About that Mel Gibson cameo in ‘HACKSAW RIDGE’

Hugo Weaving stars as 'Tom Doss' in HACKSAW RIDGE. Courtesy of Lionsgate

Hugo Weaving stars as ‘Tom Doss’ in HACKSAW RIDGE. Courtesy of Lionsgate

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

Directors sometimes like to make cameo appearances in their films. Alfred Hitchcock frequently did it. Quentin Tarantino has built entire characters for himself to inhabit. However, when you see HACKSAW RIDGE, you’ll walk away hard-pressed to find director Mel Gibson in the frames. That’s only because you didn’t look close enough. While his recognizable face stays out of the picture, a few select body parts make cameo appearances in the scene where conscientious objector Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), who has been court marshalled and thrown into jail for sticking with his beliefs, is on trial. Hugo Weaving, who plays Desmond’s war vet/ abusive alcoholic father Tom, is also featured in that scene – well, apparently not as much as it appears.

At the film’s recent Los Angeles press conference, Gibson shared about his stealth appearance.

I was in it! My arm is in it. True story, I said to Hugo [Weaving], ‘Come do this.’ He said, ‘Yeah okay.’ And then he changed his mind. The scheduling was such that he couldn’t do the scene in the courtroom, so I did it. There’s my hand and shadow and stuff and we green screened him in later. He wasn’t actually there.

Andrew Garfield added,

I wasn’t acting opposite Hugo in that scene. I was acting with Mel in his jeans and tee shirt off camera. We were trying to convince him to put the whole bloody costume on, but he didn’t.

HACKSAW RIDGE opens on November 4.

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Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.