With the 20th anniversary of historical epic Braveheart just around the corner, Mel Gibson has spilled the beans on the much-admired battle scenes, some of which featured the Irish army. 

The 58-year-old actor, who directed and starred in the popular film, which picked up five Oscars, revealed that the secret to its success lies in his meticulous battle scene planning.

Speaking to Empire magazine, Gibson said: "The thing I wanted out of the battle sequences was clarity. I've seen a lot of these battle movies and they just turn into mush.

"I broke it down to archers and horses and hand-to-hand and who had the high ground and the low ground, everybody was clearly delineated, even though it was often the same bunch of people playing different parts.

"We had the guys from the Irish Army, and one day they were all dressed like Scots and the next day they'd be English. I think there's a scene where somebody actually kills himself!"

When asked if there were any serious injuries on set, Gibson added: "There was a horse that nearly killed me. He had a good trick where he did this whole rear-up thing, but he'd also fall backwards, which is a problem if you've fallen off first and you're behind him.

"He did that to me. My stunt double ran in and pulled me out of the way just as the horse fell."