How historically accurate is ''Scorpion King''? Experts split hairs on the subject
Kelly Hu, The Scorpion King
Credit: Scorpion King: Timothy White

by William Keck and Stephen Schaefer

What does ”The Scorpion King” have in common with Oscar winner ”A Beautiful Mind”? Why, questions of historical accuracy, of course. Savvy filmgoers may wonder if ”King” took liberties in portraying Egyptians of 5,000 years ago as aficionados of, ahem, bikini waxing. Turns out the smooth-skinned look may have actually been en vogue. ”Ancient Egyptian costumes were quite transparent because it’s so hot,” says David Chierichetti, author of ”Hollywood Costume Design.” ”I don’t know if they used waxing to remove body hair, but they plucked the hairs out.”

Director Chuck Russell concedes that verisimilitude wasn’t a major concern. ”We have no archaeological evidence of waxing in ancient times, so we can only extrapolate as to what might have happened,” he says. ”But for our movie, there were bikini waxes for both the men and the women. I had such a spectacular-looking cast, I wanted to share a little bit of that with the audience.”

And so he did. As Kelly Hu, King’s sexy sorceress Cassandra, admits, ”I have never been so scantily clad in my whole life.” For his part, The Rock believes the movie got it right. ”There were bikini waxes in ancient times,” he says. ”But for the record, The Rock shaves. He doesn’t wax!”

The Scorpion King
  • Movie
  • 94 minutes