Monday 21 October 2019

Mum's the word on The Mummy's close shave

Ciara Dwyer talks to Arnold Vosloo about his leading role in The Mummy Returns

SOUTH AFRICAN actor Arnold Vosloo is counting his lucky stars. For a long time he had been treading the boards doing satisfying stage work. But in the past few years, his bank balance has increased considerably. He landed the title role in last summer's blockbuster The Mummy. Now with its $70m sequel, The Mummy Returns, Vosloo is still smiling. And pinching himself.

"I am one of the lucky ones. I am a working actor, which is a miracle. And I'm in a big hit movie, which is fantastic. If The Mummy is the only thing I do then so be it."

The Mummy Returns was filmed in Morocco. So was the original film. But second time around, Vosloo was wise to the Moroccan ways. "I went prepared. I brought my own food cans of tuna. I just didn't want to get sick."

First time around, it had been a bumpy filming affair.

"You're standing on a six-storey high sand-dune and you have to do a shot and the sun is setting, but all you want to do is run for a port-a-potty." He makes a face as he relives his stomach-churning moments. For most of the two films, Vosloo stands around looking majestic, roaring and trying to come back to life. He spends a lot of the time in a tight loin cloth, throwing his hands up in the air, bellowing ancient Egyptian. And I noticed that there was not a hair in sight on Vosloo's body. For sure, his head is Yul Brynner bald, but even his armpits were bare. Vosloo told me how he suffered for his art.

"For the first movie, I bravely consented for this lovely Scottish girl, who is my make-up artist, to wax me. That happened one time. I yelled like a stuffed pig. It's beyond belief what you women go through. It's unreal."

For the sequel, Vosloo was shaved instead. "I'd stand there at 5.30 in the morning and they'd just shave my whole body including my head, chest, arms, legs, whatever."

"Whatever?" I ask.

He blushed but said, "When my wife would fly in from LA to be with me on set, she would complain that I was too prickly in the wrong places." Mum's the word says the Mummy.

* The Mummy Returns is showing nationwide

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