The real reason why Hollywood stopped casting Mike Myers

Mike Myers made the jump from Saturday Night Live to the big screen with two adaptations of his silly SNL skit Wayne's World, and kept hitting paydirt with his James Bond parody character Austin Powers in three wildly successful movies. He also served as the unforgettable voice of the green ogre Shrek for four films and a series of spinoffs—but then, as if Myers himself had received the "happily ever after" promised to his ogre incarnation, he seemed to drop off the face of the earth…or at least the face of Hollywood.

What happened to turn an unstoppable comedy juggernaut into a virtual recluse? Here's why Mike Myers doesn't get many movies offers anymore.

He can afford to indulge his hobbies

During his time out of the spotlight, Myers has kept busy with other projects. The past few years have revealed him as a documentary director and author (more on those later). He also has a variety of hobbies he's enjoyed over the years, ranging from Dungeons and Dragons to playing in a floor hockey league twice a week. He's a well-known major hockey fan, often attending Toronto Maple Leaf games and sharing his thoughts on the occasional NHL broadcast. Between these hobbies, mystery projects, and the aforementioned busy family life, it's tough to get Myers to sit down and read a script…something the actor takes a lot of pride in.

He's been busy behind the scenes

Another reason audiences haven't seen Mike Myers gracing the local multiplex is that he's busy making his own independent movies. The twist? This time he's behind the camera. Myers directed the 2014 movie Supermensch, a documentary about the life of Shep Gordon, a legendary music manager whose clients ranged from Blondie and Luther Vandross to Alice Cooper. In fact, Cooper served as the original connective tissue between Gordon and Myers through his cameo in the first Wayne's World movie. Myers had to meet with Cooper's manager, Gordon, and immediately took a liking to the man.

Gordon ultimately served as a bit of a mentor and father figure to Myers over the years, a friendship that proved especially poignant after the actor's father passed away and Myers helped process his grief by staying with Gordon in Hawaii for about two months.

He's been pigeonholed as a comedian

Mike Myers is understandably known as a comedian due to his hilarious performances in Austin Powers and Shrek. Unfortunately, this means the majority of moviegoers remain unaware of his ability to anchor dramatic roles, as proven in projects like Studio 54 (in which he played the co-founder of the titular club) and Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds. As plenty of other comedians have learned, it's difficult to pull off that leap from silly stuff into more serious fare. Audiences simply want Myers to make them laugh—that is, when they aren't completely rejecting his bizarre sense of humor.

Audiences have rejected his recent movies

For younger audiences who may not necessarily associate Myers with Austin Powers or Shrek, there's another movie that unfortunately comes to mind: The Love Guru. The 2008 comedy presented Myers as, well, a love guru whose dream is to be featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. He brought his Austin Powers costar Verne Troyer to the film along with several big names, including Justin Timberlake, Jessica Alba, and Ben Kingsley.

Despite all that star power, the movie flopped hard. Against a budget of $62 million (which doesn't count the cost of advertising), the movie only brought in a worldwide gross of $40 million and change. It struggled against fellow funny movie Get Smart as well as the second official Marvel Studios film, The Incredible Hulk, marking a particularly painful failure during an overall bad year for Paramount that cost execs John Lesher and Brad Weston their jobs. It's been nearly a decade since The Love Guru bombed, but he hasn't done much since—and it isn't hard to imagine that studios might still be gunshy about handing Myers the reins to a major movie.

He's a bestselling author

Myers' recent big-screen absence may not entirely be a case of Hollywood turning its back on him. He's also turned over a new (maple) leaf as the author of Canada, a book focusing on Myers exploring what his beloved country means to him via photographs, anecdotes, and his trademark humor. In addition to the time it took Myers to write and publish the work, he also embarked on a nationwide promotional tour, spurring bestselling sales in the country and inspiring the #MikesCanada Twitter hashtag. It remains to be seen whether Canada marks the limits of Myers' literary ambitions, but he obviously isn't just sitting around waiting for screenplays.

He turns down a lot of scripts

When it comes to figuring out why a beloved actor is no longer headlining major Hollywood movies, there are typically two possible answers presented. One is that Hollywood is no longer sending that actor scripts…a not-so-subtle "thanks, but no thanks" from a movie industry that has no further need for what that actor is selling. The other, more positive-sounding possibility is that the actor has become very picky about scripts.

What's interesting about Myers is that both of these true, and have been for a long time. In a 2014 interview with GQ, Myers alleged that he had only received 15 scripts since 1991. The incredulous interviewer asked Myers if he would be happy to star in "interesting dramatic parts," to which he replied "Yeah, a hundred percent, yeah, absolutely." What happens to the rest of the roles he's offered? He clarified that "I do turn virtually everything down." Basically, offers for movies he really wants are few and far between, and he tosses everything else…one of the benefits of having the big green monster on your side. No, not just Shrek: piles of profits.

He spent time working on a TV project

In early 2015, HBO announced Myers had signed a two-year deal with the network to make…something. Details were never specified, and the following year, Decider reported that Myers eventually opted out of the contract because his production deal never led to an order of his series. It's unfortunate that this particular deal never panned out, but it's also interesting that Myers is interested in making a return to the small screen. He obviously knows how to make a hit movie, but for fans who remember watching his SNL antics, he'll always have his roots in TV—and once the stars align behind the scenes, he could be ripe for a comeback.

He's enjoying fatherhood

A less depressing reason Hollywood is unlikely to cast Mike Myers? The actor has been busy playing a couple of other major roles: husband and father. He and his wife, Kelly Tisdale, recently welcomed a new addition to their family, a daughter named Paulina Kathleen. She's merely the latest in a line of kids that includes son Spike (born in 2011) and daughter Sunday Molly (born in April 2014).

How important is family life to Myers? In an interview with Deadline he said, "Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it." He went on to gush that he had no idea fatherhood would be so "awesome" and that it has made him "the happiest" that he has "ever been." Given how genuinely excited and happy becoming a father has made Myers, and given how relatively young his children are, it's tough to imagine he's is eager to star in a major Hollywood production that would involve long hours and a disruptive traveling schedule.

Where does he go from here?

Mike Myers' incredible success with a string of early hits might have established unreasonable expectations for subsequent efforts, but it also gave him the financial freedom to pick his projects carefully—and that's exactly what he's done over the last several years, taking the time to indulge outside interests while waiting on the perfect script. Happily for fans, that drought may soon come to an end: Myers is attached to return for a fifth Shrek movie, due to arrive in 2019, and he's also booked another non-comedy, signing on to star in the "noir thriller" Terminal alongside Margot Robbie and Simon Pegg. He's even open to the idea of a third Wayne's World movie. Whatever he does next, we can rest assured it's earned Myers' stamp of approval.