2002

Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams

In Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, the sequel to Spy Kids, I reprised his role as the mad genius Fegan Floop. Carmen and Juni Cortez team up with two other spy kids, Gary and Gerti Giggles, and together they must save the world from the hands of an evil scientist named Romero, played by Steve Buscemi.

I only shot one day on this film, but it was a packed day! I learned the song then recorded it first thing in the morning, then rehearsed and shot the scene where Juni and Carmen call me up for advice, and then I lip-synched the song against blue screen in the afternoon! It was great to be back in Austin again to see everyone and to be part of the next Spy Kids installment.



New York Times Talk

Helen Mirren and I were interviewed for the NY Times Talks about the differences of performing on Broadway and the West End.



Zero Effect

Zero Effect was a pilot made for NBC written and directed by Jake Kasdan, based on his feature film of the same name.  I played  Daryl Zero, the world's greatest private investigator and master of disguise.

It was never picked up, but here is a sneak peek....



Nicholas Nickleby

Along with my fellow castmates I received a National Board of Review Award for Best Acting Ensemble for this version of the Charles Dickens novel, Nicholas Nickleby, adapted and directed by Douglas McGrath.

My character, Mr. Folair, is a member of the Crummles Theatre Company, always trying to do his speciality act - the highland fling – at every available opportunity. The cast also includes Charlie Hunnan, Jamie Bell, Anne Hathaway, Barry Humphries, Nathan Lane, Aileen Walsh, Christopher Plummer, Jim Broadbent, Juliet Stevenson, Timothy Spall and Tom Courtenay. I had previously been directed by Doug McGrath in the films Emma and Company Man.

I love Doug.  And I loved being Mr. Folair because I got to work with Barry Humphries and Nathan Lane and Aileen Walsh, all of whom are absolutely hilarious. I was only on the film a few weeks but I had a great time. Oh, except for the first day when Aileen accidentally bashed me on the nose and I thought I’d broken it.



X2: X-Men United

In my first role immortalised not only on film but also in an action figure, I played the new addition to the original X-Men family: Nightcrawler, a German former circus performer whose superpower is teleporting.

 

X2: X-Men United, directed by Bryan Singer, also starred Halle Berry, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Shawn Ashmore and Aaron Stanford.

I had never heard of the X-Men before I met Bryan to talk about doing this movie. I certainly had no idea who Nightcrawler was or how huge a thing being in this movie would be. The character is really interesting, the message of the film (tolerance of others who are different from us) was very timely and unusual for a Hollywood blockbuster,  but the real drag was having to spend over four hours a day having two men poke my face. Then there were the harnesses for the tail and for flying, the feet, the hands – which made going to the loo a group effort, the teeth, the lenses, oh God don’t get me started. When I got the press reel of all my X2 TV interviews I realized that I had gone 'round the world just moaning on every talk show.

This is my wobbly head toy. I also have two action figures, one 6" and one 12', both fully poseable. Thank you

 



Elle

In early 2002, I formed The Art Party with my then partner, the British director Nick Philippou.  Elle was The Art Party's inaugural production. Sadly it was also its only production - the company folded in late 2003 (coincidentally so had our relationship!)

Elle was written by Jean Genet, and had never been performed in English before. I wrote a new adaptation of the play from a literal translation by Terri Gordon. Elle was directed by Nick, designed by Tim Hatley, projections were by Peter Negrini, and fashion legend Vivienne Westwood designed the costumes. The cast featured me as the Pope, Stephen Spinella, Anson Mount, Chad L. Coleman and Brian Duguay.

This was an amazing experience. Adapting the text was really intense, as the play is not only a debate about existence, but also has some very contemporary themes about our obsession with celebrity. It's also a sort of love story and a rites of passage...it's an unbelieveable play. Performing it was amazing too as I had to be on rollerskates and also had to hide from the audience that my costume had no back to it until a moment when it - and by it I mean my arse - was revealed, so that was a bit of a challenge. I played the Pope as a very weary and crabby Eastern European old man. The cast were great, the space at the Zipper was beautiful, the whole thing was really fulfilling, mostly because we had made it all happen ourselves.


2001

Talk shows

I appear to have been something of a media whore in 2001.

Well, I did have Design For Living, Spy Kids, The Anniversary Party and Josie and the Pussycats all happening. Some of the shows i whored myself to were MTV's Hot Zone, The Kirsty Wark Show, E! Daily News, Access Hollywood, CNN Lifestyles, Live with Regis and Kelly, Conan, Today in NYC! 

 

 

 



Ex-S

I made a video diary documentary for BBC Scotland's Ex-S series.  It actually began at the end of 2000 as I was finishing up The Anniversary Party in LA, and then it focussed on my time in NYC doing Design For Living.  There is a very scary sequence in which I have everything shaved for an article I wrote for Marie Claire magazine!

It's so funny to look back at things like this and see what was going on in my life in such detail.  I don't feel I have changed, and I was still having fun, so hoorah!



Kleopatra

This is a short film directed by Nick Philippou, loosely based on a story by Elisabeth Hauptmann, who was a collaborator and inspiration to Bertolt Brecht.

Here's what Nick has to say about it...

Kleopatra is set in New York (or any major city) at the beginning of the 21st century. A woman lives on the streest, the epitome of ugliness. An artist 'discovers' her and brings her into his world, making her an icon and a star for a while. The star that Kleopatra becomes is reflected in the artist's work -  he makes her a living sculpture for one night only.

 



American Theater Wing Seminar

A discussion about performance for City University TV