Comedian and actor Mike Myers appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, May 2 to promote his own work, but the conversation inevitably turned to the recent loss of his friend. You may want to grab the nearest box of tissues, since Myers' tribute to his Austin Powers costar Verne Troyer will make you feel so much. The comedian even had to hold back tears as he remembered his friend and costar on Kimmel.
"Verne was a fantastic human being," Myers explained, "And I worked with him for a long time." After pausing to collect himself, he continued:
"I always wanted to make that point, that as written, [the character] Mini-Me is like almost a prop. But he brought it up off the page, better than written, so we just kept giving him more stuff to do. He was a great physical comedian, a great dancer, just a fantastic guy... He died at 49; he wasn't supposed to live past his teens — you saw 150 years' worth of life in this photo montage [at the memorial]. He just went everywhere."
Myers then went on to reveal that during a visit to the White House — when President Obama was throwing a state dinner to honor Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, so not too long ago — both Obama and Trudeau asked, "How is Mini-Me?" in separate interactions. That's the impact Troyer had, and Kimmel couldn't help but chuckle at the image of "leaders of these countries" asking after the Austin Powers character.
Here's the full clip of Myers remembering Troyer:
Among the many things this touching tribute revealed is the fact that Myers and Troyer weren't just costars; they were close friends off-screen. The comedian recently attended a memorial service for his friend, and was amazed by all the life he'd lived just the same. Even though they'd first worked together as far back as 1998 or 1999, Myers was obviously still humbled by Troyer's energy and talent. "Verne brought so much love to everything," he commented, and mentioned that no matter where the actor and musician traveled, he looked for a way to contribute to the area. "I don't know if he met the Pope," Myers said, adding, "But he'd literally go to a country and say, I'd love to do some charity work." Incredible.
When Kimmel asked about what their friendship was like, Myers had even more praise for Troyer:
"You know, Verne was very small. Like, very small. Every day, you see him, and you go, Wow, that is a small human. But by the end of the day, you just saw Verne. It just sort of went away. He was just so sweet — he was part of the cast, and fantastic. I miss him."
They then went on to discuss Myers' recent honor. The comedian recently received the Order of Canada, which is the highest civilian honor one can achieve. Per the Kimmel clip, fellow household names to earn the title include Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels and Late Show With David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer.
Despite his own accomplishments, Myers appeared touched by the opportunity to celebrate the life of his dear friend during his interview. While Mini-Me may have been written as a novelty character, by Myers' own admission, it was Troyer's talent and exuberance that made him so memorable. Even though the role of Mini-Me in both Austin Powers sequels was largely silent, Troyer undeniably stole every scene. It's moving to see a longtime costar like Myers remember all of Troyer's glowing, positive attributes.
The actor's comedy legacy feels like a given, so it's wonderful for fans to learn new things about him, even today. To hear he spent his travel time looking for ways to contribute to charities, for instance, is inspiring. And when someone like Myers reflects on Troyer's talents publicly, it just might encourage new fans to do the same.