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KARL URBAN -- Q&A
By Tina Mancuso [114-139]
(1811 Words)







KARL [114]
THE QUESTIONS & ANSWERS [115-139]





A NOTE ON MY GUEST SUMMARIES: This is as complete a summary of the Q&A periods as I can manage. I will not attempt to transcribe, but I will quote especially funny things the guests said occasionally. It's hard to convey this without voice inflection or facial expression, so keep in mind that about 90% of some guests' (Hudson and Danielle especially) answers were meant to be flippant or sarcastic -- they've great senses of humor! Anything that's in quotation marks is a direct quote.





Karl

Karl Urban
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull


[114] Like Danielle Cormack, Karl had a long flight to get to Cherry Hill, and was pretty jet-lagged, as he explained when he got out on stage. He seemed totally at ease and appeared to be enjoying himself immensely. On entering the stage, he mentioned a scene where he (as Caesar) kissed Lucy, and if you look very closely, you can see that "I'm connected to Lucy by a strand of saliva." How charming! (Yes, I do plan to look for that one when I re-watch DESTINY [36/212].)

Karl Urban
Photo courtesy of Debbie Cassetta


The Questions & Answers

[115] The first person at the mike asked whether Caesar ever loved Xena. "Oh, for maybe 15 minutes he did." He thinks Caesar was intrigued by Xena. The next person wanted to know the difference between Caesar and Cupid; he responded by giving his interpretation of the way each of them stands. Kind of a "you had to be there" moment, as it was very visual!

[116] Someone asked whether Karl's been to Hooters yet. "I've seen Hooters -- no pun intended!" But he said he's never been there, and they don't have them in New Zealand.

[117] Asked what his favorite Elvis song is, Karl sang, "I'm caught in a trap / I can't walk out / Because I love you too much baby" in a very good Elvis impression.

[118] Someone asked if he always wanted to be an actor; he said yes, he did. So he did the logical thing -- "I worked in a cafe." He never took acting classes; he got "on-the-job experience." He said he had the New Zealand attitude -- say you can do something, and by the time they find out you can't do it, it's too late!

[119] A woman in a Xena costume came to the mike and said, "About my legs..." (referring to Caesar's breaking the crucified Xena's legs in DESTINY) This got a laugh from Karl and the audience.

[120] What's his favorite role -- Cupid, Caesar, or Maell (from ALTARED STATES [19/119])? This, he said, is like asking who's your favorite son or daughter. He sarcastically said that his favorite part of playing Cupid is wearing the wings. He has to get up at 3:00 am to put them on. The first time he went to the makeup trailer at three in the morning, two suspicious looking guys, "one of them had a beard," were there to meet him. They asked him to take off his shirt and bend over. So he was standing, bent over, hands against the wall, for two hours -- "not a position I like to be in!" -- while the wings were put on. As for Caesar, Karl said he likes that Caesar is subtle, while Cupid lives off his emotions and has the mind of a 17-year-old. Caesar is calculated and manipulates every situation to his advantage.

Karl Urban
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull


[121] Someone asked what other character -- male or female -- on XENA would he play if he could? "Callisto!" (Someone called out, "Argo!" What's this obsession with Argo these fans seem to have?)

[122] Asked if public recognition bothers him, he said that New Zealanders are a lot more reserved than Americans (but quickly says, "I love your country!" in case he's offended any of us), so he doesn't get much of that at home. He said that the public recognition is part of the job, and without the fans he wouldn't have a job, so he's very grateful for us.

[123] As for the future of Caesar, Karl is looking forward to where he can take the character. He said he'd like to see Caesar and Xena team up to fight a common enemy. (No, he was not giving spoilers, only saying what he'd like to see.) He told an amusing story of introducing himself at a read-through (where the actors get together to read through a script for the first time) -- everyone introduces him or herself and says what character s/he plays; he said, "Hi, I'm Karl, I play Xena." He talked a little about improvisation, and said that he and Alex [Tydings, Aphrodite] reworked the opening scene to FOR HIM THE BELL TOLLS [40/216] and got yelled at by Eric Gruendemann for changing the scene. But some of their changes did get used.

[124] Someone asked how old Karl is; he's 26. Didn't catch his birthday, though he did say it. Is he single? He said that's a long story, but he is seeing someone.

[125] Did he do research for Caesar? Yes; he read a bio of Julius Caesar and the Shakespeare play. He was astounded at the feats Caesar accomplished in his lifetime, but he thinks of his character not as the Caesar from history, but as sort of an amalgam of the different Caesars.

