Mel is of course in Bulgaria shooting The Expendables 3, as villain Conrad Stonebanks. This week he has taken time out to discuss the movie with Bulgarian press. He talks Expendables 3, Stallone, future projects and working out – Mel says he doesn’t lift weights. Incredible! So you gotta wonder, how big would he be if he did lift? They grill him on his next ‘big movie’ (assuming they’re talking about Viking Epic Berserker) and if he’d film it in Bulgaria. He says it’s possible, but I think he’s just being courteous. I can say for certain that Mel was in fact doing quiet but serious scouting for it here (Ireland) last summer. Here’s the interview, from Standartnews
Mr. Gibson, what are your impressions of Bulgaria so far?
I don’t have much time to look around. I work, sleep, exercise or have other commitments related to the shooting. Most often I’m in the studio – watching how others are working.
How did you react when Stallone invited you for the role?
Well, quite simple. He called and asked, “Do you want to play something in The Expendables?” I replied “Yes, yes – I’ll be The Bad. You just come up with something fun, something cool. I’ll come and help you with whatever I can”. Then we sat down, we talked about the characters and we planned some scenes. Sly is great – very open, very easy to work with it.
Tell us something about your character.
He’s a contract killer, a mercenary – not very pleasant individual. He is The Bad Guy.
But you like playing The Bad Guy…
Would you come to shoot your movie in the Boyana Film Studios?
Yes, why not? The studio here is wonderful. I have been watching the teams – they work great. It will be good to have many other productions here. I do not know if you have a law on incentives for the film industry – as they do in most European countries. For tax reasons a lot of people would come to shoot in Bulgaria – it would be beneficial to your economy, there will be more jobs. Then I would certainly do here some of my projects.
Were you able to meet with Hristo Shopov and Hristo Zhivkov, who you directed in “The Passion of the Christ”
Oh yeah, we met the other day – we had some time to talk, to laugh. And Hristo Zhivkov made steaks for me in LA – he came to my home for a visit. It was cool. Anyway, they are both great actors.
Rumor has it you are preparing something spectacular.
Yes, in the future. I am always ready with large projects. But I’ve learned my lesson from the past. If I share what I’m shooting, there is always someone stealing my ideas and then copying me. So now I keep quiet. I prefer surprises. I like it when everyone is left surprised. As if I stalked them, I slipped behind their back. But I don’t like it when someone does it behind mine.
Before leaving for the shooting in Bulgaria, you were joking with a journalist from CNN, that you’ve come here to sell shoes…
I must have been totally exhausted by fatigue from flying.
Have you tried our kitchen?
Oh, yes – I eat everything I’m offered. Shopska salad, too, of course.
How do you like our wines?
I only drink water and coffee.
Would you be willing to do holiday in Bulgaria?
Yes, I hope I will have the time to travel a bit around. Although there is much work here – the days and nights merge. But if I would get some free hours, I would drive around the country – to look at the different cities, nature, whatever you’ve got.
How much time do you dedicate to fitness?
I try to go to the gym at least every other day. I spend three hours there – and believe me, it is a lot. But I do not lift weights.