Mel Gibson

What Women Want

Interviewed by Film 2000 with Jonathan Ross

Could you tell me a bit about this story?

It's about men and women and about what keeps them separate and what keeps them together. It's about the misconceptions the fairer sex has about the hairier, more brutish one, and vice versa.

Who exactly is your character?

He's a guy's guy. He was raised around women. His mother was a showgirl in Vegas and he was raised all around showgirls so he's got a pretty set idea about women. The male role models he's aspired to are the people he saw, the cigar-chomping, ass-slapping, women-chasing chauvinists. Then he has an accident where he is electrocuted and hits his head, and he wakes up able to hear the very personal thoughts of every woman he comes in contact with.

So, does that get him into trouble?

It takes him a while before he begins to use it with real expertise. Then he realises that it is a really good gift and he starts to use it in a very particular way, for specific reasons.

Does your character?

Yeah, he does, he hears all sorts of horrors. He's appalled. It's pretty funny actually.

Why did you choose Helen Hunt for this film?

The script went to her and we were just very fortunate she grabbed a hold because she's very busy with a bunch of other stuff. She's very much in demand and she's just perfect. She has this kind of sweetness. It's the combination of strength and goodness that conquers his heart.

What about the comedy aspect, is it really tough to do?

I think it is tough and it is really easy to be false, and if it is false, well, then it ain't funny.

Do you think you have to be a naturally funny person to do comedy roles?

You have to have an understanding of it I think. You have to have at least a sense of humour.

Are you going to direct again?

I don't know when or what, but I will. I would never make the mistake of actually being in it again... that makes it not so much fun.