Mel Gibson is one of the most bankable movie stars in the world. His career has been characterised by the ability to make successful action movies as well as more ‘serious’ films. Now with Brave/wart, he shows that he can direct too. Lila Rawlings met him and discovered a star with his feet planted firmly on the ground.

evin Costner doesn’t have it. Clint Eastwood has heaps of it. Mel Gibson oozes it from every rugged pore. What? Star quality. that illusive thing that every Hollywood wannabe dreams of. ln the Tinsel Town of the 903, real stars would appear to be a bit of an endangered species and star quality in scarce supply.

In Braveheart, Mel Gibson’s epic romp

5 The List 8-21 Sept I995

through the life and times of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace. it is his star presence that holds the movie together and makes three hours seem like 90 minutes. There is a self- confidence in his every move on screen that compels you to watch and even the smallest gesture seems to speak volumes. Off-screen. Mel Gibson would seem to be more reticent. and far more bashful than his two best known Lethal. Mad screen roles. His shy. nervy manner

is a million miles away from the off-the-rails hard drinking wildman that various unauthorised biographers have described. And for those who are interested. not as short either. On a rainy Sunday morning in Edinburgh. he looks every inch the 5ft 1 lin he claims to be and his baby-blues framed by ridiculously long curly eyelashes. are every bit as dreamy as expected. llis once fresh-faced babyfacetgood looks that made him a heart-throb are now more weathered and his face more lived-in. His navy cotton shirt. waistcoat and worn Levis give off a ‘casual but stylish‘ air. his expensive black leather cowboy boots scream ‘California.’

‘For me. being a star is really a bi-product of being an actor. Not to say that stardom is to be sneered at. . . it’s kind of flattering because it’s