The Patriot Resource - The Patriot

The Patriot Film Cast: Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
Character Portrayed in The Patriot: Benjamin Martin

Born: January 3, 1956; Peekskill, New York
Married: June 7, 1980 - December 23, 2011; Robyn Moore; 7 children

Notable Awards and Nominations:
Academy Awards:
- 1996 Best Director Award for Braveheart
- 1996 Best Picture Award for Braveheart
Australian Film Institute:
- 1979 Best Lead Actor Award for Tim
- 1981 Best Lead Actor Award for Gallipoli
- 1983 Best Lead Actor Nomination for The Year of Living Dangerously
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTA):
- 1996 Best Director Nomination for Braveheart
- 2007 Best Film Nomination for Apocalypto
Directors Guild of America:
- 1996 Best Director Nomination for Braveheart
Golden Globes:
- 1996 Best Director Award for Braveheart
- 1997 Best Actor in a Drama Nomination for Ransom
- 2001 Best Actor in a Comedy Nomination for What Women Want

Yahoo! Chat! - October 24, 2000
Yahoo_Host1: It's The Patriot week on Yahoo! Chat and we're lucky enough to have superstar Mel Gibson joining us to chat.
Yahoo_Host1: Welcome to Mel!

mel_gibson_live: Hey! Hi, all you cyberfreaks! Glad to be here.

gobdav asks: First of all, EXCELLENT movie! Mainly because of the plot. Secondly: What drew you to this plot?
mel_gibson_live: It was a subject that I hadn't really seen tackled well before on film. For me, the plot was like a lot of plots, there's only so many, but the characters within the plot parameter were really interesting. It was mainly about that.

melsgirl003 asks: Hi Mel...what impact did the stormy weather in the Carolina's have on the making of "The Patriot"?
mel_gibson_live: I think at one point, we were all going to evacuate when we thought we'd be blown away to Kansas. It bypassed us and went to Wilmington ... to N.C. All we got was a little rain. It didn't slow us down too much. We elected to shoot some interior coverage. Weather coverage.

gobdav asks
: How important is it to convey the values shown in "Braveheart" and "The Patriot" to audiences?
mel_gibson_live: I think everyone has values ... higher values ... inside unless you're like Charlie Manson. There's something higher that we all aspire to even the most evil of us. We all connect to that. To display that is to say that ... hey, we're all still here, alive and well. This country is still alive and well. It's not an outdated notion at all. Nor should it be.

suthunbelle1 asks: Would you like to do another project with Jason Isaacs (Tavington)? You two were great together! Birmingham, Alabama
mel_gibson_live: To begin with, Jason's a great guy. He's really funny, a lot of fun to have around the set. Very enthusiastic all the time. And a great actor to boot. Nothing to complain about there! He's kind of a sports guy ... but he's about 10 years younger than me. LOL. So it's a little hard to keep up with him.

andrea1776 asks: Are ALL the deleted scenes available on the DVD?
mel_gibson_live: It comes out today, though. I have absolutely no idea about the deleted scenes ... I hope so. It's always interesting to see what was shot and discarded. But it was discarded on good reasons. When I was directing, there were scenes I really loved that didn't hold up the whole pictures. But it's like murdering your own children, you know? You have to be forced by a studio to do it.

laura_belle_ro asks: hi Mel, this is Laura (19 years old) from Bucharest Romania. How are you doing tonight? Here is 4.30 a.m.and yet I feel so good. I wonder why? My question: About the Benjamin Martin character: To me Benjamin Martin resembles William Wallace from Braveheart ( which is the best movie ever).Does the Benjamin Martin character have anything in common with William? To me is seems they do.
mel_gibson_live: Throughout history, in every time period and every country, there have been people like that who behave in a way like that. Willing to sacrifice everything for what they believe. It's another example of one of those people. Alike in some ways ... but different in some ways. He's not really "the patriot" ... he's more like "the dad" and his son is like "the patriot" and eventually gets there.

slgyles asks: How did you go about researching the character of Benjamin Martin?
mel_gibson_live: Well, I read books on the Revolution particularly Dan Morgan, Francis Marion. He was not a real person, but he was made up with many parts from different people. You can bang it up on the internet .... what happened to the guys who signed the Declaration of Independence. Almost to a man, they had horrible lives because of it. Their kids were murdered. They were tortured. Put in prison. They all had experiences like Benjamin Martin. It was a typical type of experience. Though he's fictional - or a conglomeration of many real characters - sometimes we cut bits ... everyone has a dark and a light side .... he's typical of the KINDS of situations that happened then.

daisyc15 asks: how did you enjoy working with Heath Ledger :) and do you see yourself possibly working with him again in the near future?
mel_gibson_live: I had a great time working with Heath. He's down to earth and serious about his work. He has something that not a lot of people have. We call it "Factor X." We can't define it, but it works really well on screen. And the chicks dig it!

knightsted asks: The Patriot is a very emotional film… did it have the same effect upon the actors that it did upon the audience?
mel_gibson_live: I think so. It was an easy access to get into the emotional access of the picture. It was well-written by Robert Rodat. The producer and director were always there. You could emote really well. I hope I never have to experience anything like that - it fills me with dread. But it's easy to think of, "what would that do to you?"

