Now that almost 20 years have passed since we were given the last installment of the Austin Powers movies, we’re becoming worried that the world is beginning to forget the monumental scope of Mike Myers’ greatest contribution to cinema. Actor and comedian Lisa Gilroy, thankfully, continues to carry the torch. She understands that the Austin Powers trilogy tells a timeless story—one characterized as much by a guy dancing around in Union Jack underwear and making dick jokes as by the heart-wrenching details of a Brand X Ernst Blofeld’s family life.
Gilroy tweeted a video of her plumbing the emotional depths of the first movie, writing that her “acting teacher told us to perform a dramatic monologue from any movie and I did mine from Austin Powers and no one noticed.” Watch as she inhabits the tortured soul of Dr. Evil, performing his therapy session speech with the gravitas it deserves. Gilroy looks sadly into the camera as she describes her character’s father, a man who would “womanize,” “drink, make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark,” and “accuse chestnuts of being lazy.” The pain is clear in her face when she resumes her story, telling us that her childhood was filled with luge lessons, springs spent making meat helmets, and acts of discipline that included being “placed in a burlap sack and beaten with reeds.”
We’re impressed by how fully Gilroy slips into the role of Dr. Evil. But, even more than that, we’re concerned with the possibility than anyone could have forgotten the substance of this monologue in the first place. Are our cultural memories really so short that they’ve already shrugged off this fantastic work? And what are children being taught in schools these days that there isn’t space in the curriculum for learning about and treasuring the great works of art?
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