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Herve Villechaize Casting Call

October 17, 2008

Someone is making a movie about the life of Herve Villechaize. Seriously. My Dinner With Herve will be based on interviews conducted by a journalist just before the 1993 death by suicide of the troubled miniature person, who starred, famously, in Fantasy Island and also a James Bond movie.

The reporter, Sacha Gervasi, also wants to direct the movie. Here’s what he told Variety yesterday: “Herve wasn’t just a pop culture icon; he was one of the most charming, cultured and dangerous people I’ve ever met. His is the story of a unique misfit trying to find his place in the world.”

I think my question is a good one: Who will play Herve Villechaize? Wanted: Three-foot-eleven-inch French Filipino with amusing voice. Must look good in white. See what I mean? It’s a casting nightmare.

Gervasi could always go the Hobbit route, using trickery to make full-size actors look like they’re kneeling in every scene, but I can’t see that working here. No, Gervasi needs to find himself a new Herve, and that’s going to be tough.

If this ever gets made, I look forward to the Fantasy Island sequences. Whenever I think about Fantasy Island, I wonder if Tattoo got an employee discount, and whether he used it to score with giant women. I know that if I had a ticket to Fantasy Island, I would probably want to be Batman for a weekend, but I’m pretty sure Tattoo would’ve been all about the giant women, the loud music and the gettin’ down.

Here are 10 Herve facts that I uncovered through days of intense journalistic research (not from looking at Wikipedia, honest):

  • He started off as an artist, training in France, where he was from. In France, learning to paint or to cook is like being taught to shoot hoops in America. Or eat gravy in Canada. You have to start them off young for maximum effect.
  • When he moved to the U.S. in the 60s, he taught himself English by watching television. I know what you’re thinking … “He spoke English?”
  • He was supposed to be in the 1971 version of Dune, which was never made, avoiding an inevitable Quantum of Suckness.
  • When he was cast as evil henchman Nick Nack in the Bond flick The Man With The Golden Gun, he was living in his car. Now, I have to think that if you’re just under four feet tall, living in a car might not be as bad as it would be for my giant self.
  • He used to volunteer for an agency that went to scenes of child abuse and comforted the victims. Somewhere out there are grown men and women who have traumatic memories of horrible events and grim violence, capped off with Herve showing up at the door. That’s a Twin Peaks episode right there.
  • While he was making Fantasy Island he got into a lot of hot water with producers because he couldn’t stop hitting on every woman who showed up on the set. The exact number is not clear because most of the women didn’t notice he was even in the room.
  • Fantasy Island fired him because he wanted the same money as star Ricardo Montalban (looking good at right). The silly man didn’t ever get it that nobody is worth as much as Ricardo Montalban, even when he isn’t wearing his rubber chest.
  • He spent his later years sitting in a darkened room, screaming obscenities at episodes of Fantasy Island, which is actually how I watch Fantasy Island, too.
  • He didn’t like the words “dwarf,” or “little person.” He preferred “midget,” which is not a popular word among people with dwarfism, so he pissed a lot of them off, or he would have, if they had understood what he was saying, or noticed he was in the room.
  • Whenever random strangers asked him to say “Boss, Boss, de Plane, de Plane,” he would bite them in the nuts.

He died stupidly. But Herve Villechaize was a cool character, one of a kind and unforgettable. That’s why casting him is going to be a bitch of a job.

Maybe Tom Cruise could do it.

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One comment

  1. They can just CG that nowadays.



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