Mel Gibson


Interviewed by Alec Cawthorne

Why did you decide to do this film?

I think films have to do three things: they have to entertain, to educate and, if possible, take you to a higher plane. I think this film does all three and that's the earmark of a great film. When I read the script, I saw straightaway that it did all three and it took me about three seconds to give Night a call and say "let me do it". And I wasn't in the least disappointed. It only got better as we went along.

The film has been shrouded in secrecy. Was that hard to keep it so under wraps?

Night is very very protective of his stories. In fact, he had his cousin drive the script to my house and hand it to me. He was very concerned about letting that script come anywhere near Hollywood! Hollywood being Hollywood, industrial espionage is rife and you don't want to get too vocal about what you're doing because in a heartbeat, someone will use it. It's brutal. There are no scruples about such things here.

In your opinion, what's the film about?

It's a film about spirituality and belief and faith. When crop circles start appearing on the farm, well, that would be unnerving for anyone, but my character's situation means that there are already these built-in tensions for reasons we don't understand until later. You find out the exact nature of his wounds as the story unfolds. I think there's a message and it is that nothing really happens by accident. You're banking on something greater than yourself. Just the concept of a higher being, of a higher form of life, is common to many faiths. It's the belief that there's something better than me out there.

You're a well-known practical joker. Is it hard to play jokes when filming a creepy movie like this?

No. It's really easy for me to divorce myself from the mood and atmosphere of the set. In fact, I make it my specific business to try and do that on a regular basis, not to get too serious! Of course, there's a place where you have to be all business, and ultimately I'm serious about the process. I know that it's there, and it's a given that you can step into it at any time you like, but there's a place for laughter too.