Why 'Austin Powers' Changed Its Original Tragic Ending For Mini-Me

"We had to go back and reshoot that," says Verne Troyer.

When he was first cast as the diminutive diabolical clone in “Austin Powers,” Verne Troyer readily admits he had no inkling of how popular his Mini-Me character would become. Perhaps part of the reason for that is because the 47-year-old actor didn’t have a ton of screen time as Mini-Me in the original script.

As Troyer tells “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, the Mini-Me role was intended to be quite minor ― until the film’s star, producer and writer Mike Myers made a few changes.  “In the beginning, Mini-Me character wasn’t in the film that much,” Troyer says. “Once we started rehearsal, Mike kept adding more parts and more parts and more parts.”

Though Mini-Me had no speaking lines in “Austin Powers,” people adored him. So much so, Troyer says, that they ended up altering the movie’s ending to prevent the character from meeting a tragic fate.

“When they did a test screening, Mini-Me died at the end,” Troyer reveals. “We had to go back and reshoot that because the crowd was upset that Mini-Me was no longer there.”

It wasn’t unusual for the cast to roll with the punches during filming, Troyer points out. Thanks to Myer’s talent for improvisation, countless scenes contained unexpected elements. “Working with Mike was great. He improv’d a lot,” Troyer says. “It just kept you on your toes.”

In fact, one of Troyer’s more memorable scenes from the movie involved his own form of improv.

“There was this scene that I did with him where we’re holding the cats, Mr. Bigglesworth and Mini-Mr. Bigglesworth,” Troyer says. “[Mike Myers] just out of the blue asked me if I’m hungry. Mini-Me doesn’t talk, so I just grabbed the cat and went to bite his ear. They kept that in the film.”

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