The Big Picture

Patrick Goldstein and James Rainey
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Mel Gibson finally has a 'Hangover' that helps his career

October 18, 2010 |  7:32 pm

Mel_bigson I gotta think that right about now Brett Favre is saying, "Geez, some guys have all the luck." When you've suffered a few embarrassing setbacks, as Mel Gibson has lately (you know, with all the tapes going around of his violent, racist rants against his ex-girlfriend), nothing helps rehabilitate a career like getting hired to play a clever cameo where you can make fun of yourself a little.

As my colleagues John Horn and Steven Zeitchek reported earlier, Gibson will play the small part of an American expatriate in Thailand in Todd Phillips' upcoming "Hangover 2," which heads off to shoot in Southeast Asia in a few weeks. It's a great gig for Gibson, in pretty much the same way it was a great gig for Tom Cruise to get to play a nutty studio executive in "Tropic Thunder" a couple of summers ago, just when his career was in dire need of a little comic rejuvenation. As the prankster who poses as Gibson on the Twitter feed Real_MelGibson put it: "Rumors are true: I have a cameo in The Hangover 2. Well, I was drunk in Thailand and ran into a film crew. I think it was the Hangover guys."

If I were Gibson, I wouldn't even take any money for the gig. Gibson should be cutting Phillips a nice check for helping him out, since laughing at yourself is the surest way in Hollywood to help revive your sagging fortunes. Imagine how jealous Vikings quarterback Favre must be: He's clearly in need of a funny cameo spot after getting into hot water with the NFL for allegedly sending naked pictures of himself to a woman who worked for the New York Jets when he was quarterbacking for the team. 

If Phillips (who gave troubled boxer Mike Tyson a similar part in the original "Hangover") wanted to get a few extra laughs, maybe he could have have Gibson hanging out with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who just served a four-game suspension in the wake of sexual assault allegations. Roethlisberger could give Phillips passing lessons while Gibson could share directing tips. But even if Gibson has to go it alone, this should be good for his career, which at this point, has nowhere to go but up.

Photo: Mel Gibson in the suspense thriller "Edge of Darkness." 

Credit: Warner Bros.