Call In Winston Wolfe: Let’s Save Mel Gibson’s Career
Please, stop hissing at your screen. Toby Canham/Getty Images
He's Winston Wolfe. He solves problems. He's here to help.
Here's how to fix your career, Mel.
1. Shoot Zach Galifianakis.
All right, don't actually kill him. (He's popular, and friendly.) But when Galifianakis reportedly cost Gibson his cameo in "The Hangover," he ruined Mel's best strategy for returning: Having a good sense of humor about himself. Tom Cruise bought himself a year of goodwill, at least, with "Tropic Thunder," and Gibson, had he tapped into the nutty tattoo artist role in the right way, might have done the same. When you think of Mel Gibson right now, you think of extremely unpleasant things. Charlie Sheen has done far worse than Gibson, but he was funny (or "funny," anyway) and people forgot about it, or at least put it out of their minds. Gibson needed this.
2. Get on "Oprah." Her show is ending, so you better hustle. The general principle remains, though: People need to see you publically apologize, for you to take your lumps and your medicine, before they're willing to watch your movies again. The last audio or video anyone has of you is those horrible audiotapes, and you need to replace that memory. "60 Minutes" might be a destination; if you want maximum buzz, try Charlie Rose. Or even better: Follow this up with "Between Two Ferns" with Galifianakis right after your first big interview, and kill both birds. (Note: This might require threatening to shoot him, as we mentioned before.)
3. In your next film, don't be on screen more than 15 minutes. However talented you might be -- and in "The Beaver," you certainly prove you still have it -- right now audiences kinda don't want to look at your face. You need to be in a movie, but not the whole movie yourself. That's to say: Take a smallish supporting role in a movie with a large cast; think Albert Brooks in "Out Of Sight," or Nicolas Cage in "Kick-Ass." If you want to steer into the skid a bit, see if you can get Quentin Tarantino to cast you in the (apparently) walk-on role of the racist plantation owner in "Django Unchained." (That could of course backfire a little, but Tarantino always does his actors right.) You can't carry a movie right now. Don't try.