Mel Gibson & Psalm 91

During the production of The Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson remarked that he had felt moved by God's spirit to make the film (which chronicles the last twelve hours of Jesus Christ's life). New Yorker writer Peter J. Boyer later asked Gibson what he had meant. "There are signals," Gibson replied. "You get signals. Signs. 'Signal graces,' they're called..."

"He reminded me," Boyer later remarked, "of an incident that had occurred the night before, as we were driving to Anaheim. Gibson was behind the wheel of his silver Lexus, negotiating the nightmarish traffic on the Santa Ana Freeway, when a car pulled in front of him and immediately hit the brakes. Gibson had seemed ready to unleash some invective, when he stopped and stared at the offending car's license plate. 'Look! Look at what it says!' The car's license-plate holder bore the inscription 'Psalm 91.' Gibson said that on that very morning, after he'd been vexed by the Los Angeles Times column, one of his associates had urged him to read the ninety-first Psalm, and that he'd been moved to tears by it."

[Psalm 91: "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee... For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."]

[According to some of Gibson's friends, the opening scene in Conspiracy Theory (in which, for example, he tells a pair of nuns, "I'm sure your heart's in the right place, O.K., but, you know, somebody's got to lift the scab, the festering scab, that is the Vatican") was partly improvised, with Gibson producing lines reflecting his own views.]

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