Richard played Epiphanes in a Hallmark Entertainment made-for-TV production back in 1999. Even Richard has said this movie is bad. And knowing the kind and considerate fellow that RA is, you can pretty bet that means Cleopatra is a turkey
The titular role is played by Leonor Varela, an exotically beautiful young woman who wears a lot of diaphanous costumes which allow ample views of her physical charms. Unfortunately, there is very little acting talent on display, with a performance on par with some less gifted grade-schoolers I have encountered.
The dependable Timothy Dalton does the best he can with the role of Caesar and as Marc Antony, Billy Zane is–Billy Zane.
Rupert Graves is, for me anyway, unintentionally hilarious as Octavius. He is wearing a brunette Harpo Marx wig and walks around clutching his toga in a very self-important manner. It’s one of those roles I doubt Rupert puts on his C.V.
But what YOU really want to know is–what about RICHARD? Well, if you are looking for numerous opportunities to listen to that chocolate voice, you are out of luck. I think he has at most one or two audible lines in the whole film. Nor are there lots of close-ups.
Mostly, he is seen in his flattering toga and helmet astride a horse (the man has the legs for a toga, in case you haven’t noticed), or standing around in his toga (with and without his nifty helmet), popping up periodically and almost always in the background. But it seems a criminally long wait one has to endure to see him for the first time, requiring one to sit through a lot of stilted dialogue.
I can report he wears a Caesar haircut extremely well, and his smudgy bedroom eyes seem precursors to the era of Guyliner that will arrive seven years later.
Would I recommend adding Cleopatra to your RA DVD collection? Well, let me put it this way: unless, as I did, you can find it for a very, very cheap price somewhere–no.
Remember, even RA said it was rubbish. And you know RA . . .