Mike Myers: Portrait of the Artist as a Just Another Sulky, Needy Genius

While this summer's blockbuster stars may yet go down as the stroppiest on record, Mike Myers has pulled a bit of an midseason upset by usurping the season's sulky, moody, bridge-burning crown from long-time "passion" front-runner Edward Norton in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. Not that the rap on Myers today isn't that much different than it's been in the last 17 years, but with The Love Guru drawing fire from all sides and Myers' spirituality-and-humor crossbreed having apparently all but hijacked his, well, humor, now seems as good a time as any to stir up the bad blood trailing him to the screen this weekend:

''He was emotionally needy and got more difficult as the shoot went along,'' [Wayne's World director Penelope] Spheeris says. ''You should have heard him bitching when I was trying to do that 'Bohemian Rhapsody' scene: 'I can't move my neck like that! Why do we have to do this so many times? No one is going to laugh at that!''' To manage Myers' moods, Spheeris put her daughter in charge of making sure he had whatever snack he needed at any given moment: ''To this day, I have this image of her sitting on this little cooler, looking at me, like, 'Mom, I f—-ing hate you.'''

But then came Austin Powers, and like a snaggle-toothed, chest-haired phoenix, Myers soared back into the hearts of his worst enemies:

''I hated that bastard for years,'' says Spheeris, who believes Myers dissuaded Paramount from hiring her for Wayne's World 2. ''But when I saw Austin Powers, I went, 'I forgive you, Mike.''' She pauses, voice choked with emotion. '''You can be moody, you can be a jerk, you can be things that others of us can't be — because you are profoundly talented. And I forgive you.'''

Though she also adds, "Maybe he could open, like, a children's hospital to clean up his rep. He's got to do something pretty quick," so there's a bit of a ways to go still. But those whom Myers has helped make rich — the Jeffrey Katzenbergs, Jay Roaches and Lorne Michaelses — are a little more sanguine, all readily admitting that Myers' skill comes with strings attached, and all apparently prepared to forgive the sitar-rocking, Troyer-baking Love Guru ancillaries that have Myers facing a future of hell. And that's just in Hollywood — don't even get us started again on the whole Hindu-curse part of the equation.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]