Mel Gibson has praised "generous and kind" Robert Downey Jr. for speaking up for him after he was "blacklisted" by Hollywood.

Robert Downey Jr and Mel Gibson in 2011

Robert Downey Jr and Mel Gibson in 2011

The 'Braveheart' star saw his career plummet in 2006 after he made antisemitic comments when being arrested for driving under the influence, but in 2011, the 'Oppenheimer' actor brought his pal out of the showbiz wilderness when he invited him to present him with the American Cinematheque Award.

And Mel will never forget his friend's "bold" generosity.

In a profile of Downey for Esquire magazine, Mel said: “One time, I got into a bit of a sticky situation where it kind of ended my career. I was drunk in the back of a police car and I said some stupid [stuff], and all of a sudden: blacklisted. I’m the poster boy for cancelled.

“A couple of years into that he invited me to some kind of award he was getting—we always had this kind of seesaw thing, where if he was on the wagon, I was falling off, and if I was on the wagon, he was falling off. So I was pretty much nonexistent in Hollywood at the time, and he stood up and spoke for me. It was a bold and generous and kind gesture. I loved him for that.”

During his acceptance speech at the event, the 'Iron Man' star called for the crowd to "forgive" Mel.

He asked the audience to join him “unless you are completely without sin, in which case you picked the wrong industry, in forgiving my friend his trespasses, offering the same clean slate you have me, and allowing him to continue his great and ongoing contributions to our collective art without shame.”

And in 2014, Downey, now 59, argued his friend had "changed so much" since his notorious outburst and is a "fundamentally different guy" now.

He told Deadline: “Nobody should make a case for somebody who just wants forgiveness but hasn’t changed, but he’s a fundamentally different guy.

“I think it was just the very worst aspects of somebody’s psyche being treated as though they were the blanket statement about a person.”