Mel Gibson's extraordinary raise to stardom, and the new release of "The Passion of the Christ", which Mel both directed and financed, has created a firestorm of media attention.
Gibson's interpretation of the Gospel is in accordance with his own personal purging, suffering and Salvation, according to his Roman Catholic belief system.
The entire focus of the film is a harsh portrayal of the violent, painful, and brutal crucifixion, and suffering that Jesus endured in his last final 12 hours.
Mel: "This is my version according to the Gospel, and what I wanted to show -- the aspects of it that I wanted to show. I wanted it to be shocking, and I wanted it to be extreme."
Mel's many roles as "Action Hero" began with Mad Max, catapulting him to stardom. Interestingly, he arrived for the audition with a badly bruised face from a brawl. This was the 'edge' that got him the role of playing Mad Max, a "lean, mean fighting machine".
Mel has also been typecast in many films covering all types of roles; Shakespearian, charismatic, charming, romantic, sentimental, and sex appeal ... revealing his multitalented acting skills. He says he becomes and feels the part, and falls in love with his co-stars for the filming ... also careful to let everyone know of his commitment and devotion to his family. His wife Robyn and their seven children often accompany him on film shoots.
On a Diane Sawyer interview, Mel declared that about 13 years ago he hit bottom. His mother had died in 1990, and he was abusing drugs and alcohol, and he seriously contemplated hurling himself out a window. He said he felt that he was at "the height of spiritual bankruptcy." "Everyone's got something, I would get addicted to anything, anything at all OK?" "I checked into a few places and I sorted myself out."
"Pain is the precursor to change" Gibson said. "That's the good news." "I think I just sank to my knees." "I said Help. You know?" And then I began to meditate on it, and that's in the Gospel. "I read all those again. I remember reading bits of them when I was younger."
When asked directly about his views of the holocaust, he replied: "It was an atrocity of monumental proportion."
"Let's get this out on the table and talk about it, this is what the Talmud says. This is what the Gospel says. Let's talk."