Published on December 15th, 2016 | by admin
The Legendary Interview with Kevin Sorbo (Andromeda the Complete Series)
With Andromeda the Complete Series just being released here in Australia that boasts all five seasons with a ‘herculean’ running time of 4500 minutes and 30-discs, Impulse Gamer caught up with the legendary man himself, actor Kevin Sorbo who played Captain Dylan Hunt in this amazing Gene Roddenberry sci-fi series.
Welcome to Impulse Gamer Kevin and thanks for being part of Andromeda the Complete Series launch here in Australia! So tell us how you became involved in Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda?
Thanks for having me! It was while I was still involved on Hercules and we were talking about going to seasons 8, 9 and 10 when I got a call from Majel who was Gene Roddenberry’s wife. She told me that Gene had written a show after the original Star Trek series had finished in 1969 and I’m a huge fan of the Star Trek series so I just said ‘sold’, I’m in <laugh>. She then sent me the pilot script and I read it, made a few notes and we got the ball rolling.
When I got the role, I went to his house in Los Angeles and his wife Majel kept his room exactly like it was when he passed away way back in 1992 so I got to sit at his desk and look at the work he still had on there. It was pretty amazing to sort of feel the vibe of that man because he worked there. Trust me, he loved the sci-fi world but there’s more work there. Who knows what Paramount or his son Rod have planned but I’ve heard rumours that he might be doing another series.
This current box set of Andromeda boasts all five seasons, is it true that more were planned?
We were meant to have a 7-year run but the tribune company that owned us out of Chicago went into bankruptcy and it certainly wasn’t from Andromeda because it was a number one show like Hercules was for seven years. So Stargate never beat us in the ratings yet they got a 10-year run and we got cancelled after 5 that was the only disappointment for me there because we would have had seven years for sure because of the fans.
I’m glad the fans can now finally see this on DVD as a set because it’s long overdue.
You played Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda, what did you enjoy about playing this character?
With Hercules, he’s going to win every fight which was why we made it fun and comical so people could laugh with it. With Dylan, here’s a guy who has more characters around him. It wasn’t just my sidekick Iolaus (Michael Hurst) and I because in Andromeda we had seven people in the cast. So what I liked about it was the intrigue with all the different storylines, especially out of seven different characters and the drama that could be created. Sure you could have all the fun and comedy that went with it like Hercules but I liked that I had the opportunity to do a more dramatic role with Dylan who is also flawed and not perfect which is great from an actor’s point of view.
Given the timelines between both series with Hercules set in the past and Andromeda in the distant future, what was that like?
What’s interesting about the future is that some people say that will never happen in the future but you don’t know that won’t happen. I mean if you look at Star Trek which was back in the 60’s, the communication devices that they used are our cell phones today. So you can really go any direction with the future because you don’t know what it may bring and I found that exciting to play in a world that hasn’t been created yet.
Can you tell us what you brought to the character of Dylan Hunt?
A lot of it was in the writing and Gene Roddenberry left a 5-year bible behind about the show. I think every actor brings a little bit of themselves into what role they are playing as there is always a piece of them in the character. With Hercules, I always wanted to find a comedy moment but with Dylan, it’s a more serious way of storytelling.
When I left Hercules there was about four months between the series and when Andromeda started which led me to two things that I never thought I would do in my life. On Hercules, I was pretty beefed up but wasn’t a steroid dude but I was pretty big. So for Andromeda, I wanted to lose about 10 kilos so what I did was I hired a Yoga instructor and a Pilates instructor. It was recommended to me that it was a great way to keep your muscles toned and that I would lose some of the bulk. So I wanted to bring a different physicality to the character and not be that beefy guy anymore.
What was the highlight for you while being involved in Andromeda?
I was really blessed in a lot of ways because on both Hercules and Andromeda, I worked with great crews. They saw that I came in with a professional attitude but also an attitude where I keep things loose and energetic. I’ve been on shows and I’m not going to name them where the lead actor was a bit of a ‘wanker’ <laugh> and I was like why would you not want your crew not to like you? I mean you’re working 12 to 14 hour days and why wouldn’t you want to be with someone you enjoy spending time with? My personality is pretty laid back and low key and I think you’d be very hard pressed to find anyone in Hollywood to say that I’m difficult to work with <laugh>. I’m pretty easy but I do like to show up on time, know my lines and be prepared to be part of the team and make things work because it’s a team effort on both sides of the camera.
This is probably a difficult question but do you have a favourite episode of Andromeda?
