At Disney, he is best known for voicing John Smith in the 1995 Disney animated feature film Pocahontas. However, his younger brother Donal took over the role in the 1998 direct-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World. He also played Tom Mullen in the 1996 Touchstone Pictures film Ransom, and Rev. Gramham Hess, in the 2002 Touchstone Pictures film Signs. He also directed Apocalypto.
- Mel Gibson was originally considered for the role of Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but at the end, Kurt Russell was cast instead.
- He was approached for the role of Odin in Thor, but turned it down, in the end, the role went to Anthony Hopkins.
- He was considered for the role of Wolverine in X-Men (2000) along with Glenn Danzig, Russell Crowe, Dougray Scott, Keanu Reeves, Gary Sinise, Aaron Eckhart, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Viggo Mortensen, and Edward Norton.