With the high concentration of d-bags in Hollywood, few would have suspected Mel Gibson would be to whom we attribute the quote “You should just smile and blow me because I deserve it!” Mel’s foul, sexist language to describe his ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva and his racist, rape-y declarations shocked all of us. But it turns out Mel might have left some clues to how he views women. Piper Weiss at Yahoo Shine has examined 10 years of Mel Gibson’s on-set pranks and there are some disturbing trends: he likes to terrify and/or humiliate his female co-stars and directors. Let me be clear: the issue is not that Mel Gibson loves playing pranks — lots of people do — or that he loves playing pranks on women. It’s the nature of his pranks that are scary. As Weiss has found, Mel would “prank” his female co-stars with dead animals, displaying sexual photographs in public places, and terrorizing them with fears of slashers and stalkers.
On the 1992 set of “Forever Young” with Jamie Lee Curtis, Mel showed up at her door in a hockey mask carrying a knife. (Perhaps a nod to her “Halloween” past?) On the 1997 set of “Conspiracy Theory,” Mel gave Julia Roberts a “freeze-dried rat” and left it in her dressing room. “I knew she had opened it because you could hear her screams for miles,” he told a newspaper. (Julia told the CBS Morning Show, teasingly, “He’s really the only thing on this planet that makes me paranoid.”)
Mel brought out the freeze-dried rat again for Helen Hunt on the 2000 set of “What Women Want,” too, but he didn’t stop there! Mel pretended a stalker was creeping around the Paramount Pictures lot and printed up an official memo at the lot’s security office. He had the memos, warning of a “maniac” on set, hung around the lot. Then he went after his director, Nancy Meyers, dressed “as the maniac,” he recalled. “She started screaming and stabbing me with her pencil. She then chased me out of the sound stage and I ran atop the makeup trailer and stood there laughing like a hyena. … It was a cruel prank, but I certainly enjoyed it.”
But Mel’s creepiest prank was on Rene Russo on the 1996 set of “Ransom.” Russo had taken nude photos as a 17-year-old, which Mel acquired from the photographer and blew up. “He put bits and pieces of it — a breast, a finger, a knee — and he put them on the bulletin board every day,” Russo told a newspaper.
Has Mel played pranks on men he’s worked with as well? That’s besides the point. The fact remains that Mel’s on-set pranks on women weren’t about eliciting harmless chuckles; they were about eliciting fear — and in the case of Rene Russo, sexual humiliation. That goes beyond playful teasing and veers into mind-games-playing territory.
Perhaps those screaming rants weren’t so out of character at all? [Yahoo Shine]