Mike Myers' world keeps getting rosier

August 05, 1993|By Luaine Lee | Luaine Lee,Knight-Ridder News Service

It may be party time in "Wayne's World," but in Mike Myers' world things are a little more serious. Mr. Myers, who originated the goofy sketch with partner Dana Carvey on "Saturday Night Live," has just co-scripted and starred in his second big movie, "So I Married an Axe Murderer."

Co-stars and producers in the film say variously that Mr. Myers is "very passionate, very committed and has a very, very strong point of view."

As for Mr. Myers, who joined the Canadian Second City troupe the day before he graduated from high school, he says he can only do his best.

"All I know is that a great opportunity has presented itself, and I would hate to squander it by not doing what I think is the best and funniest material at the top of my intelligence and at the top of what I think is funny."

Seizing the opportunity in this case meant commandeering a script written by Robbie Fox and rewriting it with frequent collaborator Neil Mullarkey.

Actually, the producers report that they tried to get Conan O'Brien to co-write the screenplay but he was too busy (probably preparing his NBC late-night talk show).

There was some disagreement about writing credit and, because of Writers' Guild regulations, Mr. Mullarkey finds his name on the cutting-room floor, a situation that doesn't please Mr. Myers.

Chevy Chase was originally involved in the project, but when the script went to Mr. Myers he presented the producers with a list of requirements. The first was a change in title. "So I Married an Axe Murderer" had to go. It didn't.

When Mr. Myers read the script, the producers decided that no one could play his father in the movie better than he could. So Mr. Myers slaps on the makeup and summons up the dialect and does a turn as his own Scottish father.

Some of that shtick is based on Mr. Myers' own father and grandfather, both of whom were hilarious, he says.

And Mr. Myers' two older brothers -- Peter and Paul -- are much funnier than he is, he says. "In fact my mum actually said to me at one time: 'Michael, you're not funny. It's nice that you try and it's very charming. But your brothers are funny and you're not. Why don't you just laugh like we do.' " He says this in a Liverpudlian accent that you'd swear belonged to Ringo Starr.

The 30-year-old Mr. Myers is a native of Toronto. Canadians, he says, are known for their humor and their hockey. But neither were his first choice. Before he ever got into comedy, he thought he might be a filmmaker. "I was going to save my money and go to York University in Toronto and study film. When I was growing up, all I did was go to movies and read film books."

But that turn at Second City changed his plan. "All it took was two months being on the show and getting laughs and it was, 'Bye, bye, university and hello, Second City.' "

He's into his fourth week of "Wayne's World 2," an outgrowth of the tremendous success of the first "Wayne's World" feature, and he actually seems surprised that he's now more bankable than a Ninja Turtle.

"I did a movie that did really well," he says, "and I'm lucky enough to do 'Saturday Night Live' and lucky enough to do what I've wanted to do since I was 4. The universe has smiled on me."

Two months ago the universe laughed out loud when Myers married his longtime sweetheart, Robin Ruzan. He thinks the trepidations he felt as a jittery groom probably helped him play the sweaty-palmed spouse in "Axe Murderer."

In spite of his movie career, he's going back to "Saturday Night Live." "Dana says that being on 'Saturday Night Live' is like being shot out of a cannon. And he's right. And Gilda Radner said, 'TV's a monster that eats your material.' And she's right. It's a great problem. . . . Life should be so bad."

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