Mike Myers was so enamoured of his friend Shep Gordon that the Wayne’s World star begged to make a documentary about the music manager’s life. The result is Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, an 85-minute film co-directed by Myers and Beth Aala. Toronto-born Myers spoke to The Globe on the phone from New York about how the movie finally happened, what the real aim of life should be and what is going on with Austin Powers 4.
This is your directorial debut. What made you want to step behind the camera?
It’s Shep Gordon. I’ve known him for 20 years. I met him on the set of Wayne’s World. He’s a fascinating person and a fascinated person. His stories are so fantastic. A year in to knowing him I said, “Please let me make a movie about you.” He said no, and then eventually a few years ago he said yes.
There’s a moment in the film where you say you stayed at Shep’s house in Maui for two months at one point as you were dealing with a personal crisis. What was happening to you at the time?
My dad had passed away in 1991. I loved my dad. I was very close to him. I was heartbroken. And then I got on with life as we all do, and a second wave hit me. I just had time to think. I hadn’t taken time to really feel it.
You had a son of your own about 2 1/2 years ago, just before this project got under way, and you and your wife just had a second child two months ago. There’s a strong theme of family that runs through the documentary. Do you think the changes in your own family had a lot of influence on that?
What I’ve always loved about Shep is that he doesn’t really talk about show business. He talks about babies, he talks about family. And by the way, neither does [Toronto-born Saturday Night Live creator] Lorne Michaels. I think everybody seeks sanctuary, and I think Shep has created a beautiful sanctuary for himself. I love making things, but family is first. That’s Shep’s whole belief.
What do you hope audiences take from this movie?
I hope they realize that there’s a way to make a living and maintain your humanity. I hope they take away that family and sanctuary should be your No. 1 priority. I hope they take away that fame – that you have to love the art in yourself and not yourself in the art. And that loving acts pay off. Being kind is not being weak.
I saw that Austin Powers 4 is up on your IMDb page. Can you tell me about what’s happening?
I don’t know why it’s up on my IMDb page. This is something that we’ve been talking about for a long, long time. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
This interview has been condensed and edited.