Interview: Arnold Vosloo

Life tends to get turned upside down in movies. Many respected British theatre actors cheerfully take their pay cheques and turn out for all kinds of Hollywood hokum, a far cry from their dusty theatrical roots.

And much the same is true of Arnold Vosloo, the South African born anti-hero of "The Mummy Returns". Back home he was a hard working theatre actor with a string of prestigious credits to his name, but now thanks to his performance as the evil Imhotep in "The Mummy" and this latest blockbusting sequel, he is known for something quite different.

"Oh it’s a relief to do movies," Vosloo smiles, "especially ones like this because you get to be like a little kid again and run around and play in this great adventure. I had a wonderful time."

Brought back to life once more, Imhotep not only has to battle his old foe Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) but an even older one in the form of the mighty Scorpion King. However audiences get a chance to see Imhotep’s softer side, as we realise the depth of his love for Anck-Su-Namun.

"I’m so thankful that all that stuff made it to the screen," the actor nods, "because a lot of the time studio executives say that there’s no time, or ask why we should feel sympathy for this bad guy".

"I joke that I’m the romantic lead in the movie, I just happened to pick the wrong girl. Imhotep is kind of the tragic villain, I guess, and a lot of people have come up to me and said I was hating you, but then I reach a point when I was feeling sorry for you too. It's those different facets that help explain why this film is such a success".