Guest Author - Gail Kavanagh
Michael Biehn is a fine actor with an arresting screen presence that is often used to advantage in science fiction and fantasy movies. His most famous role is as Kyle Reece in The Terminator, which he played with an intensity and humanity rarely seen in the genre. He got his start on TV back in 1977 playing the Sandman in Loganís Run, and his role in the Terminator was soon followed by Aliens, The Seventh Sign and The Abyss. A well liked science fiction and fantasy star, he has also voiced video games like Command and Conquer. Recently he has been seen in They Wait and Planet Terror, as well as more mainstream roles.
Hugh Jackman is a towering onscreen presence as Wolverine in the X-Men series, but he has also cemented his science fiction and fantasy cred with Van Helsing and the charming Kate and Leopold, in which he travelled across time to woo Meg Ryan. The tall, handsome Australian, with his rugged outdoor manner, has some surprising talents Ė he can sing and dance as well as battle mutants and vampires. If there is ever a science fiction musical in the offing, casting directors know just where to look.
Michael Keaton is the kind of actor who can play characters as diverse as Batman and Beetlejuice and be thoroughly convincing in both roles. He was a magnificent Batman in the first movies, dark and brooding and definitely dangerous. He made his movie debut in Night Shift with Henry Winkler and hasnít looked back, consolidating his reputation as an actor over many genres. But it may be the obnoxious Beetlejuice that sealed him in the hearts of fans. Never was a ghost more vile, or more loved. Recently heís been heard voicing Ken in Toy Story 3.
Jeff Bridges deserves a special place in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Movie Hall of Fame. This consummately perfect actor, who nails every role he is given, starred in two of the best 1980s movies. He played Kevin Flynn in Tron with David Warner and Bruce Boxleitner, two fine actors in their own right, and two years later played the alien visitor in Starman. In both movies he not only gave magnificent performances, but also proved that science fiction was a genre worthy of the best acting. He was so good in Starman that he was nominated for an Oscar, almost unheard of for the genre. Jeff Bridges did more for science fiction with these two movies than almost any other actor.
Peter Weller deserves to be on this list because he also brought dignity, charm and superior acting skills to science fiction movie roles. As Buckaroo Banzai, in the Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, he not only played the role of a renaissance man with aplomb, he also sang and played the trumpet. In Robocop, he walked around in cyber armor, but never once lost touch with the humanity in his character. A fine actor, he has recently been seen in the TV series Fringe and 24, and in the mainstream movie Once Fallen.
This is a strictly subjective list, and in no way authoritative, so if you donít see your favourite up there, why not pop over to the Science Fiction and Fantasy forum and share your thoughts. Oh, and you may wonder why Arnie isnít on this list Ė well, yes, he is a kingpin of the genre, but we are talking about acting here.
Terminator with Michael Biehn:
The Terminator Collection (The Terminator and Terminator 2 Judgment Day)
The X-Men with Wolverine:
X-Men Trilogy (X-Men/ X2 - X-Men United/ X-Men - The Last Stand)