What if a secret society really controlled the world – and they were actually, well… nice?
That is the premise of The Pentaverate, the new Netflix limited series that brings Mike Myers back to the big screen in multiple roles, including the members of the series’ eponymous Illuminati-like organization, as well as the Canadian journalist on a mission to expose them and countless other delightfully ridiculous characters. Created and co-written by Myers, the six-episode series stars Keegan-Michael Key, Ken Jeong, Debi Mazar, Richard McCabe and Lydia West playing supporting roles alongside a variety of eccentric characters portrayed by Myers Austin Powers and Wayne’s world Star.
“It was fascinating to see Mike transition from character to character and work in a scene where he’s playing two or more characters,” West told Digital Trends of her time on set with Myers. That It’s a sin The actress portrays Reilly Clayton, the young assistant to local Canadian journalist Ken Scarborough (Myers), who sets out to introduce The Pentaverate to the world. The pair are aided in their mission by Anthony Lansdowne, a scruffy conspiracy theorist who is also portrayed by Myers – a scenario in which West often appears alongside two of Myers’ characters in the same scene.
“It was amazing to see how he could go from one character to another in 24 hours,” West recalled.
This praise for Myers’ ability to jump between multiple characters – a talent that showed throughout his career – was echoed by many of West’s peers pentaverate cast members, including community and the Hangover Actor Ken Jeong, who plays sleazy casino mogul Skip Cho in the series.
“Mike Myers is one of the reasons I got into comedy in the first place. So imagine how it feels when he calls you and says, “I wrote that part for you. Will you do it?’” Jeong recalled. “Watching him work has been so fulfilling to see him do it – because he’s one of a kind. He’s a unicorn. There’s no one like him and I just gotta watch the best do it. It was really amazing.”
Speaking to Digital Trends during a press event for the series, Myers explained the origin of the series: the concept of The Pentaverate first introduced in his 1993 film So I married an ax murderer. A seemingly disposable line in which the film’s main character’s conspiracy-loving father soberly tells his son (both played by Myers, of course) about The Pentaverate became the seed for this series, which is set pretty much exactly 30 years later.
For Myers, however, his fascination with conspiracy theories goes back even further.
“My mother was in the Royal Air Force and had a security clearance, so I always knew there were secrets in the world and there were good secrets,” he said. “Of course, those who defeat the Nazis are the best secrets. My mother wasn’t in MI5 or MI6 or anything, but you can see some of that – my obsession with this world of mystery – in Austin Powers, for example.”
“But people who are obsessed with conspiracy theories have their ups and downs,” he continued. “At the time I did it So I married an ax murderer, they were everywhere. And then it kind of went away. But it’s been popping up again lately, so my wife said, ‘You’re so obsessed with the Illuminati, the Masons, all those things, and you have this idea for a series. Why don’t you put it up?’”
After Netflix gave the green light, the next step was finding a director who could not only capture Myers’ vision for the series, but also adapt to the unique on-set environment of a film in which the co-writer and Star also plays almost half of the main characters in the film. Myers found this filmmaker in Look around and Brockmire Director Tim Kirkby, who is directing all six episodes The Pentaverate.
“I had seen his fantastic show Look around, and I saw this as a British-style limited series, which I love that they’re made in England,” Myers recalled. “I knew from his work that it was going to be a celebration of the eccentric, and it truly is one of the greatest collaborations I’ve ever had.”
It also seems to have been an inspired pairing, as Kirkby indicated that the logistical machinations required to produce the series was a welcome challenge, with each day having some sort of new mystery to solve.
“I don’t think we ever were Yes, really ready to shoot,” he laughed. “That’s the thing: you can pick the schedule and debate how to shoot it forever, but because of the multi-character format, my job really was just to put the creative scaffolding around Mike and give him the playground , on which he can relax and get going for it. … It was challenging, but that’s exciting for me. You just have to find out, and I love that.”
In addition to the new experiences that the series offered behind and in front of the camera, The Pentaverate Plus, at least one cast member had discovered a new favorite conspiracy theory — one that’s still got their brains working overtime.
“While we were filming [scenes for] At CanConCon – the Canadian Congress on Conspiracy Theory – I saw a sign that said ‘Are there baby pigeons?’” West recalled with a laugh. “And I just had this moment where I was like, ‘Wait, I’ve never seen a baby pigeon in my entire life. Do they actually exist? Has anyone seen one? Where are the nests?’”
Jokes aside, West and the rest of the show’s supporting cast kept coming back to praise Myers’ return to the spotlight The Pentaverate – his first live-action lead role since 2008 The Love Guru. The fact that the second film he’s ever starred in is bringing him back to the big screen, now three decades after that film hit theaters, hasn’t escaped Myers either.
Asked how he feels about the above So I married an ax murderer Now, Myers seemed genuinely touched by the affection that fans of this dark comedy still have and how far he’s come in the time between this film’s release and the premiere The Pentaverate.
“It’s one of my favorite films I’ve done,” he said So I married an ax murderer. “I’m so grateful and happy it stayed that way. I didn’t know it was what I was doing for a living when I was a kid in Toronto, and to have movies still be relevant in the culture is so incredibly satisfying. It brings me to tears.”
All six episodes of The Pentaverate Premieres May 5 on Netflix.
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