Tuesday, April 28 2009  

A matter of Weight (Making of CucuC p.10)

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Tenth episode of CucuC, and Second featuring bovine kiwi actor Randall

Weight, the key to Randall's part !

Webcomic actors aren't different from movie and theatre actors. They have to fit into the part they've been hired for, no matter what the cost. Sure, CG can do wonders. Special effects shots, though, have a very high cost and weights on budgets. Whenever possible, it's actors we rely upon to achieve the desired effect.

Let's hear what Randall has to tell us on that matter.
R :When I signed for CucuC, I was weighting less than 1200 pounds. I was just finishing « Himalayas on bullback », produced by the National Geographic, and we'd just gone through more than 500 miles of trekking through himalayan high shelfs. The air in unbreathable, up there. I mean,... there's no air at all ! Himalayan folks don't seem to be needing Oxygen. Maybe you've seen my pals from 7 years in Tibet, they really kick ass. Sure, they're used to scant atmospheres. I was born in New Zealand, and there's oxygen enough for all kiwis down there. In the Himalayas though, we would all wear oxygen masks for the first few weeks. Except for the yaks, of course (…)

I can guaranty that when the shooting was almost over, I had a real light weighted body frame. I believe I could even have applied to an aïkido contest ! And here comes my agent, asking me if I would consider working on the CucuC project. Oghme Comics are a fairly obscure production house, and the part I was offered was sort of narrow. At the same time, the Iron Age is kinda the Golden Age,... for bulls. In those times, mighty, whacking big bulls like the White of Cooley were superstars. The like of Mother Theresa or Gary Grant. Men went so far as to declaring war for the obtention of a single bull ! Can you imagine that ? (...)

Problem is, the script insisted on a minimum weight of 1600 pounds. The Black of Airgdig (the bull I impersonate in CucuC) is a real humongous beast and must have been body-building since his childhood. So I started gobbling up as much food as I could, engorge, engorge,...like mad. Not hay, mind you, the caloric ratio is too low. Oats, sorghum, even Soya meal pellets. It tastes like shit, but you can gain as much as 10 pounds of muscular mass every single day. As concerns calories, you can't beat'em. Any cattle breader knows that (...)

  As far as health is concerned, of course, I wouldn't advise 'em pellets. Some of us stars have to maintain a slim profile for whole careers. Think of Madonna, for example. Obviously, she won't be doubling her weight for her next album, because it makes no bloody sense. But that's easy ! All she has to do is stay away from Soya meal pellets. What's truly difficult, is having to adapt your weight for each new part you accept to play.  As I often say, we're actors before being bulls ! When I think of human actors like Robert De Niro, who are able to gain 300 pounds (*) between two shooting sessions, I'm impressed (...)

 (*) : Randall obviously is embellishing things here, but we quote from the original interview.

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