ORBzine - Tim Omundson [Saturday]
Tim opened with a well-timed pratfall.
He admitted that this was his first UK con - he was a virgin, and we should break him in gently.
Tim promised not to insult the British people by using a plummy upper-class English accent - and then went on to do an excellent imitation of one. He also imitated the stereotypical kind of redneck American tourists who usually visit the UK.
Americans get British accents from Monty Python. Brits get American accents from Jerry Springer.
Tim asked if there were children present, and promised to keep the swearing to a minimum. That Claire Stansfield has a mouth like a sewer, he joked.
How did you get the role of Eli?
How did you feel when you met Lucy and Renee?
Tim promised I'm going to get even. But I'm going to wait a while, until he's off guard. Maybe a couple of years. Maybe when he's in some foreign country ... say, Turkey. And just as he's going through customs he - or the customs officials - discover something in his luggage. Say, a kilo of heroin. Yeah, a few years in a Turkish jail should be about equal to what I went through.
How did you develop the idea of Eli's spirituality?
In the bible there is a gap in Jesus' life. We leave him aged 13, in the temple in Jerusalem, and we next see him aged 30. There is a theory that in the intervening years he travelled to the East. Tim insists that he is not saying Eli is meant to be Jesus! Tim heard that the Muslim holy book, the cabal ... the Koran! It contains similar ideas.
How did you feel about Eli's death scene?
This very theatrical old woman points at Gabrielle and shouts
She should be PUNISHED!
Tim's head was in Renee's lap, and he felt her shaking with laughter.
Type in another stars name and link them together!
Tim starts by saying Last night some people noted that I resemble Elvis. It must be the hair or something.
[Tim then does a passable Elvis impersonation]
Tim - Sorry if I'm a bit under the weather. I was at the bar last night, and apparently there's alcohol in bourbon.
How do you find the costume?
Tim hated the hat, but Rob Tapert loved it. If you watch very closely in The Ides of March Tim is wearing it when he gets captured. In the cells he take it off and put it in the bag, and then Xena comes in and rescues everyone. And oops, Tim left the bag in the cell! They start filming the next episode, and Rob Tapert tells Tim to put my hat on. And Tim tells him, he left in the cell. Rob, they'll KNOW!
The shoes were like big floppy circus-clown shoes.
They showed Tim Renee's new costume. Tim - Well, that'll work for ratings!
Is there a dream part you would like to play?
Tim got a theatre degree, but nobody thought to tell him it would be useless in California. He played Iago and Faust. When he started auditioning for TV he had to unlearn the theatre-craft. Tim would love to play James Bond, but he doesn't think that's ever likely. He's too old for Harry Potter - but what the hell, he can do shorter!
tell us about your role in Starship Troopers.
It was a terrible film - fascist crap.
[Editor - the fact it was a satire seems to have passed Tim by]
How much freedom were you given in developing the character yourself?
However, Tim was still at the mercy of the Director and the Editor. An example is in the episode Chakram. In the temple, as the final battle takes place, the final cut shows Ares putting his hand on Tim's shoulder and Tim giving Ares a harsh look in return. Tim wished they had shown the original cut, where he kicked Ares' ass! Eli punches Ares, headbutts him, kicks him - and Ares cries like a little girl! It made more sense to Tim that we would see Eli's fall, before he becomes Peace & Love boy.
Apparently Kevin Smith saw it, and thought he looked less manly. Kevin told Rob Tapert that people won't buy that Eli could kick my ass!. Tim looks at the audience - He's still in New Zealand, isn't he? If you ever repeat this, I'll deny it!
Cameraman shouts from the floor It's on video.
[Tim runs down from the stage and tries to grab the video cassette from the cameraman]
Tell us about the stage plays you did.
His Guild [SAG - Screen Actors' Guild] is on commercial acting strike.
The NZ Government bends over backwards to help the production company. They have to, because it provides hundreds of jobs.
Will you be back on the Xena show in Season 6?
Tim - It's nothing to do with the show, it's just my idea.
Tell us about the bungee jumping.
They took to this fairground machine, took him up to the top and strapped him into this thing. The operator smiled at him and said See you later, yankee asshole!
When he got down, Lucy asked Tim You wanna do it again? He did it 3 times in all.
Ever had slow times as an actor?
He realised that nobody hires bitter actors - they're not much fun on set. So he had an attitude adjustment. So I don't get a part? So what?
Why did you cut your hair and beard off?
What are your new projects?
How do you get on a TV show?
What other careers did you consider?
Have you done any sightseeing in London?
Have you ever considered using a pseudonym?
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