Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: The Characters

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It all began in the imagination of Mike Myers, who grew up in Canada raised by parents who hailed from the land of fab gear: Liverpool, England. "I
grew up with ëall things English': James Bond as well as Peter Sellers," explains Myers. Later, Myers would meld both influences into a singular unit
of suave silliness.

"I loved that era when everything was made sexy, everything was eroticized. You couldn't have a kettle, you had to have a... sexy kettle. You
couldn't just be a flight attendant, you had to be a sexy stew. Then one day, I think it was 1978, it all just stopped, but not for Austin Powers."

In his first incarnation, Austin Powers entered the ë90s with all his ë60s accoutrements in tow: groovy lingo, hip-dislocating dances, judo chops and a
love of all turn-ons no matter how politically incorrect. But what to do for an encore? Myers decided to put the vehicle into reverse: this time bringing
Austin Powers back to the free love ë60s, but with his newly acquired ë90s sensibilities intact. "You can take the boy out of the ë60s, but you can't
take the ë60s out of the boy," Myers explains. "Having spent so much time in the ë90s, it turns out he may have lost a bit of his confidence with the
ladies. And that's dangerously close to being square."

Director Jay Roach, who once again brings his distinctive comedic approach to Austin Powers, takes a philosophical look at the latest Powers
predicament. "By living in the ë90s, Austin has somehow lost touch with what it really means to be Austin Powers," explains Roach. "The physical
representation of that is that he's lost his mojo, the mysterious source of his sexual prowess, his romantic soul, his savoir faire, his joie de vivre, his
raison d'etre and all those silly French phrases. So he has to go back to the ë60s, returning to his lost essence by returning to the era where his spiritual
home still lies. What is clear throughout the story is that what Austin is really looking for, whether he's in the ë60s or the ë90s, is not his mojo but

Summing up Austin's appeal, Jay Roach continues: "He is a guy who has managed to maintain tremendous incompetence in the face of having attained
legendary super spy status. No matter how much he bungles the mission up, he's still the best man for the job. Who else is there like that? Who else
has his style? When you're flipping through the cable channels and you hit all these normal looking ë90s films and then all the ë60s films and then you
hit Austin Powers it's neither. It's something unusual and weird and different but connected to them both."


Austin Powers' arch rival, Dr. Evil, is the perfect match for the international man of mystery: he is as square as Austin is swinging, as greedy as
Austin is freedom-loving and as incompetent as, well, as Austin is incompetent. In The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dr. Evil returns with a far more
fiendishly ingenious and sublimely ridiculous doomsday scheme than anyone, including Austin Powers, thought possible. Oversized lasers,
undersized clones and a mojo-in-a-bottle are just a few of the entirely too ambitious criminal concepts he will use in his plot to take over the planet.

Like Austin Powers, Dr. Evil's origins lie in ë60s cinematic lore. According to Mike Myers, Dr. Evil was inspired by such classic diabolical villains as
Bond's Blofeld, and by the harebrained henchman in the Matt Helm and Flint series. "What I love is those villains who were very into exotica and
would place the hero into some very elaborate yet easily escapable way of killing them," Myers comments. "And of course these villains would never
actually check to see if the good guys were killed."


This time around, Dr. Evil has found far greater powers after investing in a small, Seattle-based coffee company known as Starbucks. He also has a
whole new bag of tricks, including two new henchmen: Fat Bastard and Mini-Me. Mini-Me is Dr. Evil's high-tech clone-gone-awry: a one
eighth-sized replica who nevertheless embodies all his nastiest qualities.

Myers got the idea of a miniature clone from the ë90s remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau. "When I saw that little guy on the piano with Marlon
Brando I said ëThat's it!'," he recalls. "Dr. Evil has to have a one-eighth replica because that is the weirdest thing I've ever seen in my life!"

Casting directors Juel Bestrop and Jeanne McCarthy had the difficult task of finding a miniature-sized Dr. Evil. They auditioned actors from seventeen
inches on up to four foot eight. Acting on a tip from a writer friend of theirs, the duo sent for the tape of thirty year old Verne Troyer, a two foot eight
inch tall veteran of dozens of films and television shows. In July of 1998, Verne flew to L.A. from his hometown of Big Springs, Texas for a meeting
with the casting team. They had found their man.

