Mel Gibson's secret dinner date with Azita Ghanizada had everything to do with her good looks -- but not because Mel wants to date her ... he wants to cast her.
According to our sources, Mel met Azita a few weeks ago and he was taken aback by her beauty and unique ethnicity (born in Afghanistan, grew up in Virginia). We're told the two talked for a while that night and Mel asked her out to dinner to discuss possibly working together.
TMZ obtained photos of the pair at that dinner last week ... where we're told Gibson discussed his much-hyped upcoming movie about Judah Maccabee. Our sources say Ghanizada was hip to the idea, but so far no official deal has been made.
Despite how the pics may appear, we're told the dinner was just business.