Mike Myers just turned 51. Instead of doing something like a round-up of “Wayne’s Most Radical Party Moments” or list of movie roles Myers has passed over doing, we’re going to try to find out where the guy has been for the last decade. We’ve heard Myers voice in green ogre form with the Shrek sequels, but as far as seeing Myers’ face on-screen — those occasions have been few and far between.
For a solid 10 years, Myers seemed to have one hit movie after another, starting with the Wayne’s World movies, then Austin Powers, followed by Shrek. Since 2003, however, we have only seen Myers’ face on the big screen in two films — the critically detested The Love Guru and a cameo in Inglourious Basterds. So what happened? Did Myers adopt a strange new religion that frowns upon wearing goofy wigs? Did Lorne Michaels place a hex on him?
Myers last feature film was 2010’s Shrek Forever, a success both commercially and critically. His last starring role in a live-action film was 2008’s The Love Guru. Instead of being another entry in Myers list of comedy successes, the film ate it, with critics proclaiming things like “Mike Myers is anti-comedy.” How the movie fared with critics isn’t something Myers said he concerns himself with in a recent GQ article.
“You kind of have to make it and you put it out there. There’s a lot in that movie that I love.
I don’t read reviews at all, up or down. I have never read a review. The way I knew about what Siskel said [this is presumably the scathing review of So I Married an Axe Murderer] is that Jay [Roach, Austin Powers director] mentioned it to me. I’ve never read a review.”
It’s easy to pin a critically-panned movie as the culprit for the lack of Mike Myers blockbuster movies over the last ten years, but that’s at least a partially false accusation. In short, Myers has been living his life and doing projects that spark his interest. Myers married for a second time in 2010, had a daughter in 2011, and just welcomed his second child. Add in his dedication to his twice-a-week floor hockey league, and all of that can keep a man busy from rolling out a Sprockets movie.
Myers also admitted that most of the films he’s done in the past have been projects he was intricately involved with, and ideas simply take time to manifest into a movie treatment, script and produced project. He claims to have only had 15 scripts sent to him in the last two decades — he turned all but two of them down, and one of those was his cameo in Inglourious Basterds.
The Inglourious Basterds project came about because Tarantino called him out of the blue and Myers was a fan of the director’s previous works:
“He called and said “Would you like to play a British general in a World War Two movie?” and I was like “Are you kidding me?” It was amazing. We shot at Nazi headquarters, and first day I got there he was like “Mike, come here”, and I watched a scene where Hitler is having a portrait done of himself. I didn’t know what to make of it except to say, “My god, what an unbelievable, awesome life I have.”