"Verne Troyer is an amazing actor and an amazing acrobat," says Myers. "I told him ëYou have to remember you're one eighth Dr. Evil's size so,
therefore, you're that much more evil. You're compressed evil, so basically you go to the part of his heart that is very dark and black' - And he did,"
says Myers.

"The only love I have is Dr. Evil and anybody else that gets in my way, look out," Troyer laughs. Troyer explains why Mini-Me is so verbally meek.
"He was messed up in the cloning process, so sometimes maybe he grunts. He's got a growl, he bites, and maybe you might hear a mumble, but he
doesn't have much to say."

"Speech or no speech, Verne does an unbelievable job of mimicking Dr. Evil, at getting in sync with his insidious instincts," praises Jay Roach. "The
prosthetics, the makeup and the wardrobe create a pretty amazing comedic illusion, and I'm very excited to see how people react to it."

On the opposite end of the scale from Mini-Me is Fat Bastard, a heinous henchman who Mike Myers describes rather modestly as being "the incorrect
height for his weight." Played by Myers, Fat Bastard is the flatulent, Scottish spy in the Ministry of Defense hired by Dr. Evil to steal Austin's mojo.

The latex suit and make-up effects for Fat Bastard were designed by Academy Award-winning special effects master Stan Winston. "The Fat Bastard
costume was an elaborate affair," says Myers with a touch of understatement. In fact, it took Myers nearly five hours every day just to get into the
claustrophobic contraption. After all, with a waistline measuring over seventy inches, Fat Bastard would weigh close to five hundred pounds. Though
the costume weighed only about a tenth of that, it was very hot, and Myers had to have an air cooling machine pump a cool breeze through the suit
between takes.

"I'm not going to lie, it wasn't exactly comfortable," admits Myers. "But it was also some of the most fun I had on this movie. It was glorious to just
be an angry pig all day. I enjoyed that tremendously."


"On the swinger scale from one to ten she's about a 25," says Mike Myers. "This time Austin Powers might have met his match."

Giving off incendiary sparks as the ë60s super-chick is Heather Graham, who earned critical acclaim for her recent roles as Rollergirl in Boogie Nights,
and her co-starring role in Two Girls and a Guy. She was brought into the film by producer John Lyons, who worked with her on Boogie Nights.

Heather was encouraged by Myers and Roach to go on her own reconnaissance mission, deep into the history of ë60s sexual icons: from Barbarella to
Ursula Andress' tantalizing character in Dr. No. "They recommended a bunch of Sixties movies for me to watch," she recalls, "like Dr. No, The
Seventh Victim and this Italian spy movie Danger Diabolique. But basically I'm just a swinging chick that is in love with Austin Powers because he's
the hottest man to walk the planet and I aspire to be a female version of him."

Summarizes Jay Roach: "There is something about Heather that is very sixties and very, very sexy."


Returning on the side of right in The Spy Who Shagged Me is veteran British actor Michael York as Basil Exposition, the head of British Intelligence.
"I think Basil has a soft spot for Austin even though he's outrageous and insubordinate at times," says York, "and I feel rather the same way about
him. In a way they've grown up together; they were there in the Sixties. So there is a ëbond,' to use a loaded word. And I must say that's not hard to
play because I find Mike Myers enormously affectionate in this creation. I mean Austin may be lewd and outrageous at times, but he's terribly

Returning on the side of wrong are such characters as Scott Evil, Dr. Evil's pubescent son, played by Seth Green as a model of Generation X angst.
"Scott's a very, very confused individual as if you can't tell from his clothing," says Green. "I play him as a kid who is equally torn between hating
his father and having a need for a relationship with him. Everything he does is a cry for attention. Plus he's also the voice of reason. He's the guy
who says the things nobody usually says to movie fiends, like ëhey, why don't you just shoot him instead of slowly dipping him in a pool of ravenous
laser-outfitted sharks?' Nobody else is very understated in this film, so it's fun to play the straight man."

In addition to his relationship with his father, Scott Evil has to contend with the new Mini-Me, who seems to have usurped his role as the rotten apple
of his father's eye.

