GIBSON EXPERIENCES ANOTHER HANGOVER (OR DOESN’T)
Mel Gibson’s cameo in The Hangover: Part II has been handed to Liam Neeson, Daily Variety reported on its website late today (Friday). It quoted the actor as saying that the offer to take the role came from his A-Team co-star Bradley Cooper, who co-stars in the film. Neeson said that all that he knows about the film is that he’ll be doing one-day of work on the sequel as “a tattooist in Thailand.” He told Variety that he “just laughed my leg off” at the first movie. “I was shooting in Berlin earlier this year and rented it on the hotel TV,” he said.
An actors’ backlash apparently resulted in Mel Gibson being dropped from the cast of The Hangover Part II. In a statement, director Todd Phillips said that while he “thought Mel would have been great in the movie,” his decision “ultimately did not have the full support of my entire cast and crew.” It apparently did not sit well with the public as well judging from howls of protest that greeted the news on celebrity websites. Gibson has courted scandal since unleashing a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade following his DUI arrest in 2006 and more recently after tapes of his abusive telephone calls to his former girlfriend landed on the Internet. However, on her DeadlineHollywood website, influential blogger Nikki Finke came to Gibson’s defense, calling the decision to dump him “disappointing” and pointing out that no similar uproar occurred when another controversial figure was cast in a cameo role in the original Hangover film. “Mike Tyson, who was convicted [of] rape and served time for it, can be in The Hangover, but Gibson can’t? … Stars still flock to work with Roman Polanski … [who admitted] having a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old girl. Clearly,” she concluded, “Gibson has been his own worst enemy, but as a director of films like Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, there are few better.”