Mel Gibson credits a vicious assault at the hands of three muggers with landing him his breakthrough movie role in Mad Max.

When The Passion Of The Christ director, 48, turned up at an audition for the movie in 1979, the casting agents felt his bruised look, from injuries sustained the night before, was perfect for the role of the eponymous hero.

The OSCAR-winning star explains, "The night before the audition I got mugged by three guys.

"They broke my nose and blackened my eyes.

"I was a mess but I went to the audition and they loved the way I looked.

"Without that beating I wouldn't have got the role."

31/03/2004 13:47