"I don't think of myself as either American or Australian really, I'm a true hybrid. It's a good thing for me because both of them are really good countries." - Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson is on a comeback tour with a best director nod for the Australian-produced Hacksaw Ridge, and Nicole Kidman has racked up her 10th Golden Globe nomination for the Australian-produced drama Lion.
But what they all share is national pride. "Wow, it's fantastic," Gibson says, referring to the three individual nominations as well as nominees for best drama, Hacksaw Ridge (and its lead Andrew Garfield) and Lion (and supporting actor Dev Patel). "Australia is truly a global player in the film world now and it's exciting to see the Aussies are so well represented."
Gibson vaguely remembers appearing as a presenter on the Golden Globes "when I was a young actor 30 or 40 years ago" but will never forget the "big thrill" he felt on winning his 1995 best director Golden Globe for Braveheart. "It's always a good excuse to sit down, eat a rubber chicken and have a rubberneck at all the other famous people around," he says. "You get to meet people you've admired for a long time. Last time I met Sly and Clint Eastwood so it's kind of a cool, fun thing to do." He was also famously skewered by past host Ricky Gervais on two memorable occasions but is confident he's safe this year. "I've been told Jimmy is pretty harmless," Gibson says. "I remember after the last experience with Ricky, I wanted to strangle him. I saw him later and he said, 'We were great' and I said, 'Yeah right, now move on!'"
Gibson is also looking forward to some bonding. "I know Joel, I've hung out with him a little bit but I've known Nic only peripherally and said hello to her one time so it'll be fun if we share a few more bad meals together!"