Edge of Darkness: Interview with Star Mel Gibson

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Mel Gibson plays Craven in "Edge of Darkness," the new film based on a 20 year old BBC miniseries of the same name. The film is being released on January 29 by Warner Bros.

Gibson, returning to the screen after a highly successful period behind the camera, takes on the part of Craven, his first starring role in seven years. "It was an intriguing story," says Gibson. "That's the main thing–if I think it'll be compelling and entertaining to an audience, I'm on board."

"What really grabbed me was how the story sneaks up on you," offers Gibson. The actor met with King and Campbell and felt they were "two clever guys who had a clear and smart vision of the movie, and I knew it would be great working with them." 

On His Character 

"Craven is very pedestrian," observes Gibson, "just a guy who's getting by, day-to-day. He hasn't been the greatest father but he provided. His journey now is a war of attrition; everything that happens wears away at who he is. The stress, the traumatic experience of losing a child like that, has him just a little unhinged and walking around most of the time in a state of near breakdown. He is close–right at the edge–but he can't let it crack too much because he's got a job to do."

Gibson says he found the biggest challenge to playing Craven was "the stillness. Stillness has always been a stranger to me, and he's very still. I tried to really rein myself in–not pull too many faces or make too many movements–because he's a very introverted man."

Shooting on Location

"Filming in Boston was terrific, as were the people," says Gibson. "Anywhere you looked, you got a pervasive sense of living history that gave you a true appreciation of our hard-won freedom. You felt you were in the cultural cradle of a young nation with the aged style and charm of Europe."

The behind-the-scenes teams weren't the only ones recreating that uniquely Boston tone. Gibson, a New York native who spent most of his upbringing in Australia, had to sound like a born-and-bred Bostonian.

"All my cousins were from Queens and Brooklyn. My mom was Brooklyn Irish, so it wasn't that far off; it does go back to a Gaelic root," says the actor, who enjoyed doing the research. "I hung out with detectives like Tommy Duffy. He's great, he sounds like a tough-talkin' dog in a cartoon," he grins. "The accent really has its own character. That diphthong can kind of slip you into a different place, a different level of being."