marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (twanky blue)
Over at Dogged Blog, the first con report I've seen about Michael Hurst and his wife Jennifer Lealand at the Xena con in Burbank last weekend. (This was a Creation Con, i.e. 'pay $70 to have your picture taken with Renee O'Connor'. Gleep.)

This is a great, nicely detailed con report (the rest of the report starts here and she also has an entry about Xena in concert) and this bit cracked me up:
Asked about the origin of "Frock Day," which is a NZ theater tradition rooted, he says, in boredom. The women get all dolled up and the men wear dresses and makeup, just in the morning. At lunch you change, and no one talks about it, other than to say "nice frock."
And Hurst says he'll appear as the Widow Twanky next year, as long as she gets an invitation. Hee.

ETA: Here's another con report with pictures from [ profile] katbaggins, including details about the cabaret in which Michael and Jennifer appeared. Also check out her gorgeous pic-taken-with-Hurst and her hand-knitted I ♥ Twanky pin, people. Woo!

ETA2: A short con report with pictures from [ profile] keltcrogue, with a nice pic of Michael and Jennifer at their Q&A.

ETA3: A whole slew of convention pics on Ausxip, with lots of Michael and Jennifer.

If you see more con reports and/or pictures, please link me!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (woot!)
Gacked from [ profile] cyloran: A 1994 beer commercial for a New Zealand beer called Lion Red, with Michael Hurst in the starring role, now up on YouTube.

This is just hysterical. I keep watching it, and it keeps putting a mad grin on my face. Just. HEE.

The song is all about how Lion Red is a beer for real New Zealanders, being for 'red blooded blood brothers' (who have all got 'different mothers' or is it 'different others?') but the imagery is so over the top macho it turns into camp, what with Michael strutting in his working man's shirt and jeans mesmerizing an entire bar, the huge pool players trying to intimidate him, the guitar-swinging girls straight out of Robert Palmer's Addicted To Love video, the singing 'mothers' in the portrait who are all transvestites (and that's Michael Hurst in the middle doing a Twanky, I'm almost sure).

And then there's the moment where he goes 'And there's a little lion on the label! Yeah!' and jumps in the air, cut to a shot of the label with the lion rampant. Heeee. (Also, I keep thinking that they should have flipped the shot of Michael jumping, horizontally, so it would line up with the lion more. *cough* This is what vidding does to ya.)

ETA: You can save this video (and anything else you fancy) off YouTube with KeepVid. The only catch is that it saves to a special format (FLV), and you will need the free FLV player to play it. I just tried this out, and it worked fine.
ETA 2: [ profile] mmapmaker pointed out that you could just use VLC player instead, which is the best allround player out there, and also free.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (Default)
I do so love Michael Hurst and his improbable celebrity star turns - over here, he's only known (if at all) as the blond who played Iolaus in Hercules, over in New Zealand he's the kind of celebrity actor/director who is asked to host television shows, open festivals and present things like hairdressing award galas.

What does one wear to a hairdressing award gala, besides pretty hair?

If you're Michael Hurst, the answer is red velvet and thigh-high red platform boots. Or plasterer's stilts. I love this picture most of all - the pose, the pleased look on his face. Heeee.

In other HtLJ related news, [ profile] masteralida, writing as Sierra, has put her Hercules stories back on the web.

In non-related news, I picked up Mary Renault's The Charioteer and am reading it for the first time. I've read all her Greek novels, but not the modern ones, and so far it's fascinating and a little sad. Someone please tell me, does this one have a happy ending? Illogically, I don't want to go hunt spoilers or look at the back of the book, but I still want to know.

ETA: Dorinda nobly told me just as much as I wanted to know (i.e., she didn't tell me who ends up with whom. Hee). Yay!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (sooty Iolaus by dbw)
If you want to see Michael Hurst in the New Zealand children's TV series Maddigan's Quest, you can either catch it on the BBC at 4:30 PM Mon-Thurs, or you can watch the first episode from the main website. It's a Flash site, so navigation is a bit tricky. Click on 'Enter Site', then click on the Maddigan's Quest logo at the top, then on 'Watch episode 1', and you'll get a choice of small and large files to watch. I wouldn't recommend it if you're on dialup, though.

If you click on 'Fantasia Campfire' you'll get short bios and videos of the main characters. Click on 'Pursuers' Camp' for a bio and video of the bad guys, including Michael Hurst.

Michael Hurst plays an evil, blackhaired android called Maska, and he appears for a short bit in part II of the first episode. I admit I haven't been watching the BBC eps, mostly because I'm just not organized to record a daily series on VCR anymore, and a little because I am shallow and want Hurst to play a swordwielding circus troupe character instead. Maska looks a little too much like Dahak.