As far as a favourite episode, I kind of liked the first two opening hours of the series where it really dealt with the backstory of how Dylan ended up being frozen in time for over 300 years and for him, only five minutes went by. He woke up to a new world and a new universe where he had to sort of recruit people for part of his ship and I thought it was a really great way to open the show.
Since Andromeda has finished, has there been any discussion about revisiting this series or even a standalone movie?
Nothing actually and I’m a little surprised that after all this time, there’s been no talk about it. I mean the tribune had to gone to court and had all their assets frozen because of bankruptcy and they were in court for 6 or 7 years. It’s taken this long to get the series going again with the entire series being released on DVD and I believe that here in the states next year, they are going to put it on Netflix. But as to your question, I haven’t heard any rumours or anything about redoing it or a movie. I mean I would love to do a movie on it. Look at the success of the original Star Trek series with the reboot and recast which has done quite well. Sometimes I feel that Andromeda is the step child of the Roddenberry stuff because we don’t have the Star Trek name attached to it <laugh>. It was the first show created after the original series so that should carry a little bit of positive weight.
Given the popularity of Andromeda when it originally aired, are you still being approached about the series by fans?
I probably do about six or seven conventions around the world each year and last year, I was down in Australia in Perth and Adelaide which I really enjoyed. The fans were great and for the most part, it’s still about Hercules but the Andromeda crowd is around 40 to 45% of the group. So since both those series have ended, I have had 12 straight years on those shows from 1993 to 2005 and I’ve shot about 40 movies as well. So there’s been a lot of people that liked certain movies I’ve done that has kind of changed the format of people walking up to me in airports, grocery stores and other places but Hercules and Andromeda still carries the bulk of those fans.
So at those conventions, have you been approached by fans dressed in cosplay as characters from Andromeda and Hercules?
I’ve had people come up as Dylan Hunt and also other characters from the show. However for the majority, it’s usually people dressed as Hercules or other characters like Iolaus, Xena or Gabrielle as this show carried a lot of memories for people as it was such a huge show. Hercules actually passed Baywatch as the most watched TV show in the world and when we started our fourth season we were in at 176 countries at its peak and Andromeda was in about 150 countries so I was pretty lucky to get great world coverage on both those shows.
So if you were writing your memoirs of Andromeda, what would be your personal highlight Kevin?
It would be about the people I worked with, my crew and my cast. We had so many laughs and it’s unfortunate that they didn’t print a lot of the outtakes or the rehearsals we had in the Andromeda DVD set that was just released. Everybody knew what they needed to do for the show, so everybody came prepared but at the rehearsals, they were so loose and so casual and filled with fun. Guest stars were always a bit intimidated but when they got into the flow, they were fine. I guess they were a little shocked and it wasn’t that we were unprofessional because as soon as the cameras rolled, everybody was in their role. As we knew the crew so well, there was a lot of great camaraderie on the set and a lot of good laughs
As it was filmed in Vancouver, the Canadians who are known for their really dry and funny sense of humour made it pretty easy to work with them on set, so I was blessed. Also, most of the crew I worked with had just come off X-files and before that, they worked on 21 Jump Street and when they finished Andromeda, they went to work on the television series Psyched so they are a very seasoned group of guys who know what they’re doing.
Given the popularity of Hercules and Xena, has there been any talks of a remake or reboot and who would you pick to choose to play Hercules?
There’s been talk of redoing Hercules and Xena again and Lucy Lawless may be involved in it someway because she’s married to the producer but bringing Hercules back, I’m too old for that part now <laugh> but I had a good time doing it though. As to who would play my character, I have no idea <laugh>.
Lastly what other projects are you involved in?
I’ve been busy, I’ve shot four movies and just directed one this past August and September called Let there be Light. I’ve finished my directors cut on it with the special effects team and all the bells and whistles guys like the colour correction and sound guys. That won’t come out till next year which is a Christmas drama. We still need the time to get the movie done which will be around March  and we’ll do a long promotional campaign for it.
I also have one coming out next month called The Spirit of the Game which I shot down in Melbourne Australia just last year which deals with basketball coming down to Australia in the 1950’s and it was a fun drama. It’s weird when I have to play the dad now with a 21-year old because I used to be the youngest guy on the set and now the tide is turning <laugh>.
So I’m staying really busy and I’ve got two movies already lined up for next year and I just sold a series that is a heavy drama to NBC and Sony Studios called the Miracle Man and we’re going to shoot the pilot next spring. I’ve also got two other movies I’m trying to put together now and raise funds to finance for, so I’m definitely not sitting around too much as I love staying busy
Thanks for your time Kevin and all the best for your current and future projects!
Thanks again and all the best for you guys down under!
Andromeda the Complete Series is now available.