Hercules will be in the vicinity of the Great Smoky Mountains this weekend. He’s not visiting East Tennessee to wrestle a black bear or tangle with a cougar; instead, Kevin Sorbo — known for his role as Hercules in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” (1995-99) — will appear in person at the Forge Cinemas in Pigeon Forge.
The event is not your typical celebrity appearance at a convention. Sorbo will be at the movies talking about his movie and television experiences.
“I think the whole concept is cool,” Sorbo said during a phone interview. “We are going to look at clips of ‘Hercules,’ ‘Andromeda’ and my movies. I will have a Q&A session, sign autographs, and take pictures. It plays out like some sort of mini Kevin Sorbo Con. I jokingly told the promoters they were putting too much pressure on me. The event is something new, and the promoters want to see how things go. I really hope fans come by and say hello.”
The show offers a chance to see Sorbo in a different light.
“This will be a more personal experience than what you would normally have at convention,” he said. “I always talk to each fan at every convention, but it can be rushed at times due to (time constraints). At the Pigeon Forge event, I can have a chat with fans and spend more time answering questions. It should be a lot of fun — for me and the fans.”
The actor/director/producer has a diverse fan following.
“People that watched ‘Hercules’ and ‘Andromeda’ when the shows came out have grown up, and they now watch the shows with their kids,” he said. “I have a young audience again, which is kind of nice.”
Steve Reeves played Hercules in the 1950s, and the character was frequently shown lying down when not fighting the Hydra. You won’t catch Sorbo being lazy. The modern-day Hercules stays busy.
“I have been (involved with) 61 movies since the series ‘Andromeda’ ended in 2005,” he said. “There are probably 10 movies I wish I hadn’t done. You never think you are in a bad movie until it comes out, and then you know.
“I have five movies coming out soon. They are done and in the can. Four of them will be released next year. The movie ‘Miracle in East Texas’ is set in 1931. I am in it, along with John Ratzeberger, Louis Gossett Jr. and Tyler Mane. It has already appeared at festivals in Houston, Las Vegas and Orlando. Four more festivals are lined up. We hope to get it into the movie theaters by the end of the year.”
Releasing an independent movie isn’t easy.
“It is hard to get them out there because you are competing,” Sorbo said. “People don’t realize that you have to spend money to get them in theaters. It doesn’t matter how big or small the movie is; everybody has to spend between $2,000 to $3,000 per screen, per movie theater. It is very tough for a $2 million movie to take on a $300 million movie.”