Lots of familiar faces in that first episode - the actress who played the Amazon Ephiny on Xena has a major role. I'm pretty sure Yves is the thief in the Hercules episode A Star To Guide Them, and I think the big bald guy played at least one giant or strongman on Hercules.


Jul. 9th, 2005 11:14 pm
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (iolaus explains by dbw)
From Corfu, that is. Lovely, hot, lazy and occasionally adventurous, quite apart from the bit where I discovered what happens when you go down a very steep hill on a mountainbike and you squeeze the hand brakes too hard.

I doubt I'll be able to read back to wherever I was on my friendslist two weeks ago, though I'll check up a bit, but if there is anything you think I might like to know about, please do comment. In the meantime, I'll be over at [ profile] hxyh_challenge, indulging in the challenge responses posted.

While I'm clearing out my inbox, here's a link to an article in the New Zealand Herald about The Duchess of Malfi, in which Michael Hurst plays Bosola - there's a picture of him in character.
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (goodday)
Here's the short version: Michael Hurst has been awarded a Queen's Birthday Honour and is to become an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to film and theatre.

[ profile] ltlj has posted the long version, with explanations of what this honour means, sent in by Bith, a New Zealand Iolaus fan. She is collecting congratulatory messages from fellow fans and will send them on to Mr. Hurst. Her addres is
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (beefcake)
I am not feeling very organized, or indeed sentient, and am also very behind on self-imposed Things I Should Be Doing, like rec posts for [ profile] herc_iolaus, writing and vidding and ugh, cleaning house, so instead I'll throw up some random thoughts on the Hercules season 5 DVDs. Screencaps to follow, I think. Anything that doesn't require a brain seems like a worthwhile undertaking right now. Hmm. Icons? *g*

- I found a small Easter Egg on the first of the season 5 discs (any version, not necessarily Best Buy). Put the disc in, wait til the main menu comes up, then go through the navigation options until nothing is selected. There are links to three episodes, a Gallery, a Weblink and a mysterious dot that turns out to link to the credits - you want none of these highlighted. When you have succesfully selected nothing at all, press enter, or play, or whatever button seems appropriate, and you'll get an outtake followed by some dailies with and without blue screen effects. As far as I know, there are no Easter Eggs on any of the other season sets, but I've not searched for them exhaustively. If you know of any, tell me!

- On the Stranger and Stranger commentary, Paul Robert Coyle talks about what they originally had planned for this episode. It's true, some of the shots make a lot more sense when you know they were intended to be 3-D. You also have to wonder what Tapert was smoking, but never mind. And then there's the whole Pregnant!Sovereign thing I talked about earlier. Eeek. I was fascinated to learn that there was talk of setting part of this episode in the parallel Underworld, and that AU!Strife had the role of Hades there as King of the Underworld (what with being dead and everything, he seemed suitable, as Coyle says). I would have loved to see that.

- On the CD-Rom included with the set, the only interesting bit I could find are the production notes and call sheets for several episodes in .pdf format, under 'Extras'. Unfortunately, they've created some kind of shell for these which makes them extremely difficult to navigate. But if you just look at the contents of the CD-Rom in your file browser, you'll find the complete .pdf file in the folder media>scripts, called script01.pdf. It doesn't contain any scripts, though, just notes, but some of those are fascinating:
"IOLAUS 2 - Michael Hurst and Bruce request discussion and clarification of the Iolaus 2 character ie. he will now be Hercules' new sidekick for episodes to come. What is he like? What bonds them other than the fact that he looks like dead Iolaus? Should he be less whining, complaining, bumbling?"
- I still foolishly want the Best Buy extra for this season, even though I know it'll be lame. My trade offer is still open.

- I didn't notice this before, but in Greece Is Burning, Michael Hurst plays another role beside the Widow Twanky. He's only on screen for half a minute, but it's unquestionably him - even though he's listed in the credits as 'Billy Wagstaff'. (Sounds like a pun on Shakespeare to me. *eg*) Also, while Hercules is building up the stage for Twanky's show, he lifts a block of stone with a bas-relief depicting a blonde, blue-eyed man in a purple vest with a manaia in his hands...
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (hand)
Here's a lovely interview with Michael Hurst in the New Zealand Herald, which opens with the line "Michael Hurst likes playing with his breasts."

