Mel Gibson on Career: 'I Just Walked Away for about Eight Years'

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Mel Gibson says he took a break from acting and directing because he wasn't sure he wanted to stay in the business, but he's now writing again and is eager to direct.

In an interview with Variety Group Editor Tim Gray, Gibson explains why he first decided to take a career break. "I got to a place where I thought, you know, I don't even know if I want to do this, and walked away for awhile. I think I just walked away for about eight years. Cause you can keep grinding on the same bicycle and the chain starts to wear out."

The 55-year-old Gibson -- who was interviewed on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival while promoting his latest film 'The Beaver' -- said his career absence gave him a fresh perspective when he returned. "So when you come back to it, it's kind of, it's interesting again. Not only because you've been absent from it for awhile, but because a lot of the factors around, including yourself have gone through some change."

On his desire to return to directing, Gibson says: "Of course, I love it -- that's my favorite job standing up. Yeah, so I'm writing a few things." When asked if he has any observations about his recent life, the actor responds: "About life, oh boy, life. You don't want to hear about my three-ring circus."

Gibson's public image was tarnished last year when tapes were released in the media in which the actor is heard in a series of angry rants that were allegedly recorded by his ex, Oksana Grigorieva. A complaint by Grigorieva triggered a domestic violence investigation that eventually culminated in Gibson pleading no contest to a misdemeanor battery charge and avoiding jail time.