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MOVIES : Mike's World : Mike Myers follows up his surprise hit 'Wayne's World' with a Peter Sellers-esque, dual-role stint in 'I Married an Axe Murderer'

September 06, 1992|BLAISE SIMPSON | Blaise Simpson is a free-lance writer based in San Francisco

When May leads Harriet into the den to look at photographs of Charlie, Stuart (who has greeted his son's girlfriend wearing his undershorts) interrupts, shouting, "Show her the one when he was a wee baby and pooped his pants at Niagara Falls!" Sophisticated humor? Not. But the crew, which has sat through countless takes of this parent-from-hell routine, still cracks up every time Myers says the line.

"The thing about Mike's comedy is that it's very verbal and he drops in and out of character," Fried says. "He often does things just to make us laugh when we come on the set. He feeds on us."

Myers has not dropped the character, however, during a lunch-break interview in his trailer. He sits, in costume, with his T-shirt rolled up to give some air to the prosthetic stomach that's been strapped to him all morning, eating a low-cal meal of sushi and Chinese pot-stickers that's been whipped up by his private chef. Photographs of Peter Sellers (one of Myers' idols) are taped to the walls and an electronic game of video hockey is hooked up to the TV in front of him. "Funny you should ask about me. I love to talk about me," he says, by way of greeting, in Stuart's Scots burr--an accent he will maintain throughout the interview.

A bit wary of this Stuart/Myers clone, the reporter starts with a tentative question: What kind of music do you like?

"I doooo like Led Zeppelin," Stuart's voice, in Myers' body, replies. "I also like Axl Rose's kilt a lot. But does he wear trouuuus?" he asks, with a serious frown, referring to underwear (which in Scots dialect is pronounced trews ).

"A real man wears no trouuuuus," he continues, relishing the word. "I look a bit like Axl Rose, except that he wears troouuuuuuus."

Rod Stewart is another of Stuart's favorite singers and when he breaks into a fractured verse: "You're in my EYES, You're in my DREAMMMMMMS, You're in my EYES, I need a CREAMMMM, to get you OOOOUT of my EYESSSS," Myers' assistant, Fred Walsh, flees the trailer, hands over his ears.

Settling down, plate in hand, to discuss "Axe Murderer," Myers says he likes the format of the movie, which combines comedy and romance into the structure of a thriller. "The entertainment was built in, I could just sit back in the passenger seat with the safety belt fastened and away the movie goes.

"But the main element that interested me was fear of marriage," he continues. "Fear of that rite of passage--that 'reet du passage' (pronounced in a loopy French-Scottish accent)--if you will. It's something I have gone through in different parts of my own life. The thing about that intrigued me was that I often have a fear that if I got married I'd be closer to death. In this movie I meet the girl I could finally marry, and yes, she will kill me. That's what I liked about it--I think I was right in the first place and that's what's quite cool about this movie."

How does Myer's girlfriend, actress Robin Ruzan, with whom he shares an apartment in New York and co-wrote the humorous volume, "Wayne's World: Extreme Close Up," feel about this?

"Well, the thing about Robin is that she has the exact same fear," he answers. "We both fear that if we did get married, it would be mutually assured destruction. There are a few rites of passage in a person's life. There's being born, first day of school, first girlfriend, last day of school, driver's license, first album you bought by yourself, loss of virginity--and it's not necessarily in that order. Then there's the first day of college, first day of job, and then . . . there's marriage, retirement and death.

"Oh, and there's the day, if you're a girl, that you stop having a four-poster bed and stuffed animals and dotting your i 's with circles; and if you're a boy, it's the day that you stop making machine-gun sounds along with the war movie. Which I still haven't done yet. THHRR, THRRR, THHHHHHHRRRRRRP, SCCCCHHHHHHEEEEEE," he adds, illustrating his point. "Because all men have that innate ability to make war movie sounds.

"So in a weird way, once you accept marriage, you're only one rite of passage away from death. It's like, who do you know who is older than you? It's your parents, and your parents are generally married. So it's almost in the Joseph Campbell sense. It's the atonement with your father figure in mythology and in other things, it's when the student becomes the master. It's Freudian, it's like when you kill your father and sleep with your mother. The atonement, the at-one-ment with the father figure is marriage. So it's, um, scary."

Myer's unique ability to use machine-gun noises and serious literary references with equal facility is a large part of his charm. His best-known "Saturday Night Live" characters, from Wayne to Dieter, the ridiculously intellectual German host of the avant-garde TV show "Sprockets," are outgrowths of the rather disparate sides of his character.

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