It’s been close to 30 years since Harry Hamlin donned the heroic toga of Perseus in the landmark adventure film “Clash of the Titans.” With a big-budget remake set to crash into theaters on April 2, the original has just made its debut as a Blu-ray. Hamlin (also known for his role on “L.A. Law” and a stint on “Dancing with the Stars”) took the time to chat with Hero Complex contributor Gerrick D. Kennedy about his old sandal days, the remake, reality television and that “Avatar” movie everyone keeps talking about.
GK: There are so many remakes and adaptations flooding theaters these days; what was your reaction when you heard about the “Clash of the Titans” revival?
HH: My initial thoughts were, “Wow, that’s weird.” The whole remake thing is an homage on a lot of levels. I’ve read that the director [Louis Leterrier] is a fan of the original. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so there you go.
GK: Had you ever thought over the years that there would come a day when you’d see a remake?
HH:No, it never occurred to me.
GK: Not even with the onslaught of technology? Even George Lucas revisited “Star Wars.”
HH: One doesn’t contemplate that kinda thing. It doesn’t seem like the type of thing you would make. To me, it seemed strange and bizarre. Now that they have different ways of filming, I’m sure it will be better.
GK: You have Sam Worthington taking on your role as Perseus … not a bad choice, right? Have you been in contact with him? Did you give him any sort of advice before they started filming?
HH: No, I haven’t, but I saw him in “Avatar.” He was great in that. I was concerned [about how] whoever was playing Perseus [would] create the arc of the hero. I used Joseph Campbell as my template. Having seen Sam Worthington in “Avatar” and how he constructed his journey in that, I’m almost certain he’ll do the same here.
GK: Looking back, what did the role do for your career?
HH: Well, my career was pretty on fire when I took this project. I did this movie, and then “Making Love” came out the same year. I played sort of the first normal gay character. I think the audience and perhaps critics became confused. My career kind of slowed down after that.
GK: It must have been a whole different sort of filming experience, with special effects being less sophisticated back then. Talk a little bit about the filming of the original and scenes then that might be done completely different now?
HH:Sure, the flying on the horse. That was green-screen with a barrel. With CGI, the flying sequences in “Avatar” were beautiful. Obviously some of the stop motion that we did then will be improved. I’m sure all the stuff will be great.
GK: Often you hear about reactions from the original cast of films feeling sour when they’re left out of the reboots, such as William Shatner and his public complaints about his “Star Trek” absence. Did you feel like that would become an issue here?
HH: No, no. This is a whole new thing. That would be wrong. Our movie stands alone, the new one will stand alone. To have a gag like that would be a stunt, and that’s not appropriate.
GK: I was actually reading that you and your wife, Lisa Rinna, are prepping a reality show, “Harry Loves Lisa.” Anything you can tell us about what to expect?
HH: It’s a documentary series. It’s a documentary of how we are dealing with reinventing our career and our retail business (a clothing store, Belle Gray, in Sherman Oaks) in the midst of the recession. I also have a movie, “Family Gathering,” coming in March. It’s a TV movie, coming on Hallmark. It’s a family movie, I wanted to make something for my kids to see. A lot of my work is inappropriate for them.
– Gerrick D. Kennedy
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PHOTOS: “Clash of the Titans” scenes from Warner Home Video; bottom photo courtesy of Harry Hamlin