It's Irish location, location, location again for Mel Gibson
HOLLYWOOD actor Mel Gibson was back on familiar territory last night as he appeared to be braving the Irish countryside to scout film locations.
The Australian director and actor has already been credited with putting some Irish locations firmly on the tourist trail thanks to the success of his 1995 blockbuster 'Braveheart'.
The 56-year-old, who was named after St Mel's Cathedral in Longford by his Irish mother, was spotted in Cahir, Co Tipperary. Other film bosses have already acknowledged the attractions of the scenic town, with John Boorman using Cahir Castle for film shoots for 'Excalibur'.
The director, who shot to fame in the 1980s with his roles in 'Mad Max' and the 'Lethal Weapon' films, was offered 1,600 Defence Force Reserve personnel for epic battle scenes, tax incentives and the use of historic sites and castles as incentive to film 'Braveheart' in Ireland.
Gibson -- who won the Oscar for best director for the historical drama -- will be familiar with many locations as the film was shot in Trim Castle, the Curragh Plains where hundreds of reservists were used for battle scenes, Blessington Lake and other areas in Co Wicklow.
The actor, accompanied by security personnel or minders as he left the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, was also spotted strolling along Grafton Street on Sunday.
However, his star has waned since his Hollywood heyday and he was forced to deny the 2004 film 'The Passion of the Christ', which he directed, was anti-Semitic. Despite this scandal the biblical epic in Aramaic, following the last 12 hours of Jesus Christ, was a huge financial success.
In 2006, after he was pulled over for driving under the influence, he was also accused of making a "barrage of anti-Semitic remarks".
He later apologised for the rant, describing it as a "moment of insanity".
In 2009, Gibson's wife of 28-years, Robyn, with whom he has seven children, filed for divorce.