Saturday, July 10, 2010

Five Ways Mel Gibson Can Save His Career

I overcame my addiction to TMZ a while back, but even I cannot look away from the train wreck that is Mel Gibson. It's so extreme it hardly seems possible. His behavior is not just terrible but wantonly and creatively bizarre, beyond anything my imagination could produce on my shakiest woman-on-the-verge day.

Can he save himself? I think so. He's a talented guy who used to have a lot of friends. Anyone who was a close friend of Jodie Foster's (as he was, I've heard) must have something going for him. I once went to the Tridentine Rite Mass at his private chapel in Malibu, and he seemed like an ordinary dad at the head of a big, normal family. He shook hands with people outside the church after Mass, the way you do, and I was impressed at how much it all felt like a regular Sunday outside the church I'd grown up in.

So yeah, I think he can save his career and salvage his life, if he wants to. If you've got ideas, leave them in the comments section.

1. Rehab and public repentance. The tried-and-true approach is the obvious one. It needs to be a real rehab, one of those places run by monks in the Irish countryside or the Arizona desert, and he needs to be gone for at least 90 days. When he gets out, he needs to spend another 90 days doing some kind of below-the-radar volunteer work, preferably with his older children, before saying anything in public. Then he can found a school or a hospital somewhere in Africa, and start the round of talk shows.

2. Be diagnosed with a brain tumor or other serious neurological illness. If it turns out that all of this bizarre behavior is because of a temporal lobe tumor, a previously undiagnosed brain injury, or early-onset Alzheimer's (which can lead to sudden, irrational rages), no apology will be necessary, and we'll forgive him and feel bad for him. Saving his career will be less important than saving his life, but at least we'll all be able to watch Chicken Run again with a clear conscience.

3. Announce that this has all been an elaborate social experiment, filmed as a documentary to be released at Sundance next year. Now, it's possible that Oksana Grigorievna didn't know that she was part of this experiment, which would make it all the longest-ever episode of "Punk'd." But Mel Gibson already had a reputation for taking practical jokes too far, so maybe that's what happened here. No? Too much of a stretch?

4. Have Oksana Grigorievna exposed as a Russian spy. Come on, during all these news reports about spies among us, didn't you take a minute to wonder about Mel Gibson's baby mama? Well, I did. Not that physical and verbal abuse would have been acceptable even if she were a spy, but desperate men can do desperate things, as we know from Mel Gibson's movies.

5. A staged death, followed by facial reconstruction surgery, a name change, and a new life as an independent film producer in Eastern Europe. He could just reinvent himself. He's a good actor, he can learn new languages and change his appearance. Sure, he's put a lot of time and effort into "Mel Gibson," but what is life if not the promise of constant self-reinvention? If he suddenly disappears, and we start hearing about a strangely compelling Polish actor-director making small movies about the Crusades, I'll know what happened.


Kevin Wignall said...

The most interesting comment I saw on Deadline Hollywood was from a black reader who pointed out the irony of WME (number of black agents - ONE!) firing someone for using the "N-word". WME also made some bizarre comments relating to Ed Limato, Gibson's agent (who died the day after Gibson was fired) which seem to suggest that Limato tolerated bigotry in a way WME as a whole won't (I'm sure this wasn't intentional, not least because Limato was hugely respected).

As it happens, I never rated Gibson as an actor, but this spectacular fall from grace could allow for a Mickey Rourke-style comeback doing slightly more off the wall, indie films. It might bring the best out in Gibson as an actor. I think he could also make fun of himself and simultaneously call out the hypocrisy in Hollywood by appearing as a drunken bigot in a comedy.

Interesting to hear your view of him as an apparently normal (albeit very famous) guy. Nice contrast to the people lining up to say he's a monster.

Claire said...

I genuinely do not want to see his career rehabilitated. If he wants to work on being a better person, great, he can do it privately and far away, but anyone capable of saying the things he did to the mother of his child is not someone I am interested in helping. Especially not since he has had his second, third, and tenth chances. He's violent, hateful, and disgusting. I hope Oksana, his first wife, and his children are safe.

AnswerGirl said...

Claire, you are right, and I should be taking this more seriously than I am. I'm embarrassed to say that I've made assumptions about Oksana Grigorievna based on stereotypes and tabloid reporting, and have no way of knowing what she's actually like — but even if she's the worst kind of manipulative opportunist, she's the mother of his child and deserves courtesy.

It's also true that we can't know what Mel Gibson was like in private before this string of public bad behavior started about four years ago. But it does seem to be more than a personality issue. It would not surprise me at all if it turns out to be the result of actual brain damage, whether alcohol-related, the result of some insect-borne encephalitis, or an unreported injury.