Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Mel Gibson in Joe Eszterhas’s New Book: “The Holocaust is Horseshit”


Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas has published an e book for Amazon about the time he spent trying to work with Mel Gibson. Eszterhas is a controversial figure himself. After a brush with death, he writes, he became a born again Christian. He also discovered that his own Hungarian father was a Nazi collaborator. His recounting of the time he worked with Gibson is called “Heaven and Mel.” It’s a fascinating read and only costs $2.99. It confirms every bad thing about Mel Gibson from the inside: the anti-Semitism, alcoholism, rages, anger, etc.

Here are a few excerpts, with some foul language that I have not redacted:

“Mel lit up another Winston as soon as he finished the first one and I saw now that he was a chain smoker, just like I had been for so many years. This time he made less of an effort to blow the smoke out the door. I started to cough a little bit and cleared my throat. “Geez, I’m sorry,” Mel said. “It’s okay,” I said, and Mel kept smoking. “How old is your priest?” Mel asked. “In his forties somewhere.” “He’s not really a priest then.” I didn’t understand. “Any priest who came after Vatican II in the Sixties isn’t a real priest,” Mel said. I still didn’t understand. “That’s when the church got ruined,” he said. “Read Bella Dodd.” “Who’s Bella Dodd?” I’d never heard of Bella Dodd. “She’s a former Commie who testified about the Commies taking over the Catholic Church.”

HE TRASHES PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. Of his co-writer on “The Passion,” Benedict Fitzgerald, he says, “He can’t write. I wrote that whole script. And then he had the balls to sue me for more money! I’m the best thing that ever happened to him.” Of Randall Wallace, who wrote “Braveheart” and has worked on other films with him: “He’s a loser. He’s worthless. He wouldn’t have a career without me.” Of Brian Helgeland, who wrote and directed “Payback” and wrote “Edge of Darkness”: “I got him his first directing job and he turned on me. He’s an ingrate. He used me.”

Of James Carroll, Catholic author and a columnist for The Boston Globe: “He’s a grade-A number one asshole!” Of Philip Anschutz, the head of Walden Media: “They fucked me in the ass. They ripped me off. He’s supposed to be a great Christian.” Of his longtime and loyal publicity manager Alan Nierob: “Don’t ever mention his wig to him. It’s the ugliest wig anyone has ever seen. He’s a fucking pussy. When his sister died, I literally had to hold him in my arms.” The only person I hear him praise is the director Dick Donner, with whom he did five films. Donner, an underrated director and a nice man, also once said, “I have a bust of Abraham Lincoln in my office. And it’s not because of the greatness he did for our country. It’s because whenever I look at it, I have to remember that an actor killed him.”

SAYS TO ME, “I’ve tried therapy and it doesn’t work.” He says to Naomi, “I have so much rage and no one can tell me where it comes from.” Naomi says, “Did your dad get that angry?” Mel says, “No. Hutton could work up some steam, but nothing like me.” Naomi says, “Did your brothers?” Mel grins and says, Oh, yeah.”

THE SUN IS SETTING IN MALIBU and Mel and I are out on the patio talking about Alan Nierob, my former publicity agent and Mel’s present one, a man both of us view as a friend. “Do you know his dad is a Holocaust survivor?” I ask Mel. He looks at me with that flinty eye. “The Holocaust is mostly a lot of horseshit,” he says. I know he’s goading me. He knows how I feel about the Holocaust…

“They’re just a bunch of oven dodgers,” he smiles. It is an actorly smile, the kind of smile Robert Mitchum did so well in “The Night of the Hunter.”

More to come…


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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