Yup, Twanky's back, but this is stage Twanky, the real pantomime Dame, starring in Hurst's stage production of Jack And The Beanstalk, and the picture next to the article shows just how different she is from Twanky in H:tLJ, who was probably more a mix of panto dame and drag queen. Hurst talks a bit about the differences too, and I love this quote:

As Hurst has already pointed out, his Twankey is channelling his mum, who is now dead. "Twankey has a lot of earthy practicality and a lot of the stuff I do comes from the sayings my mother had: if a cup of tea was cold, it was stone plonk, if it was too weak, maiden's water."
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (serpent)
I would so go have dinner with Michael Hurst. And it's for a good cause, too. I mean, an even better one.

In completely unrelated and infuriating news, Verizon has been blocking all email from Europe since December. Their rationale? It might be spam. Like about 98% of the mail I get from the US isn't spam? Graaaaargh. Morons. (Thanks to [ profile] therienne for the heads-up; now I know why some of my mail has been coming back to me...)
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (bar)
I'm screencapping Two Men And A Baby, and I keep rewatching Iolaus. Doing...

Well. Doing this. (.avi, 194 Kb, it's a short clip. DivX 5.1 codec.)
ETA: If you have trouble playing the file linked to above, please try this version instead. (.avi, 1.490 Kb, Cinepak)

He's just fought a bunch of goons while floating in the air, and I think the idea is that it's left him a little unbalanced. (There is a telekinetic baby halfgod involved. Aren't you glad you asked?) However, a more likely explanation is that Michael Hurst is a loon. *g*
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (animatedtwankey)
Michael Hurst is writing and directing another panto, over in Auckland - and he's playing the Dame, of course.
From the team that brought you AK03’s wildly successful children’s theatre production, Aladdin, comes Michael Hurst’s latest creation, Jack and The Beanstalk. Hailed by the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet as a much awaited literary masterpiece, Jack and The Beanstalk will thrill you with its thrills, stun you with the things that stun people and amaze you with amazing things that go ping! (...) Will feature the much anticipated return of that erstwhile darling of the stage door johnnies The Widow Twankey in the role of Jack’s mum, Mrs. Sidebottom.

I love how this time, Mrs. Edith Sidebottom is the character name and The Widow Twankey is the actress. Also, 'amazing things that go ping!' and 'darling of the stage door johnnies' makes me grin. I wonder who wrote the blurb...
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (herccarriesiolausbydbw)
Just heard from Bith on the GoldApple list that Michael Hurst will not be appearing at the Autographmania Herc/Xena con in London in 2005, due to other work commitments. I see he has now been taken off the guest list at the con site, too, and there's an email from him there:
My apologies but unfortunately I have to withdraw from the convention we spoke of due to work commitments. I will be directing for a television series January through April, as well as performing in a theatre production in February.
All the best with it!

Many many thanks to all the people who gave me sensible advice when I posted about the con earlier, and told me not to book tickets too early.
Frankly, after the horror stories surrounding the LoTR con this outfit put on, I'm relieved. I would love to see Michael, but I'd much rather save my dinars and go see a play of his in NZ sometime. I hope. I wish. *eg*

OTOH, this means I now have no excuse for not attempting the 10 km run which our trainer is pushing for, in that same weekend in 2005. Eeeek. (For the record: the most I've done so far is 35 minutes in a very slow tempo, and I have no idea of distance yet. 10 km is at least an hour, I think. And it's a race, so probably tortoise-like waddling is not encouraged. And...eeek!)

In happier news, [ profile] erinslashslut has started [ profile] hxyh_announce, a community for announcing new fic, art or poetry in the Hercules, Young Hercules or Xena universe. Gen, het, slash and femslash are all welcome. Go join and spread the word!
marycrawford: 13 hour clock icon (position)
Ages and ages ago, I promised [ profile] barbaraa to make some screencaps of Michael Hurst and Kevin Sorbo from the interviews on the Hercules: the Legendary Journeys fourth season DVD set. I intended to make two or three, but I never know when to stop when making screencaps, so there are fourteen. *g*

The guys seem a bit uncomfortable, stuck there behind that little table, and Kevin Sorbo never really stops looking tired, but in the last few caps Michael Hurst is acting out what it was like to both act in and direct One Fowl Day while wearing big teeth, big flappy shoes, sacks and a whole lot of mud, not to mention being shackled to Autolycus. The whole bit makes me laugh much more than that terrible episode ever did, and you can see Kevin Sorbo cracking up too.

I'm not linking to them from my site, BTW, so grab 'em from here if you want them. (I just feel weird and uncomfortable about putting up screencaps of the actors on a site devoted to the fictional characters they're portraying.)

14 large Hurst & Sorbo screencaps ahead )

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