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Still The Man: Mel Gibson

"What do women want?" is a question that has perplexed many a man. Now in the film of the same name Mel Gibson tries to figure it out, especially when he begins to hear women's thoughts. He recently shared his thoughts with CBS News Entertainment Correspondent Mark McEwen.

In What Women Want Gibson's character, Nick, learns that women approach life differently than men. What does Gibson really think women do better in life than men?

"Well, according to a newspaper report I read the week before last, they listen better," said Gibson. "Apparently we only listen with half our brains."

Gibson said he's using that as a defense at home. "I pinned that one on the fridge. I can't help it."

What do men do better in life than women?

"Lift things, I guess," he quipped. "I think we're problem solvers. I think we nut things out...try and get to a solution faster, whereas I think they [women] really like to talk about it and experience it."

In the movie, Gibson did a soft shoe number a la the famous Fred Astaire scene in Royal Wedding. He worked on the number with a choreographer, "and we just sort of worked out a few tricks...I'm not really a dancer."

He is, however, a fan of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

"They captured my imagination as a kid. You used to watch them on TV, and they'd get up and do their shtick, joking with one another. And it was happy-go-lucky freedom. They were men. They liked vodka, cigarettes and broads," said Gibson. "When you're a kid watching these smart alecky guys-- they were talented and you love them."

What makes comedy so hard?

"There is a great deal of effort that you have to put in it. It has to look effortless. The moment it's contrived, it doesn't look funny," Gibson said.

What's a movie that Gibson thinks is perfect from beginning to end?
"I just watched The Godfather 1 and 2 again with my 14-, 13-year-old — I don't even remember how old he is — and he really got into it. Now he's going around doing Al Pacino impressions. He grabs me at odd times and goes, 'I know it was you, Dad. You broke my heart.'"

What's a performance that an actor or actress did that made him think, "that person nailed that."

"Anything Bob Duvall does is great...You don't see strings, wires or wheels. He's pretty immaculate."

Is there something he hasn't done on screen that he's always wanted to do, that he's waiting to get to?

"Yeah, yeah. I just want to be really, really despicable and see if I can get away with it."

Gibson was born (Jan. 3, 1956) and raised in Peekskill, N.Y. In 1968, his family (11 children, railroad brakeman father and Australian opera singer mother) moved to Australia. He quickly adjusted his accent to stop the kids teasing him about being a Yankee.

According to Gibson studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. After working in the theater, he became an Australian film star in 1979 when he played a mildly retarded man in the film Tim and a futuristic cop in Mad Max. He became an international film star after Mad Max 2 came out.

Gibson directs as well as acts. He won the Academy Award for directing Braveheart in 1995.

He's married to Sandra Brennan and they have seven children.

The Mel Gibson filmography:

  • Chicken Run (2000)
  • The Million Dollar Hotel (2000)
  • The Patriot (2000)
  • The Three Stooges (2000)
  • Forever Hollywood (1999)
  • Payback (1999)
  • Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
  • Anna Karenina (1997)
  • Conspiracy Theory (1997)
  • Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)
  • Ransom (1996)
  • Braveheart (1995)
  • Casper (1995)
  • Pocahontas (1995)
  • Maverick (1994)
  • Earth and the American Dream (1993)
  • The Man Without a Face (1993)
  • David and Goliath (1992)
  • Forever Young (1992)
  • Greatest Stories Ever Told: David and Goliath (1992)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
  • Air America (1990)
  • Bird on a Wire (1990)
  • Hamlet (1990)
  • Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
  • Tequila Sunrise (1988)
  • Lethal Weapon (1987)
  • Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
  • Mrs. Soffel (1984)
  • The Bounty (1984)
  • The River (1984)
  • The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
  • Gallipoli (1981)
  • Mad Max 2 (1981)
  • Attack Force Z (1980)
  • Mad Max (1979)
  • Tim (1979)
  • Summer City (1977)