|Mike Myers sees similarities between what he does -- comedy -- and what hockey players do to stay at the top of their games.|
The film stars Myers as Guru Pitka -- Myers’ first original character since Austin Powers. Pitka is an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus. Eventually, he moves back to the United States to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality.
His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) and his estranged wife. After the split, Roanoke’s wife starts dating Los Angeles Kings star Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake) out of revenge, sending her husband into a major professional skid -- to the horror of the team’s owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) and coach Cherkov (Verne Troyer). Pitka must return the couple to marital nirvana and get Roanoke back on his game so the team can break the 40-year-old “Bullard Curse” and win the Stanley Cup.
Recently, NHL.com and other national media outlets took part in a conference call with Myers to discuss the movie, which features the exploits of his favorite team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, playing his favorite sport, hockey.
For Myers, The Love Guru project was also a chance to get to know some real-life NHLers better, including Los Angeles Kings’ defenseman Rob Blake, who had a small role in the movie.
Regardless, it was a chance to work with one of Myers’ heroes and it will be something he won’t soon forget.
“I get star struck when I see hockey players and I can’t talk, and I get tongue twisty,” he said. “I get … I revert. I become like an 8-year-old. So I,- when they were around, I just got quiet, you know what I mean?”
Despite his hero worship, however, he sees similarities between what he does -- comedy -- and what hockey players do to stay at the top of their games. Both disciplines require timing, training, energy, passion, and, of course, teamwork.
“I have an athlete’s approach to things because comedy is more athletic than the other acting disciplines, I feel,” Myers said. “I think it’s more -- you have to get psyched up for it. There’s teamwork. Everyone has to all pull in the same direction.”
But regardless of the similarities, Myers fully admits -- begrudgingly -- that he won’t ever skate a shift in the NHL. It was a dream he let go of reluctantly, and only a few years ago.
“But you know, I have to say, it’s only about five years ago that I gave up my dream of playing in the NHL,” he said. “It’s something that a Canadian man holds onto for a very long time, well past the appropriate age. You still think, you know, ‘if I trained for three weeks I could get in shape, I could still do it.’
“It’s only about five years ago that I consciously went, ‘Oh, I’m never going to play in the NHL.’”
Part of that admission could have been the inspiration for The Love Guru, which opens Friday in theaters across the country. Before that, however, be sure to check out the first edition of Myers’ podcast – found here – and the second edition, below.
The second edition of Myers’ podcast includes the following points:
* What he thinks of Mats Sundin, the long-serving captain of the Maple Leafs and the highest-scoring player in team history.
* What it was like to work with professional hockey players.
* What it was like to grow up in Toronto with the Leafs as his “hockey gods.”
Check out Myers’ second edition podcast here:
Mike Myers 1
Mike Myers 2