Sorry, Jules - imdb may say that "Smile" comes out Nov. 6, but I've seen no sign of it...!
However, this was just in TORn:
Hercules rides again, seriously
30.10.2004 By SCOTT KARA
The fake babies bundled into a bin suggests this is one serious television show.
The waft of horse dung makes the West Auckland set smell like a Greek city from many years BC. Rotund warriors in fur uniforms, gaunt villagers in smocks, and fake baskets of fruit add to the atmosphere.
But who's that Greek statue guy?
That'll be Hercules, as played by unknown Scottish actor Paul Telfer.
In an off-white robe with golden embroidery, the dark-haired Glaswegian is far from the image of Hercules as portrayed by American actor Kevin Sorbo in the lighthearted 1990s TV series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, also filmed in West Auckland.
This mini-series by American studio Hallmark Entertainment will screen in New Zealand about the middle of next year.
Its makers say it is a more serious and spiritual portrayal of the great Greek myth.
Ask American actress Elizabeth Perkins, who plays Hercules' mother, Alcmene, what she thought of the Sorbo version - which launched the international careers of many New Zealand actors - and she offers a cagey: "It was all right."
She says that in the Hallmark production, Hercules is "not portrayed as a buffoon who just goes around lifting up cows and things".
Welsh-born actor Timothy Dalton - who was James Bond for two films in the late '80s - plays Alcmene's husband.
He also says this is the deeper Hercules: "The story is about a young child growing up into manhood, but a real manhood, not just the manhood of physical strength. It's really a story of growing and becoming adult."
Telfer says that rather than Hercules being a brawny supreme being who solves everything by whacking it with a stick, he plays a more well-rounded hero.
"I do have a big stick and I do hit things, but that's not how any of [his problems] are ever resolved.
"It's all about him finding a way to live in this world that will resolve these conflicts.
"The way we're doing it is a really modern take in the sense that Hercules is trying to survive and find himself in conflicting and difficult times."
Telfer, in his first lead role, has been working solidly since arriving in New Zealand in August but has managed to see local band TrinityRoots and made it to Rotorua on Labour Weekend.
"It smelled a bit of eggs ... "
One Hercules cast member who is used to filming in New Zealand is Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings.
In Hercules, Astin is again cast as a faithful companion, playing the bard Linus.
"The sidekick business has been very good," he laughs. "It's not hard work.
"The character of Linus in mythology is nowhere near as special as the character of Samwise Gamgee, but in this adaptation of Hercules, they've embellished the mythological references to Linus."
Astin is pleased to be back working in New Zealand. As he did when filming LOTR, he has brought his family with him. And Astin has thoughts of putting down some roots - especially after a drive to Bethells Beach on Auckland's West Coast.
"I had that desire to own some of the land I was looking at. I was like, 'This is so beautiful, I want to live here'."