[126] He talked a bit about how much fun he has on the set, especially working with Lucy. He mentioned a scene where Lucy, off-camera, was supposed to say something like, "So, Julius, you're not as smart as you thought you were." Instead, she said, "So, d*ckhead, you're not as smart as you thought you were." She remained completely composed while delivering the line, though of course he lost it. Along the same lines, someone asked if he ever pulled any pranks as a kid. He told the story of a college chemistry class where he discovered that iron filings mixed with sulfuric acid produced the most pungent stench. So he moved it to someone else's table; they moved it to another table, and so on until it got to the front of the room. The teacher smelled it and got really mad; everyone in the class got into trouble except for Karl.

Karl Urban
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull


[127] Was he ever hurt filming XENA? He talked about a scene where there were some explosions that were done by using liquid alcohol. The effects guys said not to worry -- just don't get too close and he'd be fine. So he got hit in the face with one of the flaming bits. "Hey guys, got a problem!"

[128] How does he prepare to play different characters? "I get up in the morning... and I drive to work." He said he doesn't do any real preparation; music sometimes helps, and getting into the character's costume helps him get into the mood.

[129] He's not sure when Cupid will be back on either show; he hasn't done any episodes other than Caesar ones and hasn't seen any scripts that call for Cupid.

[130] Someone asked about his American accent, complimenting him on it and saying she had no idea he wasn't American until today (neither did I -- he really does do the California accent well). He said he got it from watching TV. He did a Long Island accent, and quoted the song that goes, "Here she comes just a-walkin' down the street singing doo-wa-diddy-diddy-dum-diddy-do" and asked, if someone was walking down the street singing that, would YOU talk to her?

[131] He talked a bit about having recently done a stage production of the Shakespeare play JULIUS CAESAR; he played Marc Antony, not the title role. He said that was especially hard because the part is so well-known. He joked about doing the big "friends and countrymen" speech, and said that was nerve-wracking because everyone knows it -- he expected an audience member to shout out, "You missed a word!"

[132] Does he watch XENA? Yes, but it's on at 8:30 Friday nights, when he's out having fun. His favorite episodes are A DAY IN THE LIFE [39/215] and STRANGER IN A STRANGE WORLD [64/405].

Karl Urban
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull


[133] The next fan told Karl that he should have heard was the previous person had been planning on asking him. Karl put the girl on the spot and kept asking what she had been going to ask, until she said, "Boxers or briefs?" He pulled up the waistband of his underwear (they were black) and said he usually wears boxers, or nothing at all. That got some of the female audience members excited!

[134] Someone then asked Karl if he could tell us about his Caesar episodes for next season. He said no, he signed a contract saying he wouldn't; if he says anything, "Robert Tapert will break my neck." Asked about his costume preferences on the show, he said he doesn't like togas; he prefers Caesar's warrior look.

[135] Someone mentioned the scene in A COMEDY OF EROS [46/222] where Joxer goes off to find Cupid. Joxer appears in a doorway and tells Xena, "I found him!" and holds up Cupid's arm. The fan wanted to know what was up with that. Karl explained that he hadn't been wearing the wings that day, so a full shot of him was impossible. So, they just filmed his arm.

[136] The next fan, whom I'd met and talked with a bit the previous day, asked Karl to do a line from A COMEDY OF EROS. Once he figured out which line she wanted, he did it: "What's your name, little girl?" She said, "Gabrielle" (which really is her name, though she says no one ever believes her when she tells them). Karl then asked (in the Cupid voice), "How old are you?" Gabrielle, playing along, asked if he wanted her to tell the truth or lie. He said (still as Cupid), "Lie!"

[137] Someone then asked whether he had auditioned for the role of Caesar, since he played Cupid first. He said that Tapert had asked him to audition after seeing him as Cupid. And of course, when the executive producer asks you to audition for another part, you don't say no!

[138] The next fan said there was a rumor going around about him, WarriorCon, and sheep. Karl said he was in Dupont Circle (in a lispy voice) and they found a shop that sold all sorts of odd things, and Karl bought a sheep. Kevin (he didn't say which Kevin) thought it was a deer and called it Argo.

[139] The final question was what does Karl like to do in his spare time. He said he likes to drive, and that after this con he was going to New York City, then to the Grand Canyon -- he wanted to see our country. He said that the guy at the rental car agency said Karl was the only person they'd ever seen who ordered a rental car by its engine size -- "I want a V8!"

Karl Urban
Photo courtesy of Kimberly Dull




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