From Dr. Evil to Goldmember to surly Scotsman Fat Bastard to Austin himself, Mike Myers tends to hog the funnier roles in the “Austin Powers” series. But if “Powers” costar Seth Green is bitter existing in the multiple comic shadows that Myers casts, he isn’t showing it.
“I can’t imagine anybody not feeling fortunate [to be a part of 'Austin Powers'],” Green said. “I’ve had a really blessed path the last six or seven years, things have been really, really great. And I just work really hard to take advantage of the opportunities that I get and be responsible to that.”
Seth’s “blessed path” began in the early ’80s, when as a child he started landing bit parts on TV and in commercials. His career really took flight in 1997, when he surfaced as guitar-playing teen werewolf Oz on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Thanks to the restrained cool, dry humor and laid-back, easygoing charm he brought to “Buffy,” Green found himself adored by the teen set when he was well into his 20s. Larger roles in “Idle Hands,” “Can’t Hardly Wait” and the first two “Austin Powers” films followed. (Click here for photos ).
“There was a great ease that came with this one,” Green said of reprising his role as Dr. Evil’s son, Scott, for “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” the series’ third installment. “Everyone was familiar with everyone and comfortable. We just played and had a lot of fun. I think it shows in the movie. The movie is very silly and very funny. … You can tell everybody is having a great time.”
In the latest “Austin Powers,” Scott Evil starts to take on some of his father’s qualities despite having spent the first two movies avoiding the Evil family’s legacy of, well, evil. Accordingly, as he becomes more like his Dad, he starts to go a bit … bald.
“I just love playing with Mike,” Green said. “He’ll let you be funny, he’ll make you funnier. The first time [Dr. Evil] sees my hair is falling out, we just improvised it. I’m turned away and he just starts reaching toward me and I just look back to him and he looks away. We did it like eight times, ’cause the first time was off-the-cuff, and we just kept trying to refine [and] plan out the spontaneity.”
Green has had a chance to refine both his comedic and his dramatic chops lately, starring opposite some hand puppets in the Fox series “Greg the Bunny” and with Vin Diesel in the forthcoming mobster wannabe tale “Knockaround Guys.” Last month he finished work on “Party Monster,” where he plays “Disco Bloodbath” author James St. James. Seth’s character is based on a real person — a friend of notorious New York nightclub promoter Michael Alig (played by Macaulay Culkin in the movie), who murdered his drug-dealer roommate.
In a month or so, Green said he’s going to start working on “The Italian Job” with “a bunch of cool people” — including Edward Norton (“Fight Club”), former rapper Mark Wahlberg (“Rock Star”), current rapper Mos Def (“Bamboozled”), and Charlize Theron (“The Astronaut’s Wife”).
Green pursues a wide variety of roles because he’s a fan of a wide variety of films himself, from “Die Hard” to “Ghost World” to “Wet Hot American Summer.” And if “Goldmember”‘s sidesplitting conclusion is any indication, he’ll be back for another round of “Austin Powers.”
“Austin Powers in Goldmember” opens July 26.