Original Perseus Harry Hamlin: Willing to “Clash” to Keep it Real

From one Perseus to another, Harry Hamlin has one request for the newest release of "Clash of the Titans" -- keep the myth real, guys.

Hamlin, who starred as Perseus in the cult-classic 1981 version alongside acting Sir Laurence Olivier and Dame Maggie Smith, said he fought for story truth often on the set and even had a brief sit down strike to ensure he could cut Medusa's head off.

"I did win many of my battles," Hamlin told Popcorn Biz after the release of the 1981 version's re-release on Blu-Ray. "And sometimes the producers would listen and tell me to just go off."

Hamlin, who did his Yale thesis on mythology, said he hit the wall when the producers decided he couldn't cut off Medusa's head with a sword because it would affect the rating. Instead he was ordered to improbably throw his shield off a rock and have the shield knock off the dreaded monster's head.

"That's not the myth, what's the point of a magic sword if he's just going to throw a shield?" says Hamlin. "So I said, I think you're going to have to find someone else to play Perseus."

He then locked himself in his trailer during the Maltese shoot. The producers tried imploring and even unplugged his trailer's air conditioning to smoke him out, but Hamlin maintained his head-cutting strike until he prevailed.

As far as the new version, Hamlin will certainly be in line to see Sam Worthington fill his sandals. "I thought Sam Worthington did a terrific job in Avatar," says Hamlin. "It's going to be a great adventure no matter how you slice it."

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