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Friday 9 December 2016

Mel Gibson says being sober for 10 years helped him 'refocus' his life

Published 25/10/2016 | 06:56

Mel Gibson and Rosalind Ross arrive at the LA Special Screening of Hacksaw Ridge (AP)
Mel Gibson and Rosalind Ross arrive at the LA Special Screening of Hacksaw Ridge (AP)

Hollywood star Mel Gibson says giving up alcohol has helped him "refocus" his life.

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The Oscar-winning actor-director says he has been sober for 10 years since his controversial anti-Semitic rant following a drink-driving arrest in 2006.

At the Los Angeles premiere of his new film, Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson said: " Sobriety helps you refocus everything. Believe me it doesn't do any good to have a snort."

Gibson, 60, has returned to directing for the first time in a decade with Hacksaw Ridge, which has been widely tipped by critics as a potential Oscar contender.

The movie is based on the true story of Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to receive America's Medal of Honour after saving the lives of 75 men on a Second World War battlefield without carrying a gun.

Sporting a large grey beard for his upcoming film The Professor And The Madman, Gibson said he was left in tears after reading the Hacksaw Ridge script.

"This is such an inspiring story of a guy who really existed," the Braveheart star said.

"I'm on page 54 reading this script and I'm crying all over the pages.

"This really hit me in the heart and I think this is a story worth telling."

British actor Andrew Garfield, who plays the lead role in Hacksaw Ridge, said he also wept as he read the script.

"I read the script and I cried on page five and cried from then on," he said.

"He was a man who is a true inspiration and a man that has the potential to be a true inspiration to other people all over the world if we get this story out."

Garfield praised Gibson as "an incredible leader" during filming.

"There's no hierachy on set," the former Spider-Man star said. "He treats everyone as an equal and he is treated as an equal therefore."

Vince Vaughn, who also stars in Hacksaw Ridge, heaped praised on Gibson, saying: "I just think he's a tremendous filmmaker. I loved working with him."

:: Hacksaw Ridge is due out in UK cinemas next year.

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