Mel Gibson and His Movies by Brian Pendreigh
This biography reveals the personal crises, financial nightmares, and personality clashes that "Braveheart" had to overcome. Mel Gibson won an Oscar for Best Director for "Braveheart", having already established himself as one of the top box-office attractions of his generation. He went straight from drama school to "Mad Max". He was almost thrown out of drama school in Sydney. An early marriage, an apparently happy family life and swift elevation to superstar status hide Gibson's inner demons, his long battle against drink and his continual artistic struggle. He put his popularity and credibility on the line with risky projects, such as "Hamlet" and, indeed, "Braveheart", the story of an obscure medieval Scot. While Gibson worked 20 hours a day, even toilet rolls were rationed as the dollar plunged against the pound. The author has interviewed Gibson numerous times and, in researching the book, spoke to many of the actor's directors and co-stars. He also interviewed the men and women Gibson left behind on his rise to the top, and discovered why some have mixed feelings about their former friend. The book assesses Gibson's films, from the low-budget Australian surf movie to the multi-million-dollar Hollywood star vehicles. It considers the influences that shaped Gibson, including the upheaval of emigration, from New York to Australia, at the instigation of a father who quit the Roman Catholic Church because it was too liberal. Brian Pendreigh is the author of "On Location: The Film Fan's Guide to Britain and Ireland". He won the title Film Journalist of the Year in 1995.