Friday, 30 March 2012

Muppet of a man

You know you’ve reached an important milestone as an actor when a character you’ve played becomes an action figure.

It is one of the sincerest forms of inadvertent flattery when a toy company decides that a particular character is so compelling that their envisaged backstory and future antics can be commercially mined. The millions of imagined possibilities for the character’s adventures outside the film are played out at the hands of kids, and adults that should know better.

But actually there is a hierarchy of respect, and the humble 3” action figure sits on the bottom rung. More flattering still are the 12” figurines, lovingly crafted by fan-boy sculptors and then sold for ridiculous amounts of cash to other fan-boys in comic shops. Bigger, brighter and more accurate; these will sit on display on someone’s shelf inviting adoring looks and stimulating nerdic conversation rather than being consigned to a box at bedtime. And then even higher on the ladder is finding yourself made into a Lego figure. Loved by adults and kids alike, these guys will become heroes in a multiverse of random stories, and then get respectfully passed down to the next generation of brick builders in a big bucket.

But top of the tree is the cuddly toy. What higher praise can an actor receive than the knowledge that people they’ve never met before are taking them to bed?

It’s a long preamble, but one that I hope will set the scene for the largest oh-my-sweet-merciful-Christ moment of recent memory. Because yesterday I was given a Christmas present.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get over the date, people. It’s how we roll in Charmed Central.

Lovingly crafted by the supremely gifted Rob Luckins and his fiancé (and erstwhile zombie horde member) Karen, it’s a cuddly Jim Sweeney. And it is just about the best thing I have ever seen.

Jim was the actor who played our character Mac, psychotic scourge of the undead and owner of all the best lines in the film. Be-decked in industrial elbow-length rubber gloves and an ever-bloodied machete, Mac gleefully strides about our apocalyptic universe chopping, bludgeoning and ripping spines wherever he goes. This is the guy you want to cuddle up to at bedtime in a dangerous world.



And I still can’t get over just how fucking cool this is. Rob and Karen – you have genuinely made my 2012, you sweet, awesome beauties. Speechless.

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