Before he went on rage-filled rants, left his wife of three decades for his pregnant girlfriend, then pleaded no contest to hitting said girlfriend, Mel Gibson was one of Hollywood's biggest box office draws.
And at the premiere of The Beaver Wednesday night, the 55-year-old actor was a movie star again.
The flick, about a man trying to get his life back on track with the help of a beaver puppet, is a deviation for Gibson, who made a name for himself in action films like the Lethal Weapon and Mad Max movies. Still, initial reviews have been positive.
"Viewers who can shake off tabloid preoccupations will likely be surprised by a picture that turns a crazy-sounding premise into something moving and sane," writes The Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore.
And Eric Kohn of indieWIRE says Gibson "demonstrates a staunch commitment to his role as an emotionally damaged man."
But even before the good Beaver buzz, Gibson had found a fan in costar and director Jodie Foster.
"He's so incredibly loving and sensitive, he really is," Foster, 48, told the Hollywood Reporter. "He is the most loved actor I have ever worked with on a movie. He's not saintly. . .but I knew the minute I met him that I would love him the rest of my life."