Pergamon, a prosperous city in western Anatolia, was fabled to have been founded by Hercules' son. Like many Hellenistic cities populated by Greeks who intermarried with indigenous people, Pergamon after Alexander the Great's death (323 B.C.) had evolved a hybrid of democracy and Persian-influenced monarchy.
The real Amazons were long believed to be purely imaginary. They were the mythical warrior women who were the archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Every Greek hero or champion, from Hercules to Theseus and Achilles, had to prove his mettle by fighting a powerful warrior queen.
I always wanted to have a villain song for Hades in 'Hercules,' but I couldn't figure out how we would have Hades sing.
I love 'The Gospel Truth,' the song that opened up 'Hercules.' I thought that song was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed producing that and writing that.
If I had to describe myself in one word, 'Hercules.'
People try to pigeonhole comics by saying they're just for kids. So is The Odyssey. So is the Labors of Hercules, the story of Fa Mulan. The advantage of those stories over the contemporary ones is that they've had 2,000 years of editing. All the crap has been weeded out over time.
For me, Batman is the one that can most clearly be taken seriously. He's not from another planet, or filled with radioactive gunk. I mean, Superman is essentially a god, but Batman is more like Hercules: he's a human being, very flawed, and bridges the divide.
For 'Hercules,' I went for the demigod look: big and mean. When you're playing a character like the son of Zeus, you only get one shot.
I was born to play Hercules. I have loved and honored the mythology over the years - since I was a kid. When I first broke into Hollywood, 'Hercules' was one of the movies that I - not chased, because I didn't have the power to chase anything - but always had in the back of my mind.
We used to watch the muscle movies on Saturday matinees, such as 'Hercules Unchained.' Then we'd go outside and do a remake of it.