Mike Myers still remembers the phone call he got from DreamWorks head Jeffrey Katzenberg more than a decade ago about taking part in a new animated film.
“Jeffrey said, ‘Would you like to be in an animated movie?’ I said yes, and he said it’s called Shrek. I said, ‘That’s the worst title I’ve ever head in my entire life,’” the Toronto-raised actor remembers.
“I didn’t know what it was going to be, and then the first time I saw it with an audience, I was just blown away that an animated movie could move people and that it was something people would be invested in emotionally. And I think that’s been the most satisfying thing.”
Much like the swamp-dwelling ogre he’s had such success portraying over four films, Myers often just wants to be left alone.
“I like my privacy. With something like this, I love being a part of this,” he says, referring to his current publicity tour for Shrek Forever After. “And when I’m not doing stuff, I like to go away. I enjoy being a person a great deal.”
Of course, his swamp is actually New York City, a home he’s incredibly grateful for.
“I love New York City. I love getting to live there. I love everything about it. Am in love with New York City,” he says. He also loves the career he’s been able to have, spanning a career-making run on Saturday Night Live and several successful film franchises.
“When I was a kid in Toronto, you have your nose against the window looking south to show business — Showbiznia, the United States,” he says. “And I kind of feel like every day that I get to do what I do definitely is kind of a dream day. So it’s kind of an amazing thing.”
If there’s one thing that’s helped Myers keep his wits about him over the course of his career, it’s his national heritage.
“It’s hard to be super full of yourself in Canada,” he says. “If there was a motto of Canada, it would be ‘Who do you think you are, eh?’ It’s very good training to just be a person, growing up in Canada.”