'Mad Max' Director Remembers When Mel Gibson "Got Angry" and Drank

Mel Gibson - H 2016
Mary Evans/KENNEDY MILLER PRODUCTIONS/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

This story first appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Best director Oscar nominee Mad Max: Fury Road's George Miller shared his perspective on a pre-scandal Mel Gibson, who toplined his 1979 original cult classic, with THR's Kim Masters (on KCRW's The Business airing Feb. 15). In addition to noting that Gibson never retreated to his trailer and instead constantly studied the action on set, Miller shared that the actor would act "edgy" because "he felt very invaded" by fame. In particular, when Gibson learned that the local Catholic church didn't celebrate a traditional Latin mass, "he got angry," said Miller.

Eventually, the action star was able to master his nervousness, explained Miller, but "then the alcohol came." Gibson would blame booze for his anti-Semitic tirade during his 2006 DUI arrest that became public. "When I heard those tapes, I cried," said Miller. "There is no question that he's a lovely person [who was] really struggling. Since then, he seems to be doing a lot better." Gibson recently directed the army drama Hacksaw Ridge, expected to be released this year.