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Spotlighting Karl Urban

by Dale Pierce

November 2005

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Karl Urban was born in Wellington, New Zealand on June 7, 1972, but now lives and operates out of Auckland.  He has gone from being a regional star to one of international recognition and he is still going strong.

Urban made a splash in the Xena series, playing two repeating roles. He was the comical Cupid, the prodigal son of Aphrodite, who always had dark stubble which conflicted with dyed blond hair and a lackluster attitude about life as the enducer of love. While he helped others fill out their lusts, he didn't seem to have much of a love life of his own, and when he did eye the mortal women, Aphrodite was there to meddle.

More convincingly played was his role as Caesar, depicting the emperor with an abundance of arrogance, sadism and villainry. One episode where he has Xena crucified (twice, as she survived the first time, so how unlucky can one get), then goes to the Senate to meet his doom, ranks among the most masterfully filmed of the series. Scenes shift back and forth from the crucifixion and the knife blade's going into his own body. Both die at the same time , but in different locations. Relax though, Xena finds a way to return to earth in the next season (well, so does Caesar, but not as successfully).

Urban also went on to play in a number of movies on VHS, DVD and in the cinema, a good number of which were in the horror realm. Ghost Ship was one of the biggest of these, about a group of people discovering a haunted ship where long ago, murder after murder took place in an uncanny chain of doublecrosses and events. The massive decapitation scene has got to be one of the most peculiar scenes in all of horror history, setting the stage for much to come.

Less appreciated by fans, but more well-played was his role in The Truth About Demons, a film shot down under dealing with a man investigating the death of his brother at the hands of a devil cult. Urban, in the lead role, finds himself surrounded by devils, burning candles, satanic symbols, weird dreams, violence, death and illusion. I won't give the ending away, but the movie is worth checking out. In this vehicle, he gets to play the leading man for a change and proves up to the task.

Urban may likewise be seen in The Two Towers and Return Of the King from the Lord Of The Rings series, in the role of Eomer.

The actor was also seen a while ago in Doom, a horror film about spacemen investigating problems at a space station on Mars and finding an abundance of terrors awaiting them. The movie was based on the computer game.

In 2006 there will hopefully be two new releases with this actor, barring unforseen problems. One is an adventure story called Pathfinder, about a boy left behind by Vikings and raised by Indians, to become a warrior in his own right. The other, reflecting back to horror again, has a working title of Outlander, yet little information is available as of this writing.

Many actors find typecasting a major problem after being in a certain tv series for too long, then finding themselves out of luck once the series ends. It nearly did in Alan Hale, Bob Denver, Jackie Coogan, Adam West, Jonathan Frid and others. Urban has been one of the lucky ones, having been able to survive after Xena and do so quite well.

Hopefully the trend will continue.


PS.: Find more information on Karl Urban on


© by Dale Pierce

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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD



Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...


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