Written by and starring Mike Myers as the title character and his archenemy Dr. Evil, “Austin Powers” is a trilogy of American action-comedy films parodying spy movies. The general theme of the films involves Dr. Evil trying to extort large sums of money from governments or international bodies and being thwarted by Austin Powers or his own inexperience and lack of knowledge of culture in the 1990s. The films were received relatively well, with a combined worldwide box office of $676,356,278, and moderate to good reviews.
Let’s take a look at some facts from the film series that Daniel Craig said ruined James Bond.
27. Behind Every Hilarious Man is An Annoyed Woman
Mike Myers thought up the character when he heard Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love” on the car radio and wondered where the swingers of the world went to. He went home and asked his wife is she swung and if he was making her horny. She told him to shut up and turn it into a character. Three weeks later, he had the first draft of “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”
Anonymous former writers and actors from the legendary sketch show, “Saturday Night Live,” claimed that Dr. Evil was a spot-on impression of SNL overlord Lorne Michaels, including the famous upturned pinkie.
25. This One’s for the Nerds
The name of the muscle which extends the pink finger is the Exensor Digiti MINIMI. That’s right. Mini-Me.
24. A Simple Solution
Mike Myers originally wanted Jim Carrey to play the part of Dr. Evil, but Carrey was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with “Liar Liar”, so Myers decided to simply play the iconic character himself.
23. A Sphincter Says What?
Dana Carvey was angry at Myers for nearly two decades because he felt that Myers stole his Lorne Michaels impression for the character of Dr. Evil.
22. Double Dees
Elizabeth Hurley believed that Austin Powers was based on Simon Dee, the host of a popular BBC celebrity chat show, “Dee Time,” that ran in the late 1960s. Each episode ended with Dee driving off in a Jaguar with a blonde model, which, to be fair, is how they ended every TV show in the 1960s.
21. Regrets, I’ve Had a Few
Former SNL cast member Colin Quinn was offered the role of Dr. Evil’s son, Scott, but turned it down. He says he regrets it.
20. Who’s Line is it Anyway?
According to Myers, about 30 to 40% of the first film was improvised. These non-scripted scenes included Basil telling the audience not to think so hard about the logistics of time travel, the shushing scene, and that scene where Elizabeth Hurley got abducted by aliens. About 30% of this fact was also improvised.
19. Tragedy + Time = Comedy
One of Dr. Evil’s plans was to make it look like Prince Charles was having an affair to create a shocking royal divorce not knowing that Charles and Diana had already separated. However, “International Man of Mystery” was released five days after Diana’s death, so that part was removed. It was restored for the home video.
18. Hide Your Shame!
The cat that played Mr. Bigglesworth is actually named Ted Nude-Gent.
17. There’s a Difference
Starbucks agreed to be featured in “The Spy Who Shagged Me” after seeing the script and storyboards and realizing that they were not being portrayed as an evil empire, but just a business funded by an evil empire.
16. Dot Dot Dot Carpet
Some countries were uncomfortable with the word “shag” in the sequel’s subtitle. Singapore changed it to “The Spy Who Shioked Me,” where “shiok” means to “treat nicely.” Malaysia changed it to the “The Spy Who Dot-Dot-Dot Me.” Russia changed it to, “Spy? We Don’t Have Spies. You’re a spy!”
15. A Hole in Two
While golfing with Mike Myers, Rob Lowe did a spot-on impression of Robert Wagner (Plays Number Two). A couple of months later, he received a copy of the script for “The Spy Who Shagged Me” in which he was already cast in the role of young Number Two. Luckily for Myers and crew, Rob Lowe’s schedule was wide open.
14. Drop the Bass
Rob Lowe had actually already filmed a scene for the original film which ended up deleted. He played a friend of John Smith, the henchman who was decapitated by an ill-tempered mutated sea-bass, and was the one who had to deliver the sad news at Smith’s bachelor party.
12. Doubling Down
Each Austin Powers film cost twice as much as the one before to make with “Goldmember” topping out with a budget of $70 million. We’re looking forward to the fourth sequel with a budget of $280 million called “Austin Powers: The Man with the Diamond-Encrusted Platinum-Coated Chiseled from the Largest Emerald in the World Gun.”
11. Official Title
Myers’ chair on set said, “Sir Stinky Bottom, Viscount of Stinkvania in the Bottom-ic Empire.”
10. The Name Just Grabs You
The first sequel was originally named “Austin Powers 2: The Wrath of Khan,” until lawyers brought up this little thing called “copyright.”
9. Dr. Nuh-Uh
In 2002, New Line had to begin a recall of all the promotional material for “Goldmember” because MGM claimed that New Line was trying to profit off of their Bond franchise. They reached a deal where New Line was allowed to use the name but all future titles had to be approved by MGM if they were parodies of Bond titles.
8. Goldmember Uncut
The first cut of Goldmember was three and a half hours long which is approximately two hours too long for a comedy. Scenes that were cut included the return of Heather Graham’s Felicity Shagwell and Will Ferrell’s Mustafa.
7. Dutch Oven
Nigel Powers’ random hatred of the Dutch was inspired by Mike Myer’s actual father who hated the Hawaiians because “they bloody murdered Captain Cook in his sleep.” Which is actually untrue. Cook was wide awake and trying to kidnap a Hawaiian chief when he was stabbed, disemboweled, and then baked.
6. Farm Fresh
“Goldmember” was based on a Dutchman who appeared on an episode of the HBO docu-series “Real Sex” to discuss his erotic barn near Rotterdam.
5. Kick the Baby
The character of Mini-Me took quite a bit of on-screen punishment. Some of the times they used a dummy, but most of the time it was actor Verne Troyer, who actually broke into show business as a “stunt baby.”
4. Skin in the Game
Mindy Sterling, who played Dr. Evil’s paramour, was so disgusted by Goldmember’s habit (you know the one we’re talking about) that she forgot her lines.
3. Me Time
Because Myers plays so many of the characters, many of the group scenes are actually Myers playing with himself. Yeah, we know what we wrote.
2. He Likes to do Drawrings
There was supposed to be an Austin Powers cartoon. HBO had put in an order for 13 episodes. It was mysteriously scrapped before it ever aired. Man of Mystery indeed.
1. Shag Lady
Shortly before she found out she was cast as Felicity Shagwell, Heather Graham was so desperate for a role, that she was seriously considering taking a part in an adult movie. Thanks Mike Myers. Thanks a lot.