2004

Eighteen

After shooting Reefer Madness, I stayed on in Canada to shoot a small role in Eighteen, a film written and directed by Richard Bell, who I'd first met when I was shooting Josie and the Pussycatsin Vancouver in 2000.

Eighteen is Richard's first feature-length movie, and is about a young boy of 18, Pip (played by the wonderful Paul Anthony), who is given for his birthday a tape from his dead grandfather telling him what his grandftaher went through in when he was 18. The film flashes between the present and the trenches of World War Two. 

I play Faher Chris, a priest who befriends Pip.


2003

Son of the Mask

Son of the Mask is a follow-up to The Mask (1994). I shot this movie in Sydney, Australia from November 2003 until March 2004. I played Loki, the God of Mischief (natch), who is on a quest to get his precious mask back from the hapless Tim (Jamie Kennedy) and Tonya (Traylor Howard). He does this by taking on lots of disguises. There's also an uber-cute baby and a dog! What's not to like? Son of the Mask is directed by Larry Gutterman and was released by New Line Pictures.

This was a really long film and full of effects, but even though it was sometimes incredibly technical I sort of went into a zen place and didn't really engage with it all and just tried to remain in character and pretend it was a normal film! Of course getting to swish around in a leather coat makes me happy any of the day of the week, and this was also the first of two films I did back to back (the other being Reefer Madness) in which my character goes into loads of disguises, so it was always fun to look forward to my next crazy creation. And filming in Sydney was really amazing - a beautiful city and a funny, down to earth crew.



Garfield the Movie

I recorded the voice of Persnickitty the Cat in Garfield, the live action version of the popular cartoon. Other voices are supplied by Bill Murray and Debra Messing. Meow.



Ripley Under Ground

I shot Ripley Under Ground, an adaptation of one of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley novels, in London and the Isle of Man in the summer of 2003. The film was directed by Roger Spottiswoode and also stars Willem Dafoe, Barry Pepper, Tom Wilkinson, Ian Hart and Claire Forlani.

I had a real laugh making this film, playing a coked up art dealer, but sadly it never really saw the light of day in theaters.  Click here to see the trailer



Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over

Fegan Floop makes a brief but thrilling appearance in what we all thought was the final installment of the Spy Kids trilogy, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.

Going back to Austin to shoot these few scenes I had in this movie felt like going home for Thanksgiving. I was seeing all the same cast and crew for a few days and going to the old familiar places, even wearing the old familiar Floop costume. This experience was quite different to the other two because practically the entire movie was shot against green screen. Also of course the 3-D part made it very different technically. I have always been bitter that there weren’t any Floop dolls made, apart from the one Juni has in the first movie (which I have), so when I was wrapped they gave me a bronzed Floop doll for posterity. It sort of looks like an award so that makes up for not having been an action figure.


2002

Pits

I played the role of Mr. Williams in Pits, the 8-minute Canadian comedy short about a young man who discovers that he has two large pit stains on his dress shirt as he's running late for an interview at a prestigious law firm.

I shot it whilst in Canada shooting X2, and it was directed by Gary Hawes who worked as an A.D. on the mutant extravaganza.



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.



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

 


2001

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.