Mel Gibson spoke publicly for the first time about his war of words with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Friday night, showing a sense of humor about his now infamous rants, which have been caught on tape on myriad occasions.
"Maybe you don't know this about me, but I've got a little bit of a temper," joked Mel, who did not seem to take kindly to the fact that Eszterhas recorded him in the privacy of his home: "Has it really come to the place where you can't blow off steam in your own home, even if you're justified?"
Eszterhas recently released a recording of Mel exploding into an expletive-filled rant at his Costa Rica estate. The recording followed a bombastic, nine-page letter that Eszterhas wrote to Gibson that was leaked to the press, to which Mel responded that the Basic Instinct screenwriter had failed to deliver a worthy first draft of his planned "Jewish Braveheart"movie, The Maccabees.
"If he put half as much time and effort and creativity and imagination into a screenplay, which he was supposed to write, as he did into that letter, we wouldn't be having this conversation," said Mel. "It's kind of like you build a house, you hire a guy to put a roof on it, he comes over and eats lunch and talks about the roof, and then you get rained on all night. Wouldn't you be kind of peeved?"