Little known fact: The brawl that got Mel Gibson the Mad Max gig

Before he was a tabloid fixture, before he was an Oscar-winning director, before he was People's Sexiest Man Alive, Mel Gibson was a struggling actor who needed a break. And that break came in the form of a wicked bar fight.

The way the story goes, the night before the audition for George Miller's Mad Max, Gibson—who was only really going to the audition to accompany his friend, Steve Bisley, who'd land the role of Jim Goose—got into a bit of a pub altercation. And he lost. Badly. He then showed up at the audition with a face like, as he described it, "a black and blue pumpkin," complete with swollen lumps, fresh stitches and odd discoloring.

Rather than hurt his chances, however, those bruises only helped: The filmmakers were looking for someone who looked like he'd seen the worst the world had to offer and survived. Someone rough and rugged. They were looking for freaks. They told him to come back in two weeks after he healed up, not knowing how pretty Gibson would be once he healed up. They kept him on anyway.

Seems to have worked out okay.

(Via Snopes and Wikipedia)

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