ZombCat asks: Do you have any particular technique when doing emotional scenes like those in The Patriot?
mel_gibson_live: With any scene, to achieve a modicum of success ... I've learned that the best way is to really relax and that way you can enter ... access the character and his emotions without having to remove any tension beforehand that would compound the difficulty. If you get your breathing into the emotion of what it might be ... it will come. You don't know until you're there.

rathnutt asks: Were the costumes you wear in the movie comfortable??
mel_gibson_live: They were reasonably comfortable. There were annoying aspects. Those leggings were always slipping around. Someone was always tying your leggings back on. I don't know how they did it in the old days. Otherwise, pretty comfortable. Then we got into the boots and rougher clothes ...

sundevilsrule asks: The scene in The Patriot when Susan finally speaks to her father was so moving. Was that a hard scene to perform as an actor and father?
mel_gibson_live: That girl was so great. The kid was so great and honest in her emotions that it was easy for me. I just marveled at her. She was 5 or 6 years old. Being a dad, you have a range of experience that ... I don't know how to pinpoint what ... but over the years, being a dad, you go through many stages with your kids. I have adult children now and they were all little once so you've gone through their whole life, suffered in their disappointments, reveled in their successes. It's not so hard.

dgary7550 asks: One of the things I loved about the tomahawk scene is the grace and beauty of your movements amidst all of the violence. Was this intentional?
mel_gibson_live: You know, yeah. It's choreographed, and specifically so no one gets hurt. Rubber tomahawks ... it's like being hit with a nerf weapon. You can see the damn things bending. Very specifically edited.

soomaluvsmel asks: Hi Mel! What's your favorite memory from working on The Patriot?
mel_gibson_live: You know, there was ...... in general, all the camaraderie on the set. A very friendly crew. One weekend, we had a softball tournament. People were assigned different teams. It came down to two. I didn't make either. But the next day, going to work, I was in SO much pain. Everyone was complaining. Their legs and arms hurt. They had skidmarks from sliding around. But it was like a big family. Really nice. A BIG crew. Friday nights at ... Porky's Pulled Pig, or whatever it was called ... they've got barbecue places down there I've never heard of.

ZombCat asks: You seem to do so well with historical dramas. Is there a historical event you would like to see be made into a film?
mel_gibson_live: The campaign of Alexander the Great. Get that historically accurate. So many things ... a lot of historical events REALLY interest me. I find reality MUCH stranger than fiction. With all the reality-based projects ... one has to fiddle with it a bit to be cinematically compelling. It doesn't mean you're being unfaithful to the material. We're in the business of making movies. But hopefully we can rediscover something about ourselves from delving into the past. People don't evolve that much. I don't believe we came from fish. We've always been smart.

maxx32714 asks: Mel, is it harder to bring a character that never existed to the screen or it is easier telling the story of an actual person
mel_gibson_live: Interesting. It's probably easier to come in with a clean slate. You're not constrained by anything. You can make him up as you go. But there's not that much difference. People are people. You have to let an audience access that character ... look for human nature. Human strengths and weaknesses ... it's the same problem whether he's from history or cooked up in your own mind.

theegirlnextdoor asks: Dear Mel...I heard you've been a practical joker,,,did you pull any pranks w/ Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich?
mel_gibson_live: I don't want to mention the cruel ones - I'll get hate mail! - but I did milder tricks. I invited the football team in SC - the Panthers - all the cheerleaders out one day to do a whole dance in the middle of the battlefield for Roland's birthday. All the extras were out there with their guns. The girls did their dance. It was like the U.S. Marines in Vietnam.

ZombCat asks: I've seen the trailer for What Women Want and it's hilarious! Would you consider the ability to hear women's thoughts a blessing or a curse?
mel_gibson_live: Both. It would be a blessing if you could pick the time. But the film actually displays how it's good and how it's like a nightmare to hear what they actually think if you're a guy. It explores all aspects ... the whole gamut of what he could hear and how it could affect one negatively or very positively.

melsgirl003 asks: Hi Mel...In your next movie, "What Women Want", this appears to be a romantic comedy. Do you prefer this genre to action/drama movies?
mel_gibson_live: There is no preference, really. It's a similar kind of thing. It's refreshing to change from one to the other. I hope to do something stylistically different again next time out - whenever that is. It was great. To go from the Patriot - a bunch of guys with smoke and explosions and fake blood - to stepping on a set that was mostly indoors. An Armani suit. Mostly women in the cast. The director/writer was a woman. I think I prefer the latter experience, actually.

threemrm asks: Mel, while in Scotland this summer I saw the enormous effect that Braveheart had on that country and their struggle for independence as well as making everyone aware of their history. Were you hoping that the Patriot would do the same thing for American history?
mel_gibson_live: Yes, to a degree. It's a long time ago that the War of Independence ... many people here don't even know how it started. The sacrifices that were made. Particularly in Britain, we were criticized for not being historically accurate. They have a point. The film portrayed the sacrifices that many made. It's worth looking back and being reminded of that.

Yahoo_Host1: Thanks so much to Mel Gibson for stopping to chat today! Sorry we couldn't get to all the questions. There were too many to answer.

mel_gibson_live: Good night, everybody. Thanks for your questions. I'm sorry I couldn't answer more of them, but I have to mow the lawn.

Yahoo_Host1: That was amazing folks!

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