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Mel Gibson calls 2006 tirade a ‘dim thing in the past’

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It’s been 10 years since Mel Gibson directed his last film, Apocalypto — and 10 years since he was arrested for driving under the influence and recorded making anti-Semitic comments. For next month’s Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson returned to the director’s chair, and with the release of his newest movie on the horizon, he’s opening up about the infamous incident that derailed his career.

Gibson spoke to Variety for the publication’s “Playback” podcast, where he revealed that he thinks the focus today on his arrest is “really unfair.”

“Ten years have gone by,” Gibson told Variety. “I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there’d be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been.

“I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation,” he added. “And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”

Gibson also said that he was glad to get back to directing with the war drama Hacksaw Ridge (out Nov. 4), which stars Andrew Garfield as real-life conscientious objector Desmond Doss, a World War II medic who refused to carry a gun.

“You try to keep the rust off,” Gibson said. “Although I kind of had to blow the cylinders out on this one. But it was great to get back in the chair, and it’s like riding a bike. Except now, 10 years later, the budgetary limitations and the time limitations, the challenges are greater in that regard. So you have to go in and be far more judicious about how you shoot and what you shoot. But it’s not the same industry it was. If you’re not making a superhero movie about someone in spandex, nobody gives you a budget.”

Listen to the full interview with Gibson at Variety.

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