Albert L. Ortega/WireImage
12/20/2006 AT 10:45 AM EST
Despite his box-office success with his latest film Apocalypto
, Mel Gibson says he is most thankful for the lessons he learned after his fall from grace last summer.
"I got a skinful and mouthed off which is not coming from a good place, but I'm moving on from that," the actor-filmmaker, 50, tells the entertainment news Web site Dark Horizons
He now looks upon the experience of his no-contest plea
for DUI and the exposure of his anti-Semitic drunken rant "as a gift to me, because it's made me really sort of scratch my head and focus on a couple of things that I needed to."
After making a public apology
, Gibson reportedly attended rehab, and says the whole ordeal is "working out real positive."
Gibson considers his slip, which provoked worldwide criticism, one of the pitfalls of being human. "Everybody goofs, everybody screws up and I tell ya, if you ask everybody in the world to raise their hand if they never said something vicious, something that they regretted or something stupid, there wouldn't be many people that wouldn't be able to raise their hands," he says.
As for the disease of alcoholism and whatever other demons he or anyone else may possess, he says, "I think that's an ongoing process for your entire life, because everyone's got 'em."
The way he deals, he adds, is to work. "I think in any art form, expression really is a coping mechanism. It's like something has to come out, and if it comes out in art, that's great because you're somehow using what the human condition has made you to put out some kind of evidence that other people can sort of relate to, and I think that's the sharing experience that we need."