Robert Rodriguez directed the family spy romp, Spy Kids, about two kids whose parents (Antonio Banderas and Carla Gugina) are captured in a mission, and they have to go and rescue them. I played the mad genius Fegan Floop, who has captured Mum and Dad, and will turn them into characters on his TV show if the kids don't get there soon. The film was shot in Austin, Texas and I loved every second of it. Floop is such a great part, and I got to rush around my castle being mad. I also got to sing a song that Danny Elfman wrote, which was amazing.
Spy Kids and Floop really connected with kids and I love the way that they still, as adults, come up to me to tell me how magical they found this movie.
I hosted Saturday Night Live in February of 2000.
OMFG. Talk about scary!! Not just that you have so little time to rehearse and there are new bits of sketches right up until transmission, not just that it is LIVE, but also because it is such a landmark thing to do, to host SNL! I stopped telling people I was going to do it because their reactions made me feel even more nervous. But I loved it. It was such an adrenaline rush, and I had all my New York friends in the front row of the balcony cheering me on. Plus I got to say 'Jennifer Lopez is in the house!' and 'Give it up for Jennifer Lopez!' which made me very happy.
There were some hilarious sketches. I took part in the regular ones like Dog Show and The Culps with Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer, and also did a Lennon/McCartney fast food fantasy with Jimmy Fallon, a Siegfried and Roy one with Chris Kattan, and a Home Shopping Network segment on sunburned dolls with the amazing Ana.
Stephen Kay directed this American remake of the Mike Hodges' classic Get Carter, which starred Michael Caine in the 70s.
This time round Carter was played by Sylvester Stallone, and I played Jeremy Kinnear, a young dotcom billionaire mixed up in some shady goings-on which resulted in the death of Carter's brother.
The film was shot in Vancouver and also starred Miranda Richardson, Michael Caine and Rachel Leigh Cook, who Alan went on to work with in Josie and the Pussycats.
What I remember most about this is that Mickey Rourke is a big chihuahua-loving softie and Sylvester Stallone is very well-read and knows a lot about the arts.
A prequel to the Universal Pictures Flintstones live action movie, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas stars Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, Jane Krakowski and Kristen Johnson as the Flinstones and the Rubbles.
I played two roles: The Great Gazoo, a green alien sent down from outer space to learn earthlings' mating rituals, as well as Mick Jagged, a Stone Age rock star who takes a fancy to Betty. The role of Gazoo was shot entirely on blue screen with me in a lot of prosthetics as well as a harness in which I was flown around a sound stage having to act to paper plates bearing Fred and Barney's names.
It was a pretty hard thing. There was a lot of chafing. But how often do you get to tell your niece and nephews that you are going to be playing Gazoo in a Flintstones movie?
I made my first ever appearance on the Conan O'Brien show to promote Cabaret.
And then here I am back later that year plugging Titus, much less nervous.
Then Metroguide (with the 'sex symbol' question), and a documentary my friend Emma made for Channel 4 in the UK about fame, entitled Starstruck, followed by me discussing my friend Geri Haliwell on Behind the Music!
Then here I am back in the UK on Ruby Wax's show, and then me plugging Annie on a very early show in LA (and I had been up all night! Sssh!)
Then plugging Plunkett and Macleane on Today in New York, and Annie on Conan and Martin Short
Company Man is a 1950s CIA romp starring Doug McGrath (who had previously directed me in Emma) as a nerdy grammar teacher who accidentally joins the CIA and heads up their operation in Cuba, just before the Bay of Pigs crisis.
I was cast as General Batista, the dictator of Cuba (natch!) who had been recently ousted by Castro. The film also stars Sigourney Weaver, John Turturro, Woody Allen, Dennis Leary, Ryan Phillipe and Anthony LaPaglia. It was shot in New York and Puerto Rico, and written and directed by McGrath and Peter Askin.
I had such a laugh on this film. I was exhausted because I was still doing Cabaret at nights, but it was such a good atmosphere on the set and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I also loved playing a manic former dictator obsessed with household goods!
The film was released in February 2001.
I provided the voice of The Devil for NBC's animated show, God, The Devil and Bob, which had James Garner providing the voice of God and French Stewart as Bob.
I actually did this project while filming Annie and The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas. We made twelve episodes of biting satire about God and the Devil coming down to Detroit and vying for the soul of this man called Bob. I was saddened by the way it was handled when it came out. I thought it was a sad thing for America that satire doesn't seem to be allowed with certain subject matters. It's a cartoon! I think it's sad if people can't laugh or that certain aspects of society can't be parodied. People are so serious about their religion that they can't allow for anything remotely fun to be made about it.
Rob Marshall (who choreographed Cabaret on Broadway) asked me to take on the role of "Rooster" in this reworking of the popular American musical, Annie.
Kathy Bates plays Miss Hannigan and the rest of the cast includes Victor Garber, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenowith, and Alicia Morton as Annie.
I had never seen Annie and didn't know the story when Rob asked me to do it. It was really scary for me, because I felt so out of my depth in so many ways. I'd never done a musical like this before, but Rob has a way of making you feel confident about things that you can't do very well, like dancing and singing!! Dancing down the street at the backlot of Warner Bros. in Burbank, singing Easy Street was one of the best moments of my showbiz life!!!
I took a hiatus from Cabaret to fly to Rome and play Saturninus in Julie Taymor's film Titus, of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus. Anthony Hopkins starred as Titus, and Jessica Lange as Tamora, Queen of the Goths. Other roles were played by Colm Fiore, Laura Fraser, Matthew Rhys, Jonathon Rhys-Myers and Harry J. Lennix.
The film was an extraordinary merging of times and ideas, and a visually stunning and emotionally charged experience. I had always admired Jessica and Tony, so to get to work with them on such an amazing project was really exciting to me. Although it was a difficult and at times really unhappy shoot for me, I really love this film and am so proud to be a part of it.
Here is a reel of interviews and appearances about Cabaret, on CNN Showbiz Tonight, NY1, The Late Show with David Letterman, Fox's Judith Regan Show (my Mum appears!) and the Rosie O'Donnell show, which had to have a PG rating because of our performance of Wilkommen!! And finally CBS' Morning Show.
Also there is the Broadway Beat special on the show.
Also here's me discussing my experiences in Cabaret with Charlie Rose...
And here is Launching the Tony's 98