Longview News-Journal from Longview, Texas on April 29, 1984 · Page 139
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Longview News-Journal from Longview, Texas · Page 139

Longview, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 29, 1984
Page 139
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34-h Tubetalk SUNDAY, APRIL 29, 1984, Longview Morning Journal Duncan Regehr stars as gladiator in 'Last Days of Pompeii' Duncan Regehr is big. No question about it. His shoulders go' on for days. His chest is a wall. His cheekbones are mountain ridges. His eyes can go as hard and cold as the steel in a gladiator's hand. In "The Last Days of Pompeii," Duncan Regehr is, in fact, a gladiator. That's why the awesome look. That's why he stalks out under the Italian sun like a natural element, moving as inevitably as fate. He is Lydon, champion of the gladiators. And Lydon is bad. On the other hand, Lydon is not "bad" in the not-nice sense of the word. Lydon is "bad" in the don't-mess-with-him sense of the word. He will bestride the amphitheatre in Pompeii the real one in the ABC Television Network's three-part miniseries airing May 6-8. But behind the muscle and sinew of the gladiator is quite another being. That's the one Duncan Regehr is interested in. "Lydon is also a softer, gentler, sensitive man, the actor explained to a visitor in the tunnel that leads up into the arena in Pompeii. "He's two characters in one man." LYDON, BORN A slave, kills because he has to. Because that's his profession. Because his mastery of life-and-death combat his life; someone else's death bought him his freedom. Bought him fame and applause. (Bought him, in fact, everything but acceptance in what passes for society herc.and the woman he loves.) Duncan Regehr does not kill people for a living. He brings them to fictional life. But he does it with the same determination that Lydon shows in the arena. "My 'physicality' is just something I'm doing. right now," he pointed out. "I was an actor long before I looked like this. I trained specifically for this role...as did lots of other actors over the years. Sylvester Stallone changed the way he looked for 'Rocky.' John Travolta did it. Robert DeNiro went in the other direction and put on weight for 'Raging Bull." (As Jane Fonda for "The Dollmaker," her "ABC Theater" film airing in May.) For VThe Last Days of Pompeii," Regehr doubled his usual weight training program and added a lot of fenc- u ing and ballet workouts to his life. ("I want Lydon to look like a knife; he has to have a very honed kind of. physicality.") Because he was concentrating on the character, he didn't think a great deal about his own personal "image." As "Pompeii" was filming he couldn't avoid thinking about it: visitors kept asking him how it felt to be "a hunk." He was not flattered. "I'VE NEVER BEEN seen professionally as a hunk," he pointed out. "The idea of a 'hunk' is somebody who does-n't have very much upstairs. And I don't think I'm stupid. If I thought for a moment I'd be considered a 'hunk' I would change my look instantly." Duncan Regehr has good cause for being confused by any suggestion that he is of the discovered-in-a-filling-station school of Mindless Wonders who flex their way to semi-stardom. He was hosting a talk show for teenagers on the CBC (he is Canadian) when he was 14. He began training for the classical theater a few years later. In high school he was a figure skater in ice shows. He came close to becoming a member of Canada's Olympic boxing team, but chose to forego boxing for the stage. , He was at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and in regional theaters, made 10 movies and starred in a TV series. Since moving- to Hollywood with his wife in 1981 he has worked almost constantly, starring in the series called "Wizards and Warriors" before filming "The Last Days of Pompeii," and, after completion of "Pompeii," starring as Errol Flynn in a movie biography of that star. Duncan Regehr is obviously hot a man who takes his mail co General Delivery, Muscle Beach. 1 ' JJ- 4 . r ' 9- U J$ K j,. A- X 1 1 J j-if Linda Purl, Duncan Regehr in ABC special Networks consider how to report next round of primaries By PETER KERR ... N.Y. Times News Service NEW YORK After nearly two months of Democratic presidential campaign coverage, with its torrent of polls, voting tallies, upsets and instant analyses, the news divisions of the three television networks now have some breathing space to review their coverage so far and consider how ' they will report the next round of primaries and caucuses. Some of the majof topics being discussed by network executives and television journalists include how much time they should allocate to primary-night special reports and how and when to broadcast the results of exit polls. Spokesmen for all three networks said they would consider reducing their special reports of the Democratic contest if, after Walter F. Mondale's victories over Gary Hart in New York and Pennsylvania, the contest was no longer closely fought. ABC News broadcast 19 minutes of Pennsylvania primary coverage at 11:30 p.m., down from the half-hour that the networks have generally ' allowed for late-night primary reports. "Its not just a question of how much coverage the viewers want," said Joanna Bistany, an ABC spokesman. "It's how much news we have to give them." The three networks' late-night primary coverage has consisted for the most part of vote counts, analysis of what groups voted for whom, interviews with the candidates and discussions of how the results will influence coming primaries and caucuses. The networks have devoted little time to examinations of candidates' stands on the issues, leaving such coverage to the regular early evening news programs. ''I think we still treat this thing too much like a horse race," said Peter Jennings, the anchor of both ABC's "World News Tonight" and the network's primary-night specials. "I think our coverage has gotten better this year, but there is still too much emphasis in the media on front runners'and the numbers. I think the1 electorate is not really happy with that." Jennings said that ABC News had attempted to include more analysis and commentary in recent weeks, and he said he considered "involving the public more on primary nights," possibly by including interviews with private individuals along with the comments of candidates and political experts. Another area of concern a! the networks is the criticism of their use of exit polling data, information gathered from voters as they leave the polls. Voting trends reported before the polls are closed, critics charge, may influence the outcome of elections. Tom Brokaw, the anchor of the "The NBC Nightly News," suggested that in the next lew weeks the networks might be able to work out a common policy on the use of exit polls. "Obviously there are a lot of people unhappy about the exit polls," Brokaw said. "Maybe we can work out an industrywide agreement on how we should use them in the coming weeks." A decision to do so, he added. would have to come from NBC executives. But Dan Rather, the anchor of "The CBS Evening News," said he would be reluctant to discuss, exit polling policy with the other networks. "I don't think the public would appreciate our getting together to decide what policy we should follow," Rather said. "I would prefer for us to make our own decisions." George Watson, an ABC News vice president, said his organization also' would be reluctant to discuss a mutual policy. Reupholstering .... Our Expert skim ana ware Goes Into Every Detail! We start by stripping the furniture down to the frame ... tighten springs, reweb and recover. It's custom re-upholstery at its. finest. 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