Arnold Vosloo is an actor with both South African citizenship and American citizenship. For a lot of people, he will be most familiar to them because of his role as Imhotep in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. However, Vosloo has played a wide range of characters in a wide range of other projects as well. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Arnold Vosloo:
1. Born in Pretoria, South Africa
Vosloo was born in Pretoria, which is one of South Africa’s three capital cities. For those who are curious, Pretoria is the administrative capital while Cape Town and Bloemfontein are the legislative and judicial capitals respectively. Sometimes, it is called the Jacaranda City because of the widespread presence of a sub-tropical tree that bears beautiful, long-lasting flowers that come in an incredible indigo hue.
2. Is an Afrikaner
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Vosloo is an Afrikaner. In short, Afrikaners is a South African ethnic group descended from Dutch settlers for the most part. Their native language is Afrikaans, which started out as the vernacular Dutch of South Holland but has since incorporated influences from both Indonesia and Madagascar. Besides this, Vosloo can claim some measure of descent from French, Danish, German, and Swiss sources.
3. Came From an Acting Family
Apparently, Vosloo came from a family with an acting background. In short, both his mother and his father were stage actors. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that his father went on to become the person responsible for running a drive-in theater in Alberton, which is one of the cities that can be found in the South African province of Gauteng.
4. Started Out on the Stage
As such, it makes sense that Vosloo’s acting career started out on the stage. Within a short period of time, he had managed to build up a respectable reputation for himself, thus enabling him to claim consistent roles in South African theatre. In time, Vosloo’s success on the stage enabled him to make a transition to the screen. Something that was repeated when he moved to the United States where he started out on the American stage before proceeding to the American screen.
5. Got His English Movie Debut in 1492: Conquest of Paradise
In time, Vosloo got his English movie debut in 1492: Conquest of Paradise, which was meant to capitalize on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyage. Unfortunately, the movie was riddled through and through with historical inaccuracies because of its need to make its protagonist a flawless hero, though it wasn’t quite as bad as it could’ve been. For instance, 1492 never made the ridiculous claim that people thought that the world was flat until Columbus’s voyage. However, it did present Columbus’s argument with the scholars of his time over the size of the world as though Columbus was right, which was very much the reverse of what was true in real life. Presumably, this was necessary because it would have made it very, very clear that Columbia essentially stumbled into the New World by blind luck rather than the possession of special knowledge on his part.
6. Replaced Liam Neeson As Darkman
Later, Vosloo replaced Liam Neeson in the role of Darkman for both Darkman II and Darkman III. In short, Darkman was a scientist who was disfigured and left for dead by a mobster after his girlfriend ran afoul of a crooked real estate developer. Even worse, failed medical treatment saved his life but provided him with superpowers while leaving him in an unstable event, thus causing him to seek out revenge. Darkman was a success, but the direct-to-video Darkman II and Darkman III were much less so.
7. Played Imhotep
One of Vosloo’s most popular roles would be Imhotep in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns. While both movies were very cheesy, they were nonetheless commercial successes. As such, even though it has been some time since their release, they remain favorites for a lot of fans out there.
8. Not Exactly the Most Accurate Role
With that said, it should come as no surprise to learn that Imhotep wasn’t exactly the most accurate role out there. For instance, there was a real man named Imhotep, who was born a commoner but nonetheless managed to rise to the position of adviser to the pharaoh Djoser. He was the very first architect whose name has survived the passage of time, seeing as how he was the one who oversaw the building of the Step Pyramid of Sakkara. On top of that, Imhotep was well-respected for his wisdom and other virtues, so much so that he was venerated as a god by the Late Period. Likewise, we know quite a bit about how the ancient Egyptians treated those who committed the highest of offenses, which tended to involve obliterating their names to prevent them from enjoying afterlives.
9. Not the Only Time that He Has Played an Egyptian Character
Imhotep isn’t the only time that Vosloo has played an Egyptian character. After all, he was in the animated short movie called Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam. There, he voiced Black Adam, who is often depicted as a corrupted predecessor to Shazam from ancient Egyptian times but has taken on a more ambiguous role as a corrupted anithero in certain stories as well.
10. Was in the G.I. Joe Movies
Vosloo was in the G.I. Joe movies as well. In those, he played Zartan, who looked very different from his TV counterpart to say the least. It is interesting to note that the character gained shapeshifting powers, which enabled him to take on the role of the President of the United States in the first G.I. Joe movie and maintain said role by the time of the second G.I. Joe movie. It wasn’t until after Zartan had managed to kill most of the G.I. Joes by launching air strikes against them that he was defeated by one of his own students, thus causing his disguise to fade.