Mel Gibson has done a lot of questionable things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not a talented artist. If you compared the crazy things that Robert Downey Jr. and Mel Gibson have done, Gibson might not look all that bad compared to Downey Jr. who once got arrested for speeding down Sunset Boulevard with cocaine, heroin and a .357 magnum. Since then, Downey Jr. has redeemed himself, stayed clean, and is filling out his potential of being one of the best ever to grace the silver-screen.
Gibson was requested by Downey Jr. to present him with the prestigious award. Gibson spoke kindly of the suave, charming star, who he helped in making his comeback by paying Downey Jr.’s insurance bond so he could take the leading role in 2003’s the Singing Detective.
“When I saw you all those years ago and got all those warnings, I just thought, ‘There’s nothing so much wrong with him.’” Gibson said, “You’re a good dude with a good heart.”
When Downey Jr. hit the stage for his acceptance speech, he spoke about a side of Gibson that the media rarely talks about now.
“I asked Mel to present this award for me for a reason,” he said. “When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope and encouraged me to find my faith. It didn’t have to be his or anyone else’s as long as it was rooted in forgiveness. And I couldn’t get hired, so he cast me in the lead of a movie that was actually developed for him. He kept a roof over my head and food on the table and most importantly he said if I accepted responsibility for my wrongdoing and embraced that part of my soul that was ugly – hugging the cactus he calls it — he said that if I hugged the cactus long enough, I’d become a man.”
Downey Jr. continued: “I did and it worked. All he asked in return was that someday I help the next guy in some small way. It’s reasonable to assume at the time he didn’t imagine the next guy would be him or that someday was tonight. So anyway on this special occasion and in light of the recent holidays including Columbus Day, I would ask that you join me, unless you are completely without sin in which case you picked the wrong f—ing industry, in forgiving my friend his trespasses and offering him the same clean slate you have me, allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contribution to our collective art without shame. He’s hugged the cactus long enough.”
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