Karl Urban: Enemy Territory

Karl Urban tries to take down two of the summer's biggest action heroes.


New Zealander Karl Urban gets down and dirty this summer as the nemesis to Riddick (Vin Diesel) in the intergalactic science-fiction film The Chronicles of Riddick and trained assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in the espionage thriller The Bourne Supremacy, both from Universal. Best known as the warrior Eomer in the last two installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Urban jokes that "this summer the studio's hired me as the guy who almost kilts the stars of their films." From the sound of it, he put up a pretty good fight.

HOLLYWOOD LIFE: Who was more difficult to try to take down, Vin Diesel or Matt Damon?

KARL URBAN: They're both skilled adversaries.

Q: What was the most extreme thing you did as an arch rival?

A: A reverse 180 in the middle of rush hour traffic in Moscow for Bourne Supremacy. It's probably the most dangerous thing I've ever done. They trained me to do all these crazy car stunts and I think 'cause I'm a Kiwi boy from New Zealand, and am used to driving on dirt roads at outrageous speeds, I kind of took to it like a pig in mud.

Q: Were there occupational hazards to getting in on the action?

A: I never got hurt, although we were shooting a sequence in India where I had to run across these swampy marshlands and assemble a rifle and then take a shot, and the very night before I came down with "Delhi Belly" [a stomach bug]. I just happened to get it right before we were doing one of the most physical things I had to do in the whole movie, so it was a crippling experience.

Q: But you went on with the shoot as scheduled?

A: [Laughs] Yeah, I did. I guess I'm a sucker for punishment.


Lauren Lyster