OnlyOnAOL: The tangled truth about Mel Gibson's majestic beard
By: Donna Freydkin
When you're next to Mel Gibson, he tugs and twists that impressive facial growth that he's sporting for his role opposite Sean Penn in "The Professor and the Madman."
He can't wait to shave.
"I'm going to have someone actually film it. I'll chop it off. We'll put it online. We'll give it to you!" says Gibson.
In fact, things are the opposite of hairy for Gibson, who's basking in the mostly glowing reviews of his World War II saga "Hacksaw Ridge." It tells the story of pacifist medic Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (a revelatory Andrew Garfield), who won the Congressional Medal of Honor without ever bearing arms in battle.
"You try and give something of yourself as you see it. It's my perception of who he must have been. I don't think in any shape, way or form I could have done what Desmond did," says Gibson. "All your sensibilities are involved (in your film)."
In fact, Desmond never backed down, despite relentless hazing, a possible court martial, missing his own wedding, and ongoing verbal and physical abuse.
"He's an exceptional human being," says Gibson. "I'd have been the conscientious objector mowing the lawn in Iowa. I admire that. He inspired me enough that maybe I could do something esteemable one day."
As for the reviews, Gibson has a levelheaded attitude towards the good and bad ones.
"I've seen some negative ones, but not many. Mostly they're love letters," says Gibson. "It's very gratifying because it reaffirms my chosen vocation as a storyteller."