The Woad Warrior
Mel said he was attracted to Wallace's "dichotomy. He was heroic, but
he didn't seek self-aggrandizement. He didn't want a crown, he didn't want
land. He was just doing it because he wanted his country to be free. At
the same time, he was a savage. When he won the battle at Stirling, he got
the commanding officer and skinned him and made a belt out of him."
My personal top ten list of theories about why Mel Gibson decided
to use woad (completely anachronistically) in Braveheart was because
- it looked cool
- he has a thing about half his face being different from the other
(e.g. see the movie "The Man Without a Face")
- There was a scene in "Maverick" which showed a red injun with one side
ofhis face painted and it looked much groovier than the face paint Mel was
- it looked exotic
- it was only used in the Battle of Stirling - the battle he did win, so
it was a lighthearted touch of dramatic license to emphasise the high
morale of Scots
- someone a bit hazy on the history of Scotland had heard that Scots
used to paint themselves in woad when they fought the ancient Romans and
confused the first and thirteenth centuries
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