Michael York has played nearly every kind of role on screen--kings and generals, a fey professor ("Cabaret"), musketeers and scientists (most recently as Mike Myers's straight man in the Austin Powers movies). But from his debut as Tybalt in Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet" York has sparkled most as the seductive villain. In 1999's box-office surprise "The Omega Code," he was the philanthropist-turned-AntiChrist Stone Alexander. The fun was watching Alexander's charisma harden into a glittering cruelty, exposing them as two sides of a coin. In "Megiddo," the "Omega Code" sequel released last month, York's Alexander finishes the job by transforming into the Beast.

In an interview before the terrorist attacks, York talked about how he went from star of "The Omega Code" to co-producer of the new film, about making movies about how the world will end, and what happens if it doesn't.

How did you get involved with "The Omega Code"?
["The Omega Code" producer] Matt Crouch at Trinity Broadcasting Network just came to me with a script, the normal way things are done. My initial reaction was too be a bit leery, to be honest. Even though I'd been in Zeffirelli's [miniseries] "Jesus of Nazareth," I thought for the most part that Christian entertainment was a sort of contradiction in terms. Something a little too pious and preach and too squeaky clean.

More on End Times
Counting the Days
How terrorism plays into End Times theories

What are the End Times?

'We know not the hour'
End or no end, it's good to be spiritually ready

An interview with 'Left Behind' co-author Jerry Jenkins.

Michael York on playing the anti-Christ

Read a selection of what Beliefnet members are saying or go straight to the End Times boards

Complete 9/11 Coverage
But Matt is wonderfully enthusiastic and irresistible. Also, the actual role I was offered was very intriguing-you know, the Devil always has the best tunes. Stone Alexander, this particular anti-Christ I play in "Megiddo," is very much a fallen angel. He's a great philanthropist, who has used his business skills for the benefit of the world, to relieve several global problems. The he dabbles in politics and then he overreaches himself. So there were a lot of things going for it. And I always take risks. I'd rather rue the sins of commission that the sins of omission.

As it happened, it wasn't something that was out in far left field. It's part of a huge, huge trend. It turns out that there is a whole missing section of the population who stay away from the movies because they don't like what they see. The idea with "The Omega Code" was to make something they might want to see, and at the same time was made to cross over to a wider audience. They would be a fundamental few who would get all the allusions and the others would be quite happy seeing a fast paced thriller, which even had a car chase and a gun.

Are you a religious person?
I'm not a practicing Christian, though I was raised an Anglican. I was a choirboy even. And I loved the ceremony and the language and the esthetic beauty of it. And I'd like to think that I'm spiritual, that we're all on this journey. [But] I'm a C.S. Lewis man.

So "The Omega Code" is not a world you normally hang around in?
No, but on "Megiddo," I was a co-producer. I served exactly by being bringing a consciousness that was not as committed. But there is so much that I applaud. I do think that a film that has an unambiguous moral base is to be applauded, especially in our rather anarchic times, where there is a tremendous moral confusion.

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus