Source: Yahoo News 25/04/2005
by Adam Buckman
ARNOLD Vosloo isn't a terrorist, but he plays one on TV.
And he's not just any terrorist, but the vilest, most cold-blooded villain on TV this season or perhaps any season.
He is Habib Marwan, the stone-faced mastermind behind all the elaborate schemes to destroy the United States that have been unfolding this season on "24."
"This is the nastiest son-of-a-bitch I've ever played," Vosloo said on the phone last week while strolling on a California beach.
On "24" — which marks its "19th hour" of the season tonight at 9 on Fox/Ch. 5 — Marwan has engineered the meltdown of a nuclear power plant and choreographed the theft of a Stealth bomber, which was then used to force the crash of Air Force One in a Nevada desert.
From the wreckage, Marwan then obtained the president's "nuclear football," the briefcase that contains the coded locations of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. With that information, one of Marwan's terror cells stole a nuclear warhead in last week's episode.
So how does an actor sleep at night playing a guy who is so utterly evil?
"I have a long history of playing bad guys and, of course, played the mummy [in the two "Mummy" movies starring Brendan Fraser], but this Habib Marwan was a weird one," Vosloo said.
"It's like that Mohammed Atta [the crew chief of the 9/11 attacks]. I remember when I saw the photograph of that guy, you just get chills because you look at that face and it's a face that has no doubt.
"It's a face that is just absolutely committed to its cause, whatever we may think of it. And I kind of looked at that and — I don't want to say I took inspiration from that — but I just thought, 'That's the guy.' . . . He believes as much in his cause as Jack Bauer [the rough, tough federal agent played by Kiefer Sutherland] believes in fighting for the other side."
At 6'2", and with his skin darkened "two or three shades" with makeup, Vosloo makes an imposing bad guy. And even without the makeup, he's being recognized all over the place as Marwan.
"I was in Home Depot the other day," he recalled with a laugh, "and I was looking at samples of something for redoing my house, and I heard somebody in another aisle say, 'I've spotted Marwan! I've spotted Marwan! Call Jack Bauer!' "
Vosloo, 42, is not even remotely middle eastern. He was born and raised in South Africa and has been an American citizen since 1988. He is married and lives in Los Angeles.
He said he's thoroughly enjoying his work on "24," which has just begun filming its final two hours of the season. Hours 23 and 24 will air back-to-back on Monday, May 23.
"It's been fun to be part of something that's so well-written," Vosloo said. "It's been a really cool experience