Ryan Hunter-Davies as GI Joe
Born: Guanzhou, China 13 March 1977
Taken from his mother at an early age, Ryan Hunter-Davies is still haunted by her loss, consoled only by the memory of her almond eyes and how she used to gently stroke his face with her paint brush. He spent much of his childhood riding around on the back of lorries or in shipping containers, until he finally found himself in Australia. His big break came when he was left for months in a warehouse managed by a storeman who spent most of his time reading comics, discarding them into a box Hunter-Davies was living in at the time. He read all these discarded comics learning everything he needed to know about how to be a man in his newly adopted culture.
His rise to fame came with his seminal role as the hunky botanist Jet Rogers in the smash hit soap opera Elizabeth Bay. Hunter-Davies says though that his Making the Empire Cross character GI Joe, is the sort of role he feells best suited to. “Playing everyone’s favourite comic book hero is a formidable task. It is difficult to live up to other people’s expectations of the character, but I have drawn upon my considerable acting ability and undeniable good looks, to pull this one off.”
Cherry Wang as Baghdad Barbie.
Born: Guanzhou, China 16 August 1980
Growing up in the South (of China), Cherry dreamed of becoming an actress. Her move to Australia was sponsored by the Crazy Clark’s retail chain (and her daddy Victor, a Chinese manufacturing magnate), but she quickly rose to stardom by starring in a number of lucrative modelling contracts and attending countless high profile parties. With her trademark blonde locks she regularly features in almost every magazine in the world, and was therefore a natural choice for Making the Empire Cross producers who were seeking archetypical features for the character of Baghdad Barbie.
Jack Barrow as Jihad Joe.
Born: Guanzhou, 25 April 1970
Arriving in Australia as part of the action toy series ‘The Pirates’, Jack was eager to escape typecasting and tried out for a number of roles in family comedies. Jack even tried out for the role of Horatio Hornblower, according to Jack he was offered the role but decided not to move to the UK because he does not like the cold, and gets sea sick.
After 12 months of unemployment on a temporary visa jack was faced with deportation. Jack finally took the role of Jihad Joe after many suggested that his failure to secure roles had more to do with the type of role he auditioned for, than his acting ability. Of the role Jack says “I just don’t understand why there be no good roles for pirates, except as terrorists, generic bad guys and of course as pirates. Arh I would luv a part I could sink my teeth into..” Nevertheless it is expected that this will be the role that provides him with the big break he needs.
Henri Brideaux as Public Enemy #1.
Never one to miss a good action flick, Henri signed up for this role with alacrity. (Of course the fact that he was just a cheap clone of Action Man and this was his chance for a bit of street cred, had nothing to do with it.) Although no-one knows where Henri really came from, his own cover story as a French agent who worked for the infamous multi-national police against crime and turmoil (M-PACT), has done the rounds so many times now, that few can remember if is fact or fiction.
What ever the case, Henri can always be counted on to take the high ground. When cast in the role of Public Enemy # 1 he said, “English arrogance, just because I have dark hair and a moustache, am I naturally the bad guy?”
George Bush Jr as himself.
Born: New Haven, USA 6 July 1946
George W Bush grew up in Midland and Houston, Texas, and received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 1968. He then apparently served as an F-102 fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard. Then in January 2001 he took office as the 43rd President of the United States of America.
Overall George is pleased with his appearance in Making the Empire Cross. He says, “The colours are lovely and really compliment my skin tone. I especially like the helicopter - plus it gave me another chance to wear my flight suit, and they let me keep the sheriffs badge which I now wear around the ranch.”
Saddam Hussein as himself.
Born: Tikrit, Iraq 28 April 1937
In 1957 Saddam joined the Ba'th party at the age of 20, but his hopes of a military career seemed dashed when he was denied admission to the prestigious Baghdad Military Academy that same year. Whilst it is thought this refusal to admit him to the academy was probably because he had not finished high school, it was none the less, a humiliating blow that dishonoured him amongst his military counterparts. After holding a number of posts as a Ba’th party executive, President Bakr confers on him the rank of General in 1976. He became President of the Republic of Iraq on July 16, 1979. Saddam’s television appearances in English speaking countries began in earnest on 2 August 1990, when his forces occupy the republic of Kuwait.
Of his cameo appearance in Making the Empire Cross, Saddam says, “I was just pleased to have the chance to show off my weapons of mass destruction. If the Western media were to be believed, I do not want anyone to see them and I do nothing all day except stand on the balcony of my palace firing my shot-gun. This is of course not true. As you can see from my role in this picture, I also enjoy to do a bit of dancing.”