transcript of Interview from today programme

Today Programme / Channel9 Australia / September 8th, 2008


Lisa:  Well it was one of the biggest shows of the 1970s and it’s still very much a cult classic of today.  The Six Million Dollar Man which featured one of the greatest openers of all time.  Take a look.  (Six Million Dollar Man opening voice over and theme is played)

Lisa:  Well don’t we all remember that music. That show starred Lee Majors - I feel I should be doing this in my school uniform because I use to watch this in my school uniform.  Lee Majors is back with a new movie and Lee joins us now!

Good morning Lee

Lee: Good morning! And I must say that I was very impressed with the big trophy that you won.

Lisa: It’s not bad is it?

Lee: Not bad? You put those guys to shame

Lisa: Now welcome to Australia. But this is not your first trip to Australia.  I gather your first trip was back in 1975 for the Logies in the middle of all that madness

Lee: Well, I remember flying over on the plane with John Wayne sitting in the middle row, and he said, “Son, sit down,” and he pulled out this bottle of commemorative tequila - that was his favourite drink ... and we commenced to start drinking. I don’t know what time zone I was in when I arrived here, but I do know that the Logies is a wonderful award show. Since then I’ve been back a couple of times.  I did a pilot here a few years back and another guest role in another pilot. So I enjoy working here very much and it’s always amazing, I think this is the greatest view of the Opera House and the Bridge that there is in the world

Lisa: That coming into land?

Lee: Yes it’s just marvellous

Lee: It’s not bad, is it?

Lisa: Just talking about that time and my apologies - I am sure you get asked about this all the time -but it is such an iconic show, The Six Million Dollar Man, and people feel so affectionately about it, I suppose we wonder what it would have been like to be you in the middle of all that.

Lee: Well, when you’re doing a show like that, and you’re working you know 12, 13, 14, 15 hours a day, six days a week and you’re resting at the weekends and learning the next show, you’re not out amongst the public as much.  And I went on to do other series - I have done about 8 series, The Fall Guy after that, The Big Valley way before....

Lisa: Sure

Lee: And I was always working, and I never realised how my work was being received until probably in the last ten years I would say... and the more that I travel when I am not working or whatever – I am still working, but when I arrive on a set somewhere like this, the kids come out with the dolls that they want me to sign - I’m talking about the guys at work, then you realize what an impact that show had and it’s very satisfying.

Lisa: Everyone remembers it with great affection. Of course at that time you were married to Farrah Fawcett who had her own massive show, Charlie’s Angels.  We’ve been hearing a lot lately that Farrah has been unwell. Do you know how she is?

Lee: No...Err... all I know is that she has been receiving treatment that seems to be working.  There really hasn’t been any latest news on her.

Lisa:  That’s very good to hear. Now there has been talk of a remake of The Six Million Dollar Man.  There’s been talk of Jim Carey

Lee:  There has been... Well they did the The Bionic Woman as a television show in the States, but it didn’t go  over well because I think it was like... no offence to the actress -  but I think she was a little tough, and it was a little over the top, so to speak, and a little  too dark.  If you remember in the Six Mill at least Lindsay Wagner and I, we always had nice stories and they ended well.  It was good for kids to watch, and nowadays they shoot things that are so over the top, so graphic – and they use all these computer graphics and stuff - I just don’t think it’s good for young kids

Lisa: And you met up with Lindsay Wagner recently

Lee: Pardon me. 

Lisa: You met up with Lindsay Wagner

Lee: Yes in Rome for the Rome fest.  They honoured us over there, which was quite a deal, but now I am playing a Grandpa!

Lisa: You are!

Lee: And you’re never going to get to it

Lisa:  I am, I’m with you

Lee:  Well, I am getting a new generation of kids

Lisa: You are a hero all over again

Lee:  It’s a cartoon on the Cartoon Network in the States, and I guess it is played everywhere on the Cartoon Network, but... err... a friend of mine said would I do a part for him in his film and I said. ‘Sure’.  But I didn’t know what it was, and so this is cute, it’s really nice. And so we ended up doing it, but my wife and I were in the theatre watching the movie - Evan Almighty with Steve Carroll and they had two sons, three sons, and I looked at the boy in the middle and I said that boy could play Ben 10.

Lisa: That was Graham Phillips?

Lee: Yeah, and two weeks later I turned up on the set and they had hired Graham Phillips which was wonderful. He’s a wonderful little actor.

Lisa: He’s terrific.  I was talking to him yesterday

Lee: And so he plays Ben Tennyson and I’m Grandpa Max, and I take Ben and his cousin Gwen on summer adventures and he finds this Omnitrex, which is the famous watch with which he can turn himself into different aliens. But they are good aliens.

Lisa: And you have a really good relationship with him and it’s really nice to see

Lee: Well, I have a mobile home called the Rust Bucket and every summer I take them out on their adventures and they love Grandpa and I try to keep them out of trouble and show them a good time and err good values.  But, you know, in the picture we just finished in the summer the old enemy, Eon, is back and he’s from another galaxy and wants to destroy the world and get back the Omnitrex. So the whole thing is very wonderful for children

When I was in Rome I did take a cruise and I was on this boat - on the ship - and I was laying out by the pool and this little boy came up – he was five years old - and he said, “Mr Majors,  could I have your autograph?”, and I said “Well how do you know me?”, and he said, “You’re Grandpa Max!”,  and then he held up his arm and he had this big old Omnitrex black watch.  And I think that is so cute, to get a whole new generation of kids.

Lisa:  Absolutely. Really special

Lee:  We did do the premiere of this show in Melbourne yesterday, and we had two theatres filled with kids and they just loved it

Lisa: Yeah, well I saw it yesterday with my 12-year old son and he absolutely loved it. 

Lee: Well, if they want to watch it they can catch it on  

Lisa: You can read that out for me

Lee: You got it?  (Lee then goes on to announce when Ben 10 will be airing.)

Lisa:  Lee Majors it’s been a pleasure to meet you.

Lee: Lisa thank you so much for having me

Lisa:  Good to see you back in Australia