• Guy Jeffries

*Star Profile: Kurt Russell*


The next Star Profile blog is requested by Chris C. of Go-Zilla, a segment that will cover actors, directors and even composers featuring TEN of the their most iconic roles or films and not necessarily their best but for what they are most recognised and remembered for. Maybe take an unresearched guess at what the films might be.

Hollywood outcast and libertarian, Kurt Russell enters the building, who has been an actor since childhood, as early as ten when getting signed by Walt Disney himself back in '63. He took a break and played some minor league baseball before returning to the big screen.

It's undeniable and will be plain to see from this blog that John Carpenter has been a force behind Russell's success even though Kurt has faced flop after surprising flop and being second choice for a lot of his movies.

Another undeniable fact about Russell is his love for Elvis, having played some version of him several times, playing him in Carpenters' TV film 'Elvis' in '79 and he actually was in Elvis' 'It Happened at the World's Fair' back in '63. His other Elvis credits being '3000 Miles To Gracelands' (2001) and an uncredited voice of Elvis for Forrest Gump '94.

Other notable films would be Soldier, Tequila Sunrise, Dark Blue, Breakdown, Executive Decision, Unlawful Entry, Vanilla Sky and most recently Fast & Furious 7 playing Mr. Nobody, a character similar to Expendables Willis' Church, a role Kurt actually turned down.

I can't complete this post without mentioning his partner Goldie Hawn, first meeting on the Disney film 'The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band' in '68. He was, back then already married to actress Season Hubley until their divorce in '83. Reuniting with Goldie on the '84 flop Swing Shift, It seems Kurt and Goldie are meant to be and even though neither remarried, Kurt was chosen by Goldie's Daughter Kate Hudson to give her away which is a great honour in itself.

Starring with life partner Goldie Hawn in Overboard (1987) where he vengefully takes advantage of the rich chick who has a stroke of amnesia pretending their marriage. It flopped overboard but is a now a TV classic.

After Patrick Swayze dropped out for the role of Lt. Gabriel Cash, Russell took over opposite Stallone in 1989. That car, are was it a jeep of some sort? Awesome SUV.

Having received Disney's Legend Reward in '98 we see Russell playing super dad, Steve Stronghold in their film, Sky High 2005.

In 1994 we see him venture off to a different world through the Stargate as Col. Jack O'Neil opposite James Spader and the elusive fashion star Jaye Davidson (Crying Game) One of Roland Emmerich early successes.

His third collaboration with John Carpenter was on the SFX fest, The Thing in '82 as the lead, MacReady.

Starring in recent westerns Bone Tomahawk and QT's The Hateful Eight, it was playing the infamous Wyatt Earp in Tombstone '93 that is most remembered for me. He is a big fan of John Wayne and westerns, having starred in a string of TV westerns in his younger years. A year later we see Kevin Costner play Wyatt Earp in the self-titled film released by Warner Bros. Equally as good, however I think for most, Tombstone was the better of the two, especially with Sam Elliot and of course, Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday. George P. Cosmatos' (Cobra, Rambo II) greatest film in my opinion might have to do a throwback review on this one.

QT obviously being a fan of Kurt, I thought it more appropriate to pick Death Proof, Grindhouse character Stuntman Mike over John Ruth.

Dennis Quaid turned down the role for 'Bull' McCaffrey which resulted in Russell filling his boots and setting ablaze in Ron Howard's epic Backdraft '93. Another personal favourite that should get a throwback. Hans Zimmer's score was one of my first I got on CD.

Second and final collaboration with John Carpenter was husky speaking (influenced by Clint Eastwood westerns) Snake Plissken in both Escape from New York '81 and again in Escape from L.A. He really needs to get out more.

But the best John Carpenter and Russell hit was of course 1986's Big Trouble In Little China which actually flopped despite good response from test audiences. Apparently there was little or no marketing promoting the film, which cause the bomb but eventfully got cult classic status as being one of the most iconic films of not just the eighties but of all time.

"Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it."

So that's it on Mr. Nobody Russell who actually auditioned for Han Solo and Flash Gordon. He was originally Navarre in Ladyhawke until dropping out giving the role to Rutger Hauer and was even considered for the role of Travis Bickle, in Taxi Driver.

"I'm a reasonable guy. But, I've just experienced some very unreasonable things."

Thanks for reading! Remember tell me who want to see featured, next is Matt Daaaaaamon coming to a filmblog near you.


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