"Verne, Mike and Seth came up with a lot of very funny things for the Dr. Evil/Mini-Me/Scott relationship," remarks John Lyons. "There was just a
suggestion that there was going to be a sibling rivalry between Scott and Mini-Me, but Verne and Mike and Seth just took off with it. And I think it's
some of the funniest stuff in the film."

Mindy Sterling, a noted improv actress and performer, also brings new layers of complexity to her portrayal of Dr. Evil's henchwoman and possible
heartbreaker, Frau Farbissina. "Frau is Dr. Evil's loyal, sexually ambiguous sidekick," explains Sterling. "It's in my idea of what a German, uptight,
professional, workaholic, in-charge woman who makes a mistake like once a year is like. But like every woman, she also has a secret, and this time
we see her other side: soft, demure and yes, cuddly."

"Mindy is an outrageously talented actress who is so hilarious it was very hard to keep a straight face during my scenes with her," adds Myers.

Quintessential leading man Robert Wagner also returns to play Dr. Evil's second in command, the always-a-bridesmaid Number Two. "I don't think
Number Two fits into Dr. Evil's world," explains Wagner. "That's one of his problems. All of his ideas get thwarted and they're really pretty good
ideas, like turning this small, Seattle based coffee company into Starbucks."

"Robert Wagner is classic, classic, classic," says Jay Roach. "You see that poise and that charisma and that handsome-ness and it just connects both to
the ë60s and the ë90s and that kind of sophisticated, sexy, suave guy everybody wants to be."

One person who wants to be just like Number Two is his younger self, Young Number Two, played in a surprising turn by Rob Lowe, who pays
homage to Wagner with a dead-on imitation. "Rob does the best Robert Wagner impression of anybody I've ever met," explains Myers. Adds Roach:
"He has adapted everything about Wagner: his confidence, his charisma, even his hair. He pays tribute to R.J. and to the whole style of dashing,
jet-set, classic gentleman spies. It's magical."

Lowe, who has known Myers since appearing with him on a sketch of "Sprockets" on "Saturday Night Live" ten years earlier, was out on a golf
course with Myers when the subject of Robert Wagner came up. "I said that I'd known RJ since I was young, when I first came out to Hollywood,"
recalls Lowe. "And I did this sort of impersonation of him and Mike just died. He thought it was so hilarious, he couldn't believe it

Supermodel Elizabeth Hurley plays Austin Powers' ë90s wife Vanessa Kensington? who turns out to be too good to be true. "With Elizabeth Hurley,
we tried to take advantage of all the charm, incredible beauty and just adorable-ness that she displayed in the first film to set us up, to believe that she
and Austin are going to live happily ever after in marital bliss right off the top," explains Jay Roach. But instead, Vanessa foists upon Austin the
ultimate betrayal, at the same time freeing him from the bonds of marriage.

Also among the bevy of beauties in The Spy Who Shagged Me is Australian beauty Gia Carides as Robin Swallows. "Robin works for Dr. Evil and
it's her mission to seduce Austin Powers and kill him," explains Carides. "That's what she sets out to do, but it's not exactly what happens. Let's just
say it backfires somewhat."

Making cameos in this installment of Austin Powers are a bevy of ë90s personas, ranging from Elvis Costello to Jerry Springer. Costello reteams with
Burt Bacharach not only to record their uniquely fused ë60s-and-ë90s sound for The Spy Who Shagged Me but to appear briefly in the film, providing
love inspiration to Austin and Felicity.
"It's a little odd for me to be popping up in the ë60s," says Costello, "but it might all be part of some evil plan." For Elvis Costello the film was a
chance to "give a little wink to the audience" as well as to wear what he calls "special love god sideburns." "I thought the first Austin Powers was a
gas," adds Costello. "I just loved the way it looked and the humor. Mike Myers has really got English humor down but he does it in a way that
everybody around the world can appreciate."

Also receiving an unexpected invitation was consummate ë90s talk-show host Jerry Springer. Springer was won over by Myers, who convinced him
to perform in a mock show entitled "My Father is Evil and Wants To Take Over The World," featuring Scott Evil. "He's the kind of guy who doesn't
even have to say anything and you start laughing. Just the way he moves, the nuances, his body language, everything about him is funny," says

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