Most people know that Mel Gibson is the creative director behind the Christian film “The Passion of the Christ.” When the film was released in 2004, it drew much criticism and caused a storm of controversy. What most people don’t know is how long Gibson worked on the film. Back in 1992, he started doing research for this project.
That means Gibson spent an incredible 12 years working on the film. Gibson not only put a lot of time into the project but also a huge sum of money. All in all, Gibson poured $25 million into “The Passion of the Christ.” While you criticize aspects of the film and Gibson’s beliefs, you can’t criticize his “passion” for the project.
The Australian New Wave
Following World War 2, Australian cinema went into decline, but from the 1970s to 1980s, it experienced a revival. Some notable figures like Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Paul Hogan, and director Peter Weir gave this new wave much momentum. Among them was Mel Gibson. Though Gibson’s very much settled in Hollywood, he once contributed to the new wave or “renaissance” of Australian cinema.
Typical of this era was Ozploitation. That might be a mouthful to say, but Ozploitation was a film genre that tended to be low-budget horrors and actions with a distinct flair for showing Australian culture. Of course, the dystopian film “Mad Max,” with its budget of roughly A$350,000, was quintessential Ozploitation.
Father-in-law to Kenny Wayne Shepherd
If you’re a Blues fan, then you’ve probably heard the name Kenny Wayne Shepherd. This Louisiana-born guitarist has made waves in the world of blues. In 2006, he married Mel Gibson’s eldest child, Hannah. It must have been daunting for Shepherd to approach the “Braveheart” actor for his daughter’s hand in marriage, but the blues musician did what he needed to do.
He and Hannah have been married since and have welcomed six children into the world. We have to say Christmas times must be epic. In fact, there’s little chance of having festive blues unless you’re speaking about the genre of music.
A Weir-d Relationship
Everyone knows that directors have their favorites. Christopher Nolan always has a spot for the Irish wonder actor, Cillian Murphy, in films, while Scorsese couldn’t get enough of Leonardo DiCaprio and, before that, Robert DeNiro. Mel Gibson was once the muse of Australian film director Peter Weir, back during their days in Oz.
In 1981, Weir cast him in his war drama “Gallipoli”; a year later, the Australian director cast Gibson again in his romantic drama “The Year of Living Dangerously.” During the early 80s, it seemed like these two were inseparable. Gibson certainly had a “Weir-d” relationship with the experimental Australian director.
What do Warren Beatty, Richard Attenborough, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, and Mel Gibson all have in common? Apart from being superb actors, they’re also superb directors. In fact, they’re such superb directors that they’ve all walked home with an Academy Award for Best Director.
The interesting part is that their main claim to fame is acting. Though Mel Gibson has long been considered an astute actor in Hollywood, he’s been more successful with his directing career, including winning Oscars in 1995 for Best Director and Best Picture for “Braveheart”. In 2016, he also received an Oscar nomination for Best Director for “Hacksaw Ridge.”