypocritical moment,” Gibson said he was able to move on with ease.
“It shows you a few things. You just move on and go, ‘OK. I’m not greatly offended by it. It seemed like a good idea at the time and it went south,’” he said.
While Phillips’ film won’t be Gibson’s next big screen project, the actor is set to hit theaters in “The Beaver” on May 20, a project directed by his long time friend Jodie Foster.
“It was something different and it was also Jodie,” Gibson said of taking the role that sees him playing Walter Black, a man who uses a beaver puppet as his lone method for communicating.
“I’d give her a pedicure every day of the week if I could,” Gibson continued of Foster. “We met on ‘Maverick’ many years ago… She was really bright. And she was pragmatic and extremely sensitive and a good heart, a real good heart. So how could you not become friends?”
Gibson said he and Foster, who also stars in “The Beaver” alongside “Winter’s Bone” Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence, have maintained a good relationship for years.
“We became fast friends and we maintained that over the years. We’ve both had our different little journeys. It’s untraditional. But there are a lot of things we have in common,” he said. “I just love her.”
While Gibson’s many personal issues, including a divorce from his longtime wife, Robyn Gibson, and the surfacing of the aforementioned tapes, didn’t deter Foster from working with the actor, many suspect they may have hurt his overall career, something about which Weiner questioned the actor.
“I don’t know. Guys like Robbie [CEO Rob Friedman] over at Summit [Entertainment] have been really nice. It didn’t seem to bug those guys at all,” he said. “They were like, ‘This is crap. We’re going out with this movie.’ The next movie I’m in [after “The Beaver”] is ‘How I Spent My Summer Vacation’ and it will have a distributor because we’re in the business of entertainment.”
Gibson said he had praise for Whoopi Goldberg, who defended him as allegations from Grigorieva’s camp against the actor intensified.
“I knew Whoopi before she was Whoopi. And, as she’s great and I always liked her and loved her,” he said. “I like her even more now because she got it.”
While the actor recently pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery over an incident involving Grigorieva, he told Weiner he couldn’t discuss his legal issues – including an alleged $16 million settlement with his ex, with whom he co-parents their toddler, Lucia.
“Everybody has a dog in the fight but me, oddly enough. I haven’t got a lawsuit out on anyone because I think it’s extremely… You have to think about your children,” he said. “That’s all there is to it… There are a lot of delicate and sensitive issues and I don’t want to be the cause of grief to any of my children or to friends or family or associates on either side.”
To read more of Weiner’s Q&A with Gibson, Click HERE.