Michael Biehn - Ultimate character actor.
On this very overcast shitty warm summer afternoon I decided to say screw it, and popped in not just one of my all time favorite action/sci-fi movies...but one of my all time favorite movies ever. Just yesterday I began my 8th themed week of Staystillreview's Sensational Summer, which is James Cameron themed. If you may have noticed I adore Cameron's first four official movies. The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and T2. Not only where this movies top notch films that 30 + years later still hold up and are classics...they also feature in my eyes one of the best character actors of all time.
This being Michael Biehn.
I like so many others grew up watching classics such as The Terminator, Aliens, and T2. In fact, I'm still searching high and low for proof that I was the only 6 year old in 1992 completely obsessed with T2. I had Terminator dolls, and even a T2 sweatshirt I would wear to school. This tape was constantly being played in my house, and I feel was a huge reason behind my love of awesome and oddball movies in the future.
Another reason why I wasn't a typical girl growing up was the fact that I was the only 12 year old out there that had a crush on Michael Biehn. While other girls my age were head over heels in love with boy bands, I loved Michael Biehn. This was an actor I grew up watching in movies, and was so obsessed I even received an autograph photo of him via eBay for my birthday. His movies I would watch constantly. There was of course the Cameron classics like The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss (which was my personal favorite), T2 (a heartbreaking deleted scene in the director's cut), Timebomb, Rampage, K2, Tombstone, Cherry Falls, The Rock, Navy Seals, and much, much more. I owned so many of his straight to video cheesy action movies it wasn't even funny. I must have watched The Terminator, Aliens, and The Abyss over and over, and over again I wore out my tapes and DVDs. What made Michael apart from so many other leading men and character actors was not just his handsome good looks, but how likable he seemed. He was almost like the anti-hero. He was tall, lanky, big green eyes, and was somebody even when he played the villain you couldn't help but root for.
He won our hearts in the original Terminator and in my eyes no matter how many actors play the role...he will always be the only Kyle Reece. In Aliens, he replaced the original actor who was fired, and stole the show as the soft spoken Hicks who steps up after his entire squad is massacred and has such strong sexual tension with Ripley it isn't even funny. I mean come how, who else felt their heart melt when he gives Ripley the tracker watch and mumbles almost embarrassed what it's not like they are getting married or anything. "Swoon"
Then he played a little out of character with Coffey, the first of many Navy Seals he would be playing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels The Abyss is a hot mess of a movie (should have been a horror movie) but the really only shinning moment for the audience is to watch Biehn play the twisted Hiram Coffey as he slowly suffers effects from being on the ocean floor, and a nervous breakdown. His fight with Ed Harris is stuff of legends, as if his heartbreaking death. I for one always shut off the movie after he was killed.
Why his career never took off was beyond me. Biehn worked in many awesome movies, playing a whole different rage of characters. In fact, Cameron even tried to push for him to get an Oscar nomination. I for own believe his performance was so strong in that movie he could have won. Sure he followed some great projects with some not so great movies (Timebomb people...Timebomb.) but they were still highly enjoyable and he showed he had some dramatic chops as well with films like Rampage. One of my favorite performances has to be him in Tombstone. Yet again, he steals the show.
Biehn worked in both film and television and even graced us in Grindhouse in the epic Planet Terror.
As of lately Biehn is still working just as steady with project after project. In fact him and wife Jennifer have teamed up forming a production company and even directed the film The victim which I have a poster of thanks to my friend Melissa.
A writer, producer, actor, and cult film favorite, Biehn embraces the fact so many fans love him in the movies he has done. A convention guest favorite, I myself have been lucky enough to meet him twice. The first time with my late mother, which holds as such a precious memory for me since she was responsible for showing me his movies. The second time was in 2012 when I met both him and his wife and he got a good chuckle out of how nervous I was meeting him. Biehn is a laid back talented guy, and just last month I got an epic looking Hicks tattoo in honor of the news of the latest Alien sequel which will ignore the events of the last few films, meaning both the characters of Hicks and Newt have survived! Am I dreaming?!
So here's to Michael Biehn, the ultimate character actor!!!