Interview: Kristanna Loken of National Lampoon’s The Legend of Awesomest Maximus

The latest comedy to carry the National Lampoon imprimatur, the film National Lampoon’s The Legend of Awesomest Maximus, (DVD $27.97, Blu-ray $29.97, Image Entertainment, Street; March 20) , is a raunchy spoof of the past decade’s wave of sword-and-sandal epics. Sending up everything from Gladiator to 300 to Braveheart to Troy (the storyline of which it apes), Awesomest Maximus covers its ancient backdrop with more gay jokes, potty-inspired gags and excretory bits than I’ve seen in a long time. Silly as it is, though, Awesomest Maximus is still pretty funny if you’re in the mood for a raucous, sophomoric parody.

That said, one of the better reasons to check it out is the presence of the lovely Kristanna Loken, who takes sexy aim at the myth of Helen of Troy in her portrayal of a gold-digging queen named Hottessa.

Disc Dish recently spoke with the lady who rose to fame as the lethal “Terminatrix” in 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (and who is slated to appear regularly on the upcoming fifth season of TV’s Burn Notice) to get the story on her latest flick.

Disc Dish: I checked out Awesomest Maximus last night and I have to admit, I got a kick out of it. It was raunchy and silly for raunchiness and silliness’s sake. Then again, I had just gotten home after having a couple of bourbons.

Kristanna Loken: Maybe there should be some sort of disclaimer saying that the makers aren’t responsible unless the viewer has had a few drinks before watching it!

DD: It was really a lot of fun. And it looks like it was fun making it, too.

KL: We all really had a great time. And for me, it was a departure from the all the action and sci-fi and fantasy that I’ve been doing and that people mostly know me for.

DD: I actually caught some clips of you on Youtube hosting a live show at the Acme Comedy Theatre in Hollywood.

KL: Yes, I’ve actually hosted at Acme a couple of times and I’ve really enjoyed it. I also did a show that will air on Adult Swim in May, The Eric Andre Show.

DD: So it looks like you can officially add “comedy” to your resume.

KL: Yeah. And people will be seeing me doing a lot more of it in the future.

DD: I don’t know how much more, er, ‘ribald’ it can get after Awesomest Maximus. That Kristanna Loken, Rip Torn and Tony Cox are all in the same film still blows me away.

KL: And Ian Ziering, too! Did you see how he got himself completely ripped for this film? He looks great! Like I said, we all had a lot of fun and everybody did a great job.

DD: Did you do any kind of preparation for your role of the gold-digging queen Hottessa?

KL: Yes, well, you always want to go through the ‘building a character’ process. [Director] Jeff Kanew gave me the book to read, Lady Macbeth by Susan Frasier King, and she had a lot of similarities with Hottessa. My character definitely uses her feminine wiles to get what she wants!

Sophie Monk (l) and Kristanna Loken lock lips in Awesomest Maximus.

DD: Speaking of which, I saw that there are a bunch of screen grabs from the film floating around the internet of the hot kissing scene you have with [co-star] Sophie Monk.

KL: Really? Wow!

DD: It seems like there’s always been a lot of stuff about you on the internet since Terminator 3, all about who you’re kissing and what’s going on in your life and all the usual chatter. After all these years, is that something that you get a kick out of or is it something that you’ve just accepted because that’s the way it is for an actor?

KL: I honestly don’t read any of the things that are out there. I’m going to be in movies and shows and create characters and that’s the person that I’m going to be. I mean, I don’t have any control over it. For your own personal sanity, you have to distance yourself from it. Let the people who write it feel empowered by what they say, if that’s what works for them. Of course, I really enjoy when people write very astute reviews about my work—it’s nice to hear people say they liked me in certain things. But there’s always going to be controversy or whatever—art is speculative. And sometimes, you just don’t have to read everything.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.