(Mel) Gibson presented an American Cinematheque Award to (Robert)Downey Jr., who revealed to the crowd that he had the troubled actor-director onstage for a reason.
Downey and Gibson (who costarred in the 1990 film “Air America”) both struggled with substance abuse and multiple scrapes with the law, but Downey revealed during his at-once funny and poignant speech that Gibson greatly helped the now-clean and sober “Iron Man” star when he was down and out and practically blackballed by the industry:
I admire one who has the faith and strength to literally pull themselves out of the gutter to become a better person for it. These are the kind of stories that are close to me.“When I couldn’t get sober, he told me not to give up hope, and he urged me to find my faith. It didn‘t have to be his or anyone else’s as long as it was rooted in forgiveness. And I couldn’t get hired, so he cast me in a lead of a movie that was actually developed for him. And he kept a roof over my head, and he kept food on the table. And most importantly he said that if I accepted responsibility for my wrongdoings, and if I embraced that part of my soul that was ugly—hugging the cactus, he calls it—he said that if I hugged the cactus long enough I would become a man of some humility and that my life would take on a new meaning, and I did, and it worked.
H/T The Blaze