We've seen you in Jurassic Park III, The Dish and Dirty Deeds
in a short period. Are you the busiest man in showbiz?
I wish. But I've always said, "You can never work an
actor too hard." Most of the time we just sit around in comfortable chairs
dissing other actors, or trying to get our tiny heads around a crossword.
Had you worked with Bryan before?
Yes, we worked on The
Umbrella Woman... But we've been friends for 25 years or something
The two of you had
giggle fits doing Dirty Deeds scenes together.
I find Bryan an
endless source of amusement. [Long pause] I say that cryptically. [Wicked
The Dish and Dirty Deeds
are both set in the Swinging '60s.
Yes, but Dirty Deeds
was the first time I've worn a pork-pie hat in a film and the first, and
probably last, time that I've got to use the F-word.
It seems you're a
G-rated guy, then, except for those spooky Omen
Yes, you can safely turn me on at 7.30 and I won't cause
offence. Except in this film-there were no holds barred, as far as I could
Where were you in
1969, the year in which Dirty Deeds
I was a callow student.
Not wearing pork-pie
hats then ...
No, certainly not. [Laughs] But I remember my father had
You in that pork-pie
hat-it reminded me of Alwyn Kurts in that great old Australian TV drama
Well, there are certain wardrobe similarities. Those drab
suits, the narrow ties.
You've been vocal
recently about genetic modification of food in New Zealand.
I feel that we are being rushed into something. No-one's been
able to prove to me that releasing genetically modified organisms into the
environment is 100 per cent safe. And it's clear that very few people want to
eat potatoes that are part toad or tomatoes that are part fish. Why grow stuff
people don't want to eat?
You're a winemaker in
Zealand. Your Two Paddocks pinot noir can be bought at the Ivy restaurant in London for 60 quid.
Oh, my God. That's rather a lot of money, isn't it? But then
again, it's a rather wonderful wine.
How is the
wine-making going? I read you had a frost.
That's the thing about growing wine. Every season is an
adventure. One thing we have a lot of in New
Zealand is weather and everything and
anything can happen. We have frosts and floods, you name it, but that makes it
interesting. We're about to start our seventh vintage and it's been much more
rewarding than I could have imagined.
In Perfect Strangers, the movie you're
working on with Rachael Blake, you playa dead guy with whom she falls in love.
It sounds like Weekend at Bernie's meets Misery.
[Much guffawing] I would say, in all fairness, it's quite
not like anything you've seen before.
Are you playing a
dead guy? Yes or no.
or may not be dead at some point or another.
Kevin Costner played
a corpse in The Big Chill and ended up on the cutting room floor.
Well, I'm part producer on this film so they can't just
shred me at will. Plus, if they cut me out, it would be a rather short film.
I'm in virtually every scene.