The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

HIS break­through role was in out-there 1980s fran­chise Po­lice

Academy. Now fun­ny­man Steve Gut­ten­berg has gone one bet­ter with a star­ring role in SyFy’s latest schlockbuster, Lavalan­tula.

Gi­ant spi­ders spew­ing lava is the latest cre­ation from the peo­ple who spe­cialise in com­bin­ing CGI with the laugh­ably un­be­liev­able.

Gut­ten­berg, 56, knew ex­actly what he was get­ting into when he took the role of washed-up for­mer A-list ac­tion star Colton West in the movie.

Three years ago he passed on the role of Fin Shephard in Shark­nado – the SyFy phe­nom­e­non which be­came a so­cial media smash hit.

“Yep, I passed on Shark­nado,” Gut­ten­berg says. “I was smart enough to say yes to this one.”

The Shark­nado role ul­ti­mately went to Ian Zier­ing – who makes a cameo in Lavalan­tula when Gut­ten­berg’s West, fran­ti­cally try­ing to save LA from lavaspew­ing spi­ders, meets him in the street. Zier­ing’s char­ac­ter would like to help, “but I’ve got shark prob­lems right now”.

Lavalan­tula re­unites Gut­ten­berg him with Po­lice

Academy co-stars Michael Winslow, Mar­ion Ram­sey and Les­lie Easter­brook.

“When I saw the script I knew it was in line with what the au­di­ence gen­er­ally wants to­day – crea­ture fea­tures and he­roes,” he says.

“In real life, I don’t mind spi­ders. But ones that are big­ger than my head, that’s dif­fer­ent.”

Com­plet­ing the stretch from sublime to ridicu­lous, Gut­ten­berg’s Lavalan­tula turn comes just af­ter he com­pleted some­thing even scarier – his first shot at Shake­speare in the adap­tion Henry 4.1, in New York.

“To do that, which is purely art­ful, and Lavalan­tula which is purely com­mer­cial, at the same time was kind of cool,” Gut­ten­berg says.



ByDeb­bie Schipp

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