After playing the title role in The Mummy and its sequel, Arnold Vosloo had just about had it with sarcophagi and sand crabs. But when he tried to turn down an offer to join the cast of Veritas: The Quest, ABC's high-tech riff on Indiana Jones-type adventurers, he was told in no uncertain terms to sphinx again.

"My agent said, 'This show is exactly what you need to do,'" he relates to TV Guide Online. "'Half — no, 90 percent — of America thinks you're running around Egypt in a loincloth! They don't even know you speak English!'"

So, back into the catacombs marched the actor, his enthusiasm renewed for bringing to life tales from the crypt. And if he hasn't given his rep a sizeable bonus, he ought to: In Vincent Siminou, the strong, silent sidekick of a rugged archaeologist (Alex Carter) and his incorrigible son (Ryan Merriman), the South African-born thesp may finally have happened upon an adequate showcase for his handsome features and intense presence. If nothing else, at least Vincent has hair and talks!

"I spoke with some friends who know the television business," offers the small-screen rookie, "and they all told me, 'No matter how much you're getting paid, you really have to like your character. You don't want to be sick of him in three or four years if this [series] happens to [take off]. You'll just get depressed and end up in rehab!' Luckily, this is a fun part."

Whether following tonight's premiere of Veritas (at 8 pm/ET) viewers agree or dig Vosloo and his fellow tomb raiders an early grave — "The audience may say, 'Who's this idiot? Bring on the bald guy in the loincloth!'" he laughs — the high priest of the cineplex isn't worried. Tut-tut! He already has another gig, ahem, wrapped up.

"Once [director] Steve Sommers is done shooting his next big film, which will be toward the end of the year, then he'll sit down and think about doing Mummy 3," Imhotep's portrayer reveals, adding that he's confident he'll be asked to return. "My wife jokes that I'm like the shark in Jaws — I don't die, I just keep coming back!"Is Veritas worth your time? Read our review and find out!