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Where in the Horror are they now? Skeet Ulrich!

Aug. 16, 2013by: JimmyO
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SKEET ULRICH

THEN: I think it’s safe to say most of us really hate spoilers correct? Well back before I saw the movie SCREAM for the very first time, a buddy of mine filled me in on the whole damn thing. I'm talking the opening kill, who gets offed and of course the final reveal of just exactly how loyal Sidney’s boyfriend Billy Loomis actually was. In case for some bizarre reason you haven’t watched this Wes Craven directed, Kevin Williamson written flick I won’t go into details about it here – of course if you haven’t… are you kidding me?!? Anyway, the point of all this chatter is that this was sort of my introduction to Johnny Depp-ish actor Skeet Ulrich. This young and scruffy yet attractive fellow stood out alongside an already impressive cast, but more on SCREAM later as this wasn’t the actors’ first genre stop.

Born Bryan Ray Trout, Skeet started off his career as a real jerk. In the 1996 teen supernatural thriller THE CRAFT, the actor played Chris Hooker, a young man who learned the hard way that you don’t mess with witches. The film starred Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Rachel True and his SCREAM co-star Neve Campbell. Sure he was a complete dick in the film, but he was a charismatic one. When he first talks trash about his Goth classmates to new girl Tunney, you know that he is gonna suffer some serious consequences. This surprise hit featured a number of cool sequences and the ladies stole the show, yet young Ulrich sleazed his way into other roles successfully with the help of a pretty darn good performance.

His next big thing was the game-changing little movie SCREAM which also came out in 1996 and gave new life to the slasher film – with a twist of course. As Neve Campbell’s boyfriend Billy Loomis (get it) he filled in for Johnny Depp’s similar role in Craven’s A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Ulrich had more than a passing resemblance to Depp while even playing the seemingly supportive boyfriend. And now for a little SPOILER ALERT… In the classic comic-laden horror flick, it was the grand finale where Ulrich and co-star Matthew Lillard had massive fun as they proved to be a couple of nasty villains donning the Ghostface costume. While the two killers proved to be far less terrifying without the getup, they were having a blast being bad. This cool little surprise ending helped SCREAM to be a rarity in Hollywood, it was a horror film that made over a hundred million dollars – an impressive feat even by today's standards.

You would think that a starring role in a huge horror hit would lead to more horror flicks, but in regards to this handsome fellow you'd be wrong. Perhaps it did and he turned them down, but over the next couple of years he took a more serious approach to the projects he took on. In 1997 he starred in the Oscar winning AS GOOD AS IT GETS (both Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt brought home the trophies for Best Actor and Actress in a Leading Role) as well as the Paul Schrader directed TOUCH. Ulrich had found his way into mainstream Hollywood and he continued down this road starring opposite Vincent D’Onofrio, Ethan Hawke and Matthew McConaughey in Richard Linklater’s 1998 gangster drama THE NEWTON BOYS. However, aside from AS GOOD AS IT GETS, he failed to find another film that could live up to the success of SCREAM.

After he continued making appearances in a series of not-so-great films including the weak “action thriller” CHILL FACTOR in 1999 opposite CUBA GOODING JR., Skeet found himself heading for the small screen. This includes an appearance in the critically acclaimed mini-series “Into the West.” After that excursion into television, Ulrich soon found himself in a starring role on the short-lived cult favorite “Jericho” which lasted about 29 episodes according to its IMDB page. The show aired on CBS from 2006 to 2008 and while it suffered an early cancellation, recent news suggests that Netflix is interested in giving it a chance at a third season .

NOW: Over the past few years, Skeet has continued to