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May 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Mel Gibson and Variety Editor Tim Gray

Despite the controversy over Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks following his DUI arrest in 2006 and his recorded threats to kill ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, his performance in The Beaver is receiving arguably more acclaim than any other from journalists attending the Cannes Film Festival. (The film was screened “out of competition,” making Gibson ineligible for an acting award.) He did not participate in a news conference with director/co-star Jodie Foster following Tuesday’s press screening of the film but did walk the red carpet with her that night when the movie was officially screened. On Wednesday, he granted a single interview — to Variety editor Tim Gray, who lobbed softball questions at him. While Gray acknowledged that the interview was granted on condition that he not ask Gibson about his personal life, Gray appeared to self-censor the interview, not asking Gibson about the dreadful performance of The Beaver at the U.S. box office, the PR strategy to overcome the damaging publicity, or about Gibson’s views on the often turbulent confluence of celebrity and art. Instead he began his interview by noting that movie stars tend to get “a little hammy” as they grow older. Gibson seemed to agree, remarking that if an actor keeps “grinding on the same bicycle, the chain just starts to wear out.” He said that he walked away from acting for about eight years, during which time he went “through some kind of metamorphosis” and noticed that “even the language of films” had evolved, “so when you come back to it, it’s interesting.” Finally Gray asked, “Is there anything I should have asked you about — about Cannes … about life?” Gibson replied, “‘About life?’ You don’t want to hear about my three-ring circus.” That’s undoubtedly what everyone did want to hear about.