Gibson held back production of his new movie The Singing Detective until Downey Jr was out of rehab and ready to take the lead role. Mel - who has himself fought problems with drink in the past - also plays Downey Jr's psychiatrist in the film.
The 38-year-old CHAPLIN star says, "For me, Mel's kind of like the crazy shrink he played in the movie.
"A lot of times, he could look at what I was going through and have an objectivity about it that was really helpful.
"He's already been through and transcended a lot of the stuff that I struggled with for so long, so he was able to look back on it with his own unorthodox way - sort of like a big brother who keeps playing tricks on you, but you get the joke in the end."16/10/2003 17:27