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Mel Gibson reminisces over some old pictures: ‘Braveheart,’ ‘Lethal Weapon’ and more

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Mel Gibson nodded toward a DVD copy of “Braveheart,” which was perched atop a stack of movies from the Oscar winner’s three-decade career. “It doesn’t always end well for the guys I play, does it? They get their guts cut out or it gets nasty at the end. This new guy, he’s like that too.”

The new guy is Thomas Craven, the main character in “Edge of Darkness,” which marks Gibson’s first leading-man job since 2002. The Craven role is fairly familiar character territory for Gibson — he’s a desperate father, a cop on the edge, a man looking for revenge — but the 54-year-old is on uncertain ground with moviegoers after a career calamity with the worldwide press coverage of his anti-Semitic rant while in police custody for a 2006 DUI.

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The trajectory of Gibson’s career has been startling in its left turns — when People magazine put the actor on the cover of its first “sexiest man alive” issue in 1985, who would have suspected that he would go on almost two decades later to direct, produce and co-write a film that would become a flash point in contemporary American religious life?

Last week, Gibson sat down to reflect on some mile markers in his own cinematic journey by watching scenes from past films. “I don’t revisit, it’s not something I do,” he said, studying his youthful visage from “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior,” the high-octane film that kicked off a decade that saw Gibson go from an unknown Australian actor to one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. “Look at him, I’m not sure I even know this guy.”
For Gibson’s thoughts on ‘Lethal Weapon,’ ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and more, click on the image of ‘Braveheart’ above.

-- Geoff Boucher

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