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Mini-Me: From stunt double to popular clone

Actor Verne Troyer may move from the big screen to the little screen.
Actor Verne Troyer may move from the big screen to the little screen.  

Editor's Note: CNN Access is a regular feature on providing interviews with newsmakers from around the world.

(CNN) -- Mini-Me is back, baby! Actor Verne Troyer is reprising his role of the diminutive but memorable clone in "Austin Powers in Goldmember."

The third installment in the spy spoof is producing box office gold and changing Troyer's life. Although he is known for not talking in the movies, Troyer discussed his increasing fame with CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

BLITZER: Verne, thanks for joining us. Tell our viewers a little bit about yourself, how you got on the big screen.

TROYER: I got started doing stunt work. My first film was a movie called "Baby's Day Out." Like you mentioned, I was a stunt double for a 9-month-old baby.

BLITZER: And as a stunt double, how did they spot you? How did Mike Myers find you to play Mini-Me in the Austin Powers movies?

TROYER: Actually, I met with Jay Roach first. I got to meet Mike later and I guess, you know I was just the perfect cast -- well, the perfect person to play the Mini-Me character.

Actor Verne Troyer, who plays the villainous clone 'Mini Me' in the Austin Powers movies, talks with CNN's Wolf Blitzer (July 30)

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BLITZER: A lot of people look and they don't realize how old you are. You're more than 30 years old, right?

TROYER: I'm 33.

BLITZER: You're 33 years old, and you've got a huge future now in motion pictures. What's it been like, this ride, for you?

TROYER: I'm still trying to get used to it. I'm just adjusting day by day. So, you know, it's -- I don't know. I'm just enjoying it and taking it one step at a time.

BLITZER: Everybody who sees you, obviously, knows who you are, the whole Austin Powers series has been such a phenomenal success. How are you dealing with all this fame?

TROYER: Well, when I go out into public I try wear a hat and sunglasses, but it just doesn't seem to work.

BLITZER: That's not going to do it. That's not going to do it.

TROYER: Unfortunately. No, but it's fun. I'm taking it one step at a time.

BLITZER: What's next on the agenda for you? What's happening? Is there going to be, first of all, a fourth Austin Powers?

TROYER: I guess you have to talk to Mike about that. I hope so. If there is, I would love to be a part of it, definitely.

BLITZER: What's been the best part of this new recognition that you've won?

TROYER: It's given me a lot more opportunity as far as my career. It's -- you know, I've done some different things. I did a short film called "Bit Play" -- "Bit Players," I'm sorry. And it was more of a dramatic, you know, role.

So it's just, you know, given me more opportunities.

BLITZER: The decision that Mike Myers made not to have you speak, actually utter words in the Austin Powers movies, what was that all about?

TROYER: Basically he's a clone that came out that was only one-eighth the size and he wasn't perfect, he was just pure evil.

BLITZER: But you turned out -- I don't want to give away too much from the last movie, which I have seen. There's been an interesting twist in that movie with Austin Powers and you.

TROYER: Well, basically Mini-Me goes through like a physical and an emotional change. So when you see the film, you'll understand.

BLITZER: What's it like being a short person, as you are?

TROYER: Well, for me, I guess, I don't know what it's like to be tall. So, I grew up like this and, you know, you just adapt to every situation. It's a tall world out there but, you know, I'm used to it.

BLITZER: Your parents are average height, and you have siblings who are average height, right?


BLITZER: How are they dealing with all of this fame that you're winning?

TROYER: They're very proud, definitely. And, you know, I'm still trying to get used to it. So I think they are, too. I come from...

BLITZER: Where -- go ahead Verne.

TROYER: I'm sorry. I took them to the premiere, and they kind of see a little bit of what I go through every day and, you know, that's a good thing.

BLITZER: Where did you grow up?

TROYER: I grew up in Michigan, right here.

BLITZER: What was it like growing up in Michigan?

TROYER: I grew up in a very small town, Centreville. In my graduating class, I had like 92 people, I guess. So, I mean, it was just, you know, everybody knew everybody and it was nice, actually.

BLITZER: And you're working on a new project right now?

TROYER: Actually, I'm going to take a small break. But there's a pilot that we're shopping, and there's a lot of studios that are interested in it.

BLITZER: When you say a pilot, you mean a TV pilot?

TROYER: Yes, a pilot. It's kind of like a "Matrix"-type of show.

BLITZER: So you're going to go from the big screen to the little screen?

TROYER: Yes, I guess so.

BLITZER: Verne Troyer...

TROYER: No pun intended.

BLITZER: Verne Troyer, you know you've been -- you're a cult figure out there, we love you, and thanks for joining us.




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