Arnold Vosloo's The Mummy Costume Wasn't Quite What He Expected

In any fun action-adventure movie, a quality villain is paramount. The villain pushes the plot along and creates obstacles for our heroes. They often need to carry entire scenes on their own, basking in their villainy far away from the protagonists.

This was the case in 1999's "The Mummy," the jaunty and beloved Brendan Frasier vehicle about an adventurer who travels with a pair of siblings to the City of the Dead in Egypt, where they accidentally revive the titular mummy. The film is a straightforward, relatively family-friendly adventure that harkens back to the simpler days of clear-cut stories of good and evil.

In a movie with this traditional structure, the villain is more important than ever. Here, the villain is Imhotep, an Egyptian high priest who is accidentally revived and brings the Seven Plagues back to Egypt. Imhotep is portrayed by Arnold Vosloo, who plays the role deftly. He has fun in his villainy, but he's not overly cartoonish or completely void of depth.

Imhotep's costume, when he's in his human form, is a fairly simple one, and he looks as much like an Egyptian high priest a white guy problematically playing one in a movie can. But according to Vosloo, he did not initially feel very comfortable with the somewhat revealing costume.

We've got a fat Mummy!

In the interview, Vosloo talks about the first time he saw his costume, and his and others' reaction to it.

"They go, 'All right, here's your wardrobe.' It's, like, a G-string. I liked my beers; I had a bit of a paunch — still do. Steve [Sommers] told me afterwards that the wardrobe master said, 'We've got a problem. We've got a fat Mummy!' So in Morocco I was just running and walking and eating whatever it is they make you eat to lose weight. It all worked out."

The revealing nature of Imhotep's outfit made Vosloo work hard to lose weight quickly, and he wouldn't be the only person to push themselves too hard physically during the filming of "The Mummy."

But, as Vosloo himself said, it all worked out. "The Mummy" was a box office hit. It spawned multiple sequels and a prequel, including one that gave Vosloo a turn at joining the good guys for a change. A movie's villain can make a huge impact on its overall quality, and Vosloo can take pride in his work in one of the best action-adventure movies of the 1990s.