It's one of life's great mysteries why Michael Biehn isn't a household name, considering he starred in some of the most iconic action films of the 1980s. If the picture doesn't trigger any memories for you, perhaps the name Kyle Reese will, as Biehn portrayed the original time traveler who helped to thwart a robot apocalypse in The Terminator. In fact, Biehn was a favorite of James Cameron, who tapped him twice more for the roles of Corporal Dwayne Hicks in Aliens and Lieutenant Coffey in The Abyss. But Biehn's accomplishments don't end there, as the underappreciated actor went on to work with William Friedkin, Michael Bay, and Robert Rodriguez and featured in films like Tombstone, Planet Terror, and The Rock, not to mention his extensive work on television.
1) Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976; 98% Tomatometer):
Were you impressed more by Scorsese's direction or De Niro's performance?
I think they go hand in hand. The whole movie, really. Harvey Keitel, even Scorsese in the back of the car. The whole thing is fantastic.
2) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975; 96% Tomatometer)
I read somewhere that you were a big fan of Sean Penn...
MB: Sean Penn is, I think, maybe the greatest actor... Jack Lemmon is another great one. It's hard to say who's the best, but yeah, he's right up there in the top five actors of all time in my book. When he goes from playing Milk, and he plays that very thin, kind of light kind of character, you know, Harvey Milk, gay, the whole number, and plays him brilliantly, wins the Academy Award, and then you see him in Fair Game. All of a sudden you see this guy, he's got a f***in' gut, he's got three chins, glasses are down, the hair is out like this, and "Just because you yell louder than me, does that make you right?!" It's f***ing brilliant! Just incredible. I have so much respect for him.
Well, let's talk about The Divide. Just to start at square one, can you tell us a little about how you came to be a part of this project?
So he called you specifically for the role of Mickey, the landlord.