A devout Catholic and
family man, Australia's most famous film star is an unlikely
for such action movies as Mad Max
and Lethal Weapon.
he is known as one of Australia's most famous movie actors, Mel
Columcille Gerard Gibson was born in New York, America. His father
was a railwayman and his mother was an Australian opera singer.
Mel had ten brothers and sisters! When Mel's father won a big
prize on the television
Jeopardy he decided to
move the family to his wife's home country. They settled in
Sydney, New South Wales in 1968. Mel was 12 years old.
at school for his American accent, Mel quickly developed the broad
‘Aussie’ accent he still has today. He wanted
to fit in. 'I
had to adjust to the place,' he says. 'I adjusted and adapted
quite well, 16,000 gallons of beer later.'
After trying to become a
journalist, Mel changed to study drama.
At first he had very bad
stage fright. But his sister was
sure he had talent and sent in
applications for auditions for two
movies without telling Mel.
In the first of these films
Mel was given the title role, Tim.
His performance as a mentally retarded man won him a Sammy,
an Australian award. The night before the audition for the other
film he got into a fight. He went to the audition with his face
badly cut and
bruised. The directors wanted someone
tough to play the lead role. When they saw Mel's
they knew they had their man for Mad Max.
The film was about a
leather-wearing Australian cop after a
nuclear war which became a cult classic.
The famous Australian film director Peter Weir was impressed by
his acting and
cast Mel in the powerful World War II drama Gallipoli.
His performance won him his second Sammy.
The same year Mel starred in Mad Max II. Peter Weir chose
Mel again for his film The Year Of Living Dangerously about
uncaring reporter covering an Indonesian
It led to
starring roles in several Hollywood films.
Mel went back to Australia in 1985 to play Max Kowalski one last
time in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. His co-star in this
extravagant film was singer Tina Turner.
break, Mel came back to Hollywood to star
with Danny Glover in Lethal Weapon. This thrilling action
movie was made
remarkable by Mel's performance and by the obvious
‘chemistry’ between Mel and Danny. Mel played Martin
Riggs, a man who becomes uncaring of death after his own wife
dies. The movie and the three
box-office successes and made Mel Gibson a superstar.
With his new
wealth, Mel started his own production company, ICON
productions. He directed, and starred in, his own film The Man
Without A Face. It tells the story of a young boy's
relationship with a man who has been horribly burned. It is a
sensitive and moving film, a complete contrast to the action of
the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon movies.
Mel's second attempt at directing, producing and starring was a
huge success. Braveheart is the epic story of a 13th
century Scottish leader William Wallace and his
struggle to make
Scotland independent. It won more Oscars than any other film in
Mel's popularity and reputation have continued to grow with films
such as Conspiracy Theory, Ransom and Payback.
People magazine has voted him one of the world's Top 50 Most
Beautiful People three times!
However there is a contradiction between his image as a hard man
in violent films and his life
off-screen. He holds strong views in favour of capital punishment and against gun control. He is a
devout Catholic and a committed family man. Somehow, during his
full movie career, he and his wife Robyn have managed to have
seven children. He sends his older children to a boarding school
in Australia. 'I think it's
character building - those guys
them like marines. If they do anything wrong
they're on a six-mile
Mel also has a sense of humour, which cannot be kept
under control at work. While filming with Julia Roberts, he sent
her a freeze-dried rat as a present. As the producer for Payback,
hired the Chicago Bulls' cheerleaders to commemorate the first
day for Brian Helgeland as a film director.
When asked if he will be chosen to play the next Batman, he
can't resist a joke. 'I don't want to have dialogue with Robin,'
grins, ' I get enough of that at home.'
is carried along by the course of events
(sigue la corriente)
model: someone whose behaviour people try to copy because they
(modelo a imitar)
quiz show: a game show in which contestants answer
(programa de preguntas y respuestas)
teased: to make jokes and laugh at someone
aussie: a native or inhabitant of Australia
to fit in: to adapt myself to be accepted
(adaptarse para ser aceptado)
journalist: a writer for newspapers and magazines
stage fright: nervousness felt by an actor who is about to
(temor a salir a escena)
for employment or admission
Mel was given:
they gave Mel
(le dieron a Mel)
injured without breaking the skin (llena de moretones)
rough and tough:
fierce and sturdy (violento y recio)
damaged by blows (arruinada por los golpes)
leather-wearing Australian cop:
Australian policeman wearing leather clothes (policía
australiano vestido de cuero)
selected (lo seleccionó a)
lacking affection (incomprensivo)
a sudden and decisive change of government illegally or by
forcejuree skin (golpe de estado)
it led to:
this took him to (esto lo llevó a)
two-year break: a gap
of two years without
(lapso de dos años sin actividad)
remarkable: singular or unusual (notable)
chemistry: in this context, the way that the characters
change and interact
sequel: a film which continues the story of an earlier one
huge box-office successes: big top hits (enormes
éxitos de taquilla)
wealth: riches, plentiful supply of material goods and
off-work, during his inactive periods (fuera de la pantalla)
helping to build character (forjador de carácter)
run them like marines: direct them like soldiers
(los dirigen como soldados)
they're on a six-mile
they make them run 6 miles (los obligan a correr 6 millas)
hired: employed, engaged (contrató)
grins: draws back the lips and reveals the teeth in a
smile (sonríe socarronamente)