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Faith and Filmmaking: An Interview with Mel Gibson

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2021 3:00 am

Faith and Filmmaking: An Interview with Mel Gibson

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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June 5, 2021 3:00 am

In this podcast episode, Greg Laurie sits down with Academy Award-winning director, actor, and producer Mel Gibson, discussing his faith and career. 

Pastor Greg discusses Gibson's film Hacksaw Ridge, which is about WWII hero Desmond Doss. Doss was a Medal of Honor recipient whose faith in God carried him through the war. Gibson also discusses how his faith impacts his filmmaking, and he teases the announcement that he is starting work a sequel to the worldwide smash hit The Passion of the Christ. It is to be written by Randall Wallace, the screenwriter of Braveheart.

This interview originally took place at SoCal Harvest 2016, at Anaheim Stadium. 


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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights in faith, culture, and current events from a biblical perspective. To find out more about our ministry, just go to our website So thanks for joining me for this podcast. Tonight I have the director of that film, Academy Award winning director and actor.

Let's welcome Mel Gibson to The Harvest Crusade. Thank you. Thanks, Greg, for asking me to come along here. Honored to be here, and honored to be here. They love you, Mel. Well, I love you folks.

You know, about 12 years ago when I was literally, when I made this film, I was literally getting the tar kicked out of me. And it was you people out there, evangelicals who stood up and supported me. And I thanked you at the time, but I thank you again, okay? So that was great of you. Thanks so much.

Well, you're welcome. We love it. You know, first of all, Mel, like you've got some big guns going on there. Come on. You want to arm wrestle right now? Come on. Okay. Go. Brave heart. I can't win. Okay.

It is a dead heat. It is funny. I was talking with Mel backstage. I said, Mel, what was the first film that you were in? And I chose some film. And he said, no, I was in something called Mad Max.

I said, yeah, I think I've heard of that somewhere. I mean Mel has been in so many films. But this film in particular, The Passion of the Christ, as I said, it is sort of like going back in time.

I felt like I went into a time machine and almost was seeing it. And you know there are some moments that are very graphic. But as you have said in interviews, maybe your film as realistic as it is isn't as graphic as it actually was the scourging, the whipping, the crucifixion itself.

But why did you make this film? Well, I think there is a tendency for all of us to take that event and the extent of the sacrifice, take it for granted. Yeah. And filmically particularly, cinematically, I think it has been sanitized a fair bit. Right.

So that it becomes, I don't know, ineffective, ineffectual, not emotional. Yeah. And I wanted to illustrate the extent of the sacrifice Christ made. So I felt that to do a film like that and my own experience contemplating over the years on the Passion, my imagination soared and there are readings on the matter that kind of brought home the dreadful reality of how bad it was.

And I just wanted to put that on film to give people maybe a new look and to sort of bring another theological perspective to it that perhaps they hadn't thought of before. Yes. Hold the mic just a little closer.

Closer? Yeah, so we can hear you a little bit. There you go. That's good. Now Mel there is a rumor.

The word on the street is that you are going to do a follow up to the Passion. And it is going to be written by Randall Wallace who. How many of you have seen the film Braveheart? Have you seen Braveheart?

Ok. Yeah. Well Mel directed that film. He starred in the film as William Wallace.

And Randall Wallace wrote that film. And so you and Randall are talking about writing a sequel to the Passion. So is that going to really happen? We are talking about that. Of course that is a huge undertaking. Yes.

And you know it is not the Passion too. I mean it is called The Resurrection. That's right. Of course that is a very big subject.

Yes. And it needs to be looked at because we don't want to just do a simple rendering of it. I mean we can all read what happened. But in order to really experience and explore probably deeper meanings of what it is about it is going to take some doing. And Randall Wallace is up to the task. He is also as well as a brilliant writer. He is a great director. He directed Weaver's Soldiers and Heaven is For Real and stuff. So he is a good writer and director.

That's fantastic. And you have a new film. In fact we have been showing the trailer here at SoCal Harvest for the last couple of nights called Hacksaw Ridge. And this is coming out in the month of November. And I have seen this film.

Mel was nice enough to invite me up to preview it. This is an amazing film. It is a realistic World War II film. Some graphic scenes.

But not gratuitous at all. But telling a very real story of a very real man Desmond Doss. You know honestly when I heard what this is about I didn't know who Desmond Doss was.

Why did you decide to make a film about Desmond Doss and who is he exactly? Well Desmond Doss was he received the Medal of Honor. The Congressional Medal of Honor for courage under fire. And he was singular in that most guys who get the Medal of Honor they do something in a split second.

And it's a decision that you know and they do something courageous, heroic. Desmond did what he did over and over and over again in different places in the Pacific. But his greatest achievement was in Okinawa where he saved a lot of men. And the other interesting thing about Desmond is that he was a conscientious objector and he went into battle without a weapon.

As a medic. And what he did was supernatural. And he only did it through faith.

That's all. He was armed only with his faith. And this man existed. He was a man of faith and conviction.

Never fired a bullet. Got the Medal of Honor for extraordinary feats that he could only achieve through the power of God. Yeah.

That's right. And you made a film about him. And I would say that Hacksaw Ridge is the best depiction of a Christian in a mainstream film that I have seen since Chariots of Fire. Because he is a hero. And he was a hero. You show him standing up for his faith. You show him reading his Bible.

Praying. Taking a lot of abuse from his fellow soldiers who called him a coward. But hey when it was all said and done he was far from a coward. How many men did he rescue up from that place where that Hacksaw Ridge was at. It was more than 100 wasn't it. Well the army claimed it was 100. And he claimed it was less.

So they rounded it off to 75. But he did that in 8 hours. All by himself. By himself. Unbelievable.

Motivated by his faith. So we are looking forward to seeing that film. I know Mel you have had incredible success of course. You were Mad Max. The Lethal Weapon films of course. Braveheart. The Patriot.

We Were Soldiers. All these amazing films. But then you go out of your way and you make films like The Passion of the Christ and Hacksaw Ridge. What motivates you Mel to make faith films like this. Films with a faith message.

Why do you do it? Well faith is a real thing. And I think that oft times. Well I made the ultimate superhero film in The Passion of the Christ. And someone like Desmond Doss is also a superhero. And real superheroes don't wear spandex. And they don't have a lot of 3D special effects. But they do operate on a higher level. On a supernatural level. And they actually look and appeal to something greater than themselves.

And then they do something superhuman. Thank you for making these films Mel. And we appreciate you. We are glad you are here at the event tonight. And it is just so great to talk with you and hang out with you. And let's thank Mel Gibson again for coming and joining us at the SoCal Harvest. And by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with Mel Gibson, you can go to and click on the link at the end of the video.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-08 23:50:35 / 2023-11-08 23:54:14 / 4

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