|Friday, January 17,
This is a partial transcript from
The O'Reilly Factor, January 14, 2003.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In
the Personal Story segment tonight: The actor Mel Gibson has
been in Italy for months shooting a controversial film that
graphically depicts the execution of Jesus. The movie is being
financed by Gibson's production company. It's being shot in
Aramaic and Latin, the languages used at the time.
Mr. Gibson is a religious man and believes
there are some in the media who want to discredit him
personally because he's making a pro-Christian film. And,
indeed, The Factor has learned that there is a print
reporter trying to dig up nasty personal dirt on Gibson. And
the guy has even approached his 85-year-old father under
And, in the interest of full disclosure,
Mel Gibson's production company has optioned my novel,
Those Who Trespass. So, I do have a working
relationship with him. But I believe this situation is
I spoke with Mel Gibson yesterday from
O'REILLY: Mr. Gibson, I
understand the movie you're shooting right now about the death
of Jesus of Nazareth is pretty graphic, pretty explicit.
ACTOR/DIRECTOR: It is, yes.
I've never seen a rendering that equals
this for reality. The versions I've seen either suffer from
bad hair, inaccurate history, or not just being real. And
somehow, because of that, I think I think you're distanced
from them somehow. They're more like fairy tales. And this
actually happened. It occurred. I'm exploring it this way, I
think, to show the extent of the sacrifice willingly
O'REILLY: You're going to
make it in Aramaic and Latin, all right, so that no one is
going to even understand what's said. The images are going to
be explicit and powerful. What is the point?
GIBSON: Well, the point is
that I think you can transcend language with the message
through image. And I'm very happy with what we're getting.
O'REILLY: Is it going to
upset some people to see the person they believe is God
brutalized in this manner?
GIBSON: Well, I think
anybody that is in the know about Jesus as God and they
believe in that realize that he was brutalized and that I'm
exploring it this way, I think, to show the extent of the
sacrifice willingly taken. I think it's going to be hard to
take, but I don't necessarily know that people are going to be
upset by it.
O'REILLY: Is it going to
upset any Jewish people?
GIBSON: It may. It's not
I think it's meant to just tell the truth.
I want to be as truthful as possible. But, when you look at
the reasons behind why Christ came, why he was crucified, he
died for all mankind and he suffered for all mankind, so that,
really, anybody who transgresses has to look at their own part
or look at their own culpability.
It's time to sort of get back to a basic
message, the message that was given. At this time, the world
has gone nuts, I think. Christ spoke of faith, hope, love and
forgiveness. And these are things I think we need to be
reminded of again. He forgave as he was tortured and killed.
And we could do with a little of that behavior.
I mentioned what I was going to do to Night
Shyamalan. And he thought: "Oh, great. You have the ultimate
opportunity to make the perfect anti-date movie."
And I said: "No, no, that's not true at
all. I think I refer to it as the career-killer film." And I
was only half joking at the time. But it's interesting that,
when you do touch this subject, it does have a lot of enemies.
And there are people sent. I've seen it happening. Since I've
been in Rome here, for example, I know that there are people
sent from reputable publications -- they go about, while
you're busy over here, they start digging into your private
life and sort of getting into your banking affairs and any
charities you might be involved in.
And then they start bothering your friends
and your business associates and harassing your family,
including my 85-year-old father. I find it a little
O'REILLY: We have heard
that there is a reporter trying to dig up dirt on you, and who
has bothered your 85-year-old father, trying to get
provocative statements from him, and trying to portray you as
a fanatic and perhaps a bigot, that this guy is operating
right now. He's trying to dig up dirt on Mel Gibson.
And do you believe it's because you're
making this movie about Jesus?
GIBSON: I think it is,
yes. I think he's been sent. So, that's the way it is. You got
to deal with these things. I'm a big boy and I can take care
of myself. And you can say what you like about me. I'm a
public person, I suppose, although I don't ever remember
signing the paper that I said I had no rights to privacy. But
you can pick on me. But if you start picking on my family when
I'm out of town, get ready.
O'REILLY: But I'm
surprised that someone would go after somebody as well-liked
as you are and as powerful as you are. And you really believe
it's because you're making this movie about Jesus?
GIBSON: Yes, I think so.
Yes, I think there's a lot of things that don't want it to
But, hey, as I said before, it's a film
that speaks about faith, hope, love, and forgiveness. That's
the basic message. And that's what we need to get back to, I
think. And if everybody practiced a little more of that, there
would be a lot less friction in the world.
O'REILLY: So, if this guy
writes something terrible about you and your father and
family, you are going to forgive him?
GIBSON: Yes. You've got
to. I already did. But it's just perplexing.
O'REILLY: All right, there
it is. And we'll let you know if anything gets in print.
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