For the first time the Armageddon Expo headed to Adelaide, Australia bringing with them some big names and I was there, to bring you all the excitement! A great time was had, the guests were fantastic and they took some time out to have a chat with me over the weekend.
Marcella Papandrea: Hello John, thanks for taking the time out to talk to me. Welcome back to Australia!
John Rhys-Davies: Thank you it’s lovely being back in Australia, people here in Adelaide are very lovely and pleasant. They are easy people to get along with I find.
MP: Are you looking forward to the event?
JRD: Very much so, the reason I do these events is that I get to meet my audience, the audience that has well been paying the bills for the last forty years. When you’re out on stage you know who the audience is, the further you get away from live performance to television and then to film itself you have a different audience. It is important for actors to know the face of that audience. To see what appeals to people, this appeals to my younger audience and that appeals to my old audience. To see how smart these people are, and gosh I didn’t realize the effect I was having on people. It is often very humbling. It can be very critical (laughs) but often it is very cheery.
MP: I hope we all have fun tomorrow!
JRD: Oh yes, we will! This is a show for people who like these mediums, a chance for them to dress up, a day for the family to go out. A chance to meet all sorts of people, there is the lovely Karen Allen and Lance Henriksen, I think it’s divine.
MP: With your extensive career, do you have any personal favorite films or characters that you have played?
JRD: Well, it’s the most successful ones, they are the darlings that you create, and you become rather proud of them. I rather love Gimli, I think he’s a great character. I think Sallah from Raiders of the Lost Ark is perhaps like a cultural litmus of the time where one could have like a funny or loyal Arab sidekick. And I think the times have changed, with the American perception of that being possible. I think that is really why he wasn’t in Indiana Jones 4.
It’s very interesting because you know, there are cultural shifts that you can kind of mark on the film calendar. Like there was a time where the Brits became the bad guys, and then the South Africans became the bad guys and then they ceased to be the bad guys. You know, we always look for villains don’t we?
MP: Oh yes, they always change with the world’s current events.
JRD: It does in a way, it can be juvenile to me, but sometimes it acts as a market.
MP: It gets the audiences in the seats.
JRD: Yes that’s right my dear. But uh yes the real answer to that original question is well ‘What is my favorite part or film?’ the next one (laughs). You know you have to presume there is a next one. Some day there wont be you see, but it is all a part of life and it keeps things interesting.
MP: Well, hey, you’ll be leaving behind a very memorable legacy.
JRD: (Laughs) Why thank you. I’ll tell you what though I’ve had an awful lot of fun. I’ve had good fortune and good fellowships. I suppose one is reaching a point in ones life’s when one starts to look back and I’ve had a blast. And if this all ends tomorrow, if my career comes to a shattering end I really have no complaints. The boobs (mistakes) that were made, were made by me and I take full responsibility for them. The successes were often greatly helped by the generosity and kindness of a lot of people, for which I take full responsibility (laughs). It’s been a blast! And I don’t think it’s quite over yet.
MP: With that said, what was it like to do a James Bond film?
JRD: I have the fondest memories of it, fabulous! I love the Bond films, I’ve always seen every one of them in the theater as they come out. I’ve enjoyed all of them. I still think that Connery is the finest of them all, but that could be old prejudice You know all of us old enough to have seen Connery, probably do think he was the definitive one in a way. But there have been many fine Bonds, and I think the new guy is terrific. Absolutely terrific. But then there’s my friend Pierce Brosnan who I thought was an honorable Bond. He really worked hard at selling the franchise, you know he did a lot of work. I thought he was very honorable at that, he did well.
MP: Do you have any upcoming projects you are able to tell us about?
JRD: There are about three films I’ll possibly be doing this year, I really don’t want to talk about them because it is an area I am superstitious about (laughs). You start to talk about it and then it disappears. We are in times of such economic uncertainty that you know backers can’t see months down the road. So you know how it is, but there is one thing I am looking forward to this year is promoting a documentary series I did last year.
JRD: Oh yes, it’s on the King James Bible, it marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. You know it had such a huge influence on the English language, the American Constitution, on the way you and I speak now. It is not only the best drama documentary that I’ve ever been in but I think it is the best one I’ve ever seen. Even if you took me out of it I still think it would have been the best drama documentary I’ve ever seen. Absolutely riveting, fascinating and so informative. What it took to make this book at the time, there is so much history that surrounds it. You know this got produced and it got largely ignored in its lifetime and it then slowly began to work its magic over those decades and centuries past. It’s wonderful.
MP: Sounds fantastic, I look forward to it.
JRD: Oh yes please do see it when you can, it is called the King James Version. Brilliantly done by a marvelous Scottish based filmmaker, and he has just used every resource that he could. He wrote a brilliant script and raised money to make it, it is just magical. It is an hour spent in a realm of excitement and pleasure. Just wonderful.
MP: Thank you so much for your time John, appreciate it very much.
JRD: My pleasure madam, it was wonderful speaking with you.
John Rhys-Davies was certainly a fan favorite at the Armageddon Convention, he took the time to meet and chat with every fan that approached him. He is a lovely person, and one of the many reasons why this Convention is so fantastic and successful. I’d like to thank John for coming out to Australia with his family and spending time with us all and making the event amazing.