Before there was Diane Sawyer, there was Raymond Arroyo.
Last night I watched a tape of a Raymond Arroyo interview with Mel Gibson (you can hear it here). Raymond’s the newsman at EWTN, the global Catholic network. Arroyo spent time with Gibson on the set while they were filming (during which time Gibson was consistently “dragging” with a bad virus). Arroyo goes more than a bit deeper with Gibson than the others–you understand a lot about Gibson and his motivations when you’re not hearing him though the furrowed brow of Diane Saywer (or even sometimes-grandstanding Bill O’Reilly). Gibson very clearly wanted to take what he has found immensely useful and important in his own life and help bring it to others through his art. As a movie guy, he found other versions of the story “hokey,” and, he says, he just didn’t buy the renditions.
**A few quotes I joted down: “I wanted to accentuate the reality.”
**”There’s something big out there…you get a glimpse of that” in the movie. “This film collectively blames humanity.”
For what it is worth, now that it is out there, I hope—and I think this has to be the case, as powerful a movie it is—that people see it, despite what Newsweek or whomever says, and take what they want or need from it. As is clear from the numbers going to see it today and in the coming days, detractors’ efforts—some, do not forget, working off stolen scripts, in those early days of Paula Fredrickson & co.—have probably only made this movie more popular than it might have been without them, which seems only right.