Making Out with the Media: Mike Meyers is a Bastard, and Other Stories

Oh sure… of the four buzz-worthy actors who are in talks to star in Quentin Tarantino’s WWII film Inglorious Bastards, the one that gets signed next is none of them, but instead Canadian comedic actor Mike Myers, according to Variety.

Listen, I used to like Mike Myers films. Laughed my butt off during the first Austin Powers movie, and for some strange reason, my sister and I watched and re-watched the first Wayne’s World movie. Now that I think about it, I think the main reason why I watched the it so often was because of Tia Carrere’s performance as a sexy, no-nonsense, punk-rock star. It’s hard to find female role models on the big screen when you’re ethnically Filipino, you know? But after having seen the second Austin Powers movie three times and becoming bored of his schtick, the bloom faded quickly from the rose, I was no longer a fan and therefore, I don’t buy this casting.

My problem with Mike Myers is that I can’t see him playing anything straight. See, Jim Carrey’s a great comedic actor, but he does know when to stop and he does have the chops to do more serious roles (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, anyone?). I can believe someone like him in a serious role because he’s proven that he can do it. However, I can’t see Myers being able to rein anything in without a Scottish accent (because he is remarkably restrained in the Shrek movies), and even worse, I don’t want to imagine Tarantino doing a WWII movie with a silly British general because it’s going to make me think of either Peter Sellers or Graham Chapman too much and then I’ll get sad.

Steve Carrell, Tina Fey Going Out on a Date
I’ve recently become a fan of “30 Rock” thanks to and my very weird work schedule, so I couldn’t help but grin a little when I read in Variety that Tina Fey and Steve Carrell will be in a comedy called Date Night from 20th Century Fox. The movie’s about a couple who starts out on an average date but it quickly turns into something that will probably be described by critics as “zany” and “wild.” The movie will be directed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) who told reporters that he wanted this movie to be his next assignment from the studio.

Former Subway Worker, College Student Makes Good in Creating Brooklyn’s Finest
Admittedly, I’m going to be a little biased about stories in the New York Times because it’s my local newspaper of choice and it’s the standard to which I hold a lot of journalists (though that’s changing due to the weirdness that is newspaper conglomerations). Reading this story about first-time screenwriter Michael C. Martin, an almost-degreed film student from Brooklyn who got second prize in a screenwriting competition while he was recovering from an accident that totaled his car, and then parlayed that into a movie deal for Brooklyn’s Finest (starring Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke, and directed by Antoine Fuqua [Training Day]) makes me feel a little better about the world and my place in it as a freelance writer.

It’s worth it to note that the difference between this piece and the Hollywood Reporter piece on another first-time screenwriter is how Martin’s path seems to be more accessible by the average person, whereas the HR piece pushes you away by mentioning its subject’s maneuvering within the system. Anyone can enter a contest, and anyone can go to film school to get the training and basics down for writing a screenplay. In contrast, no one’s exactly sure what one needs to do to be assigned as an assistant to a major screenwriter, and that kind of job is something you achieve after lots of networking and being exactly in the right place at the right time.

Posted on August 15, 2008 at 06:39 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
In: News

10 Responses

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  1. Written by Jason
    on 2008-08-15 at 07:33

    There was a time when people would have laughed at Jim Carrey being able to do a serious film, though. I’d been wondering how Meyers was going to turn his career around. If he pulls off a Travolta with this movie, it’d be amazing. Tarantino’s made some ridiculous casting choices before, and they’ve all worked out more than well.

    Also, there is no shame in enjoying Wayne’s World (great movie) AND Wayne’s World 2 (if only for Charlton Heston’s amazing minute).

  2. Written by foo
    on 2008-08-15 at 15:09

    Aye, I hated Jim Carrey because of his inablility to turn off the supposedly-funny-arse stuff, and then saw … oh shoot, the movie where he’s the guy in the totally made-up world being filmed. He actually played some scenes in that straight, and heartfelt, and emotions other than stupid-funny. I liked him in that. Quickly hated him again when he reverted, so I can never trust him in a movie, but still – he actually had a movie where I liked him!

    Can’t stand Meyers, though, and can’t hold out any hope of him doing a Carrey/Travolta. He’s just too lazy.

  3. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2008-08-15 at 19:43

    @Jason: “Tarantino’s made some ridiculous casting choices before”

    Such as? What would you call “ridiculous” in his casting choices?

    @foo: That was The Truman Show, and I liked Carrey in that as well. One could say that doing that movie and portraying Truman’s descent into paranoia (before snapping out of it) prepared him for Eternal Sunshine.

  4. Written by BlueNight
    on 2008-08-15 at 23:32

    I’m sorry, haven’t you seen “So I Married An Ax Murderer”? It was on Comedy Central last week. (And the week before that, and…)

    Although, that’s more on the level of calling Jim Carrey’s performance as Stanley Ipkiss in The Mask “playing it straight.” Or that lawyer in Liar Liar. Or Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire. Or Steve Martin in Father Of The Bride.

  5. Written by Trisha Lynn
    on 2008-08-16 at 06:22

    No, I haven’t seen Axe Murderer, but I don’t think it qualifies as being a real “serious” role because of the fact that in addition to his straight character, he also played his own father, with an outrrrrrrrageous Scots accent. Besides, on the IMDB, it says the father-character was one from “Saturday Night Live” and now there’s even more reason why that movie doesn’t count.

  6. Written by BlueNight
    on 2008-08-16 at 22:31

    And in Truman Show, Jim Carrey drives around in a circle very fast, yelling. That doesn’t reduce the drama (though it probably cost him an Oscar).

    All I’m saying is Mike Myers plays the main character straight; an average guy with a sense of humor. Wacky stuff happens to him, but he isn’t its originator. Perhaps the problem is that he’s been doing his own projects; Love Guru and Austin Powers are the best (worst) examples. He does best on projects which wouldn’t easily translate into a seven-minute sketch.

  7. Written by mrtrixxxter
    on 2008-08-17 at 10:02

    Mike Myers played a strait part in “Pete’s Meteor”.I haven’t seen it in a while but i remember him playing a small time drug dealer or something simular.

  8. Written by DJ Purkis
    on 2008-08-18 at 06:03

    I depends on what the role is. I remember Meyers in ‘Mystery, Alaska’ doing something a little different – and it worked. It wasn’t drama, but it wasn’t his usual schtick.

  9. Written by speedbat
    on 2008-08-18 at 06:16

    Hey, I’m as sick of Myers recycling his ideas as anyone, but don’t forget he did play it straight as Steve Rubell in “54” and did so very well.

  10. Written by Lethal Interjection
    on 2008-08-19 at 11:57

    Personally, I trust Tarantino to see something in him for the role. There are certain directors who tend to really bring out the best in who they cast. Tarantino is so involved in the process, that it isn’t as if Myers was a last minute substitution by the studio to widen the commercial appeal. He might not have been the first choice, but with Tarantino also being the script-writer, I’m sure he’ll manage something good with it.

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