This may not seem like such a big deal to all of you, but Mike Myers has never sat down with the print press in the seven years I’ve been a journalist. Like many comedians, he prefers to be on camera where jokes translate visually and nobody can say you said stuff you didn’t, although they can still edit manipulatively. So speaking to the versatile comedian was more a chance to delve into the great comedy mind than to really find out the nitty gritty of the Shrek movies. There’s that too though, so fans awaiting Shrek the Third can get their fix too.
CraveOnline: You’ve played so many Scottish and British characters, do you secretly wish you were born English?
Mike Myers: At every point I wish I was born in
CraveOnline: Why not do a Madonna and start speaking like that in real life?
Mike Myers: I wouldn’t want to. When I moved back from
CraveOnline: How has Shrek developed over the last three movies?
Mike Myers: I think it’s developed beautifully well. I think the writing on the movie is excellent. I am very excited to be part of it. It feels like I’m on a Stanley Cup winning team. Everybody wants it to be excellent at every turn and they’re tireless is the only way I can describe it. The character of Shrek has developed. In the first one, he had to learn to love himself in order to be loved. The second one, he had to learn to love himself in order to be married, to start his own family. In the third one, he had to learn to love himself in order to believe that an ogre could possibly be a father or the king of a country. You feel in the third one, I do anyway, that you feel the third one honors the first and second one, it’s the same lesson in a different rite of passage. He has that one more rite of passage to go before he can fully be responsible for another human being.
CraveOnline: Is that also like how they say that most comedians are unhappy people in real life?
Mike Myers: Oh, I’d say that’s 100% accurate. Most comedians want to be the architects of their own embarrassment. They have horrendous self-esteem issues for which being the first, like" I myself will fall into the mud. I don’t want to be pushed into the mud." So yeah, that’s probably true but I think most people struggle with self-acceptance. I think that’s pretty universal. It’s just comedians get an outlet to externalize it.
CraveOnline: Has part of you wanted to tinker with Shrek’s voice over the series?
Mike Myers: I watched one and two. I actually went the other way. I wanted to make sure there was consistency so that you could kind of honor [the trilogy]. I just feel the custodial pressure. Like I feel because 1 and 2 were happily and gratefully so well received, that on the third one you want to just maintain, say to the people, "Thank you for coming to 1 and 2 and we’re going to honor you by making the third the best movie it could possibly be." And there is a slight difference. It is slightly deeper in the third one than it is in the first and second. That was my concession to change.
CraveOnline: Are you involved with what happens in 4?
Mike Myers: I don’t know. I come and I show up and I do the voice.
CraveOnline: So you don’t have any say?
Mike Myers: It’s so good I wouldn’t want say. You know what I mean? I have the joy of I go to the Dreamworks campus and then they put on a presentation, they go, "This is what I’m thinking" and I’m always going, "Thank you for the lesson in filmmaking."
CraveOnline: What’s your process for creating a character, be it Shrek, Austin Powers, Wayne or Dieter?
Mike Myers: Well, I take a long time between movies. It’s about three and a half to four years is the average. I haven’t made that many movies. When you create and write and produce the movies, it just takes forever. Something hits my ear and it kind of happens. Usually it’s music. In the case of Austin Powers, I was driving home from hockey practice and I heard The Look of Love and I went, "What happened to swingers?" And then started doing this voice and I toured the character for a year before bringing it to a studio. And I’ve done the same thing with this new movie I’m starting in two months called The Love Guru. I’ve been in
CraveOnline: Who is The Love Guru?
Mike Myers: The Love Guru is a Canadian kid who was left in
CraveOnline: Are you going to play multiple characters in that film?
Mike Myers: I’m on the fence. There is a couple that I could do and they’re not sure. There’s so many forces at work that have nothing to do with you that are hard to juggle.
CraveOnline: But not the hockey star?
Mike Myers: No, I’m not.
CraveOnline: Is there another Austin Powers in the wings?
Mike Myers: There’s one that we had an idea about and the only thing I will say is that it’s entirely from Dr. Evil’s point of view. It would be the first of his trilogy.
CraveOnline: You said the T word, isn’t that a huge commitment?
Mike Myers: Oh, it’s a joke. I’m completely joking. I just love the bluster of saying it’s a trilogy. Yes, it’s a 25 part series of movies that I’ve decided are going to take 25. No, I was just joking.
CraveOnline: Are you surprised you’re considered a big comic star? There’ve really only been a few movies and some signature characters.
Mike Myers: Yeah, I wanted to act as long as I can remember. I remember my dad was funny. My dad was from
CraveOnline: Has there been anything daunting or a downside to success?
Mike Myers: No. It’s trickier than I thought. In
CraveOnline: Would you ever go back and revisit Dieter or Coffee Talk? Is Sprockets dead in the water?
Mike Myers: No, nothing dead. There is no committee that meets and has a five year plan. It’s much more informal than that. The way I would want to do the Dieter movie would be super crazy low budge. I’d want to do it like on camera phone or something. Something that is more apt to it, or on Etch-a-sketch or something. That’s what I would like for it. The Coffee Talk lady movie I could do. I love doing the character but I have so many planes that are circling the airport. An average film takes 60 months between the first idea and it being on a screen. I actually am faster than that, because I create it and then I write it and it’s on the average about 36 months between, "Hmm, I wonder" and it being on the screen.
CraveOnline: Just go on The View for a day as that character.
Mike Myers: Oh, that’d be fun actually.