Mel Gibson's alleged anti-Semitic comments might not be a laughing matter to most people, but the "Braveheart" star tried to make light of the controversy swirling around him during a question-and-answer session for his new movie "Get the Gringo" Wednesday night anyway.
The moment of attempted levity came when simulcast moderator Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News noted that co-screenwriter/director Adrian Grunberg was wearing a Star of David necklace. After Grunberg noted that he is Jewish, "Gringo" co-screenwriter/producer Stacy Perskie — who is from Mexico — noted that he, too, is Jewish.
"Funny, you don't look" Jewish, Gibson cracked.
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The comment comes following a rough couple of weeks for Gibson, during which screenwriter Joe Eszterhas — his would-be collaborator on "The Maccabees" — accused Gibson of using disparaging remarks such as "oven-dodgers" about Jews. (Gibson also reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks during his 2006 DUI arrest.)
Grunberg — who, like Perskie, worked with Gibson on his 2005 film "Apocalypto" — noted that, despite his religion, he was comfortable working with Gibson on "Get the Gringo."
"I've known him for six, seven years," Grunberg said.
With the exception of that exchange, the Q&A — which was simulcast from the Alamo Draft House in Austin following a screening of "Get the Gringo" in select markets — steered clear of controversy. The talk, which also included the film's co-star, Kevin Hernandez, primarily revolved around "Get the Gringo," which stars Gibson as Driver, a career criminal who finds himself in a Mexican prison after crashing through a border wall following a robbery.
Gibson did, however, address questions about possible upcoming projects, such as his long-gestating Viking movie. Gibson noted that the film, unlike "The Passion of the Christ" and "Apocalypto," will be filmed in English, albeit with a twist.
"I want to make it in English, but it's not the kind of English that you're used to," Gibson told Knowles.
He added that the project's fate is still up in the air.
"I don't even know if I have a greenie yet," Gibson said.
The actor also noted that he might participate in a sequel to Robert Rodriguez's "Machete," adding that he had spoken to Rodriguez about the possibility prior to the Q&A.
"It sounds fun," Gibson said.
Gibson was more clear about the possibility of reviving his Martin Riggs character for another "Lethal Weapon" film. Asked about the chances of another "Lethal Weapon" movie making it to the big screen, Gibson said, "I don't know who's going to be in it. I'd like to see it with someone else in it."
"Get the Gringo" premieres on DirecTV on May 1.