What has Mike Myers been up to? Painting KFC's Col. Sanders. Seriously.
A decade ago, Mike Myers was ubiquitous. Audiences had embraced his role as the zany, sex-fueled '60s spy Austin Powers, and the actor's face -- and his character's popular catchphrases, like 'Ya, baby!' -- were everywhere.
But since his 2008 film, "The Love Guru," bombed at the box office, the comedian has kept a low profile. He made a small-but-memorable cameo as Gen. Ed Fenech in last year's "Inglourious Basterds" and has worked behind the scenes as the voice of the lovable ogre Shrek.
But with the "Shrek" franchise coming to its supposed end with "Shrek Forever After," we wondered what Myers' next big career move might be. And much like many of his fans, we wanted to know what the guy's been up to.
Well, painting Col. Sanders, for one thing.
In an interview last week, Myers told us he's "kind of obsessed" with the Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, of whom he has now done about 15 different oil paintings.
"There's no chicken in the paintings," he said. "It's just not a subject that usually has serious portraiture applied to it. Now, he's just a two-dimensional person, and it just tickled me to paint him."
(We asked the actor's publicist whether he'd let us share an image of one of his paintings here on the blog, but she said he'd prefer to keep them "private.")
Still, it's not all paint and no work. Myers, who lives in New York City, described himself as "very meat and potatoes," putting in eight hours at his office each day. He wouldn't tell us what project he's specifically planning next, though he did say another "Austin Powers" is in the queue.
"I like to write and create, and that takes a long time," he said. "At my core, I make things. When it's time for things, they come out. I love not quite knowing what's next."
-- Amy Kaufman (Twitter.com/AmyKinLA)
Photo: (Top) Mike Myers at the Four Seasons. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times.
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