He's evil .......he's vicious ........he's relentlessly cunning. He's Hades, Lord of the Dead, and he's here to help .......Himself!!

Reprising his hilarious role as Keeper of the Underworld in the movie James Woods returns to the small screen with a vengeance, bent yet again on destroying Hercules and taking over Mt. Olympus. In an interview a few years ago, Mr. Woods described how other actors came into the studio to audition for the role as terrible, fearsome characters with deep booming voices.... filled with dread and authority as befitting the "God of Death." Mr.Woods opted for the second most terrifying persona he could think of - that of a fast-talking, quick-dealing, ruthlessly ambitious Wall Street inside trader .....
......and with that characterization he set the Disney pantheon of villains on it's ear.


Hades lives in the Underworld, where he spends most of his time plotting and scheming to either destroy Zeus and take over Olympus or, failing that, to increase the population of his Underworld domain by several million .....instantaneously.
He is helped/hindered in this aim by the return of Pain and Panic and the evil trio take on Herc and his friends again and again in an elaborate series of cat-and-mouse maneuvers. These invariably end with Hades getting some sort of comeuppance and his two bungling minions getting roasted by their irascible master. Obnoxiously insincere, cheerfully macabre and dripping with sarcasm, Hades comes the closest of any male Disney villain to a realistic modern personality - we instantly recognize him as a stereotype everyone knows and dislikes. Face it...this guy sold you your first timeshare. {The one built on the Indian burial mound with alligators in the swimming pool.} But gosh darn it - he's just so charmingly hilarious - greeting doomed souls with a chipper " Do you prefer Regular or Extra Crispy?" You never want to see him leave a scene - he's the bad guy you love to hate. And occasionally..... actually feel sorry for. He often laments his depressing career and expresses a desire to romp and frolic with the other gods high atop Mt. Olympus. He harbours a romantic infatuation for Aphrodite and treats Pain and Panic with a sort of affectionate - if disparaging - tough love. He really doesn't want to destroy anyone as much as he just wants his own way - if only they'd let him have it. As Hades himself would say, "Hey, bottom line, broad strokes, it's just business, right Babe? you know what I mean - may I call you Babe? - OK, nothing personal - you understand? Badda bing badda boom!"

 

James Woods...... On being Hades~

"I get my motivation for doing the part of Hades in the Hercules TV series primarily because I have two nieces and a nephew who said if I didn't do it, I would never be welcome at Thanksgiving dinner again. They said, 'Uncle Jimmy, you are so cool in Hercules. You're going to do the series, right?' I said, 'Well, you know, the series is 65 episodes and it takes all this time and I did put two years into the film, and there are other things I've got to do...' And they said, 'Uncle Jimmy, we told all of our friends at school - you are doing the series!' You know, my nephew is eight years old. There's no negotiating with him."

"To be a Disney villain is to join a pantheon of characters, some of which have the most impact in American cinema. I mean, when you think about it - Cruella DeVille, Captain Hook, et al. - these are great characters and I thought Hades was destined to be a really memorable one."

 

 

Hades' alter ego entered this world on April 18, 1947 in Vernal, Utah. His father was an Army intelligence officer who took his family wherever he was posted -from Illinois to Guam. Young army brat James aimed towards a future as an eye surgeon till an accident with a plate glass window badly injured his right hand. Switching career gears he accepted a scholarship at MIT to study political science and in his freshman year he joined the university's Drama Workshop. The acting bug bit {and James bit back!!} by appearing in over 38 plays and summer stock productions through his four year stint. Two months before graduation he gave up on a promising profession in the State Department and dropped out of college to become an actor {and calling his mother on the phone to inform her of his decision he experienced "the longest pause in telecommunications history....after which she gave me her blessing" } His first few years in New York theater had him doing the usual struggle to find employment and his rather stark, jagged features { put to such great use inspiring Hade's design} kept him from nabbing the traditional leading man roles but gradually, year after year, review after positive review he managed to gain a reputaton off Broadway and starring in TV films, most notably My Name is Bill W, in which he played the heroic founder of Alcoholic's Anonymous. In 1979 his stunning portrayal as a cop killer in "The Onion Field" paved the way for a successful career playing mostly foulmouthed psychopaths and intensely driven maniacs- ironic casting for an exceptionally intelligent, verbal man with a terrific sense of humour who attends church religiously and remains devoted to his widowed mother. He was a ruthless detective in Cop, a killer turned informer in Best Seller, and a burnt out lawyer in True Believer. Other movies include Nixon, Casino, Ghosts of Missisippi, Another Day in Paradise, Vampires, The General's Daughter, John Q, The Rudy Guiliani Story and Any Given Sunday........... Simpsons fans {including myself} worship one of the funniest episodes in the series featuring James spoofing himself as a movie star taking a job at the Quickie Mart to study up on his role of a "tightly wound convienience store clerk," {which becomes, inexplicably, a "jittery Eskimo fire fighter."} Mr. Woods lives in Los Angeles. As the character of the lovably evil Hades he enjoyed a star turn in the Hercules movie and TV series....he also narrated several computer games {Kingdom of Hearts, for one} and made frequent cameo appearances in Disney's House of Mouse TV toon. Currently James Woods stars in the CBS crime drama SHARK as a predatorial prosecuting attorney with an axe to grind. {Yeah. We know. Too perfect. } SHARK airs Thursday nights on CBS {check your local times, Babe.}

 

 

.......Click here for Hades FanArt Page

................and click Here for Hades Movie Interview...............

And click Here to read our "Hadean Ditty" .....sung to Mary Poppin's "Chim Chim Cheereeeee"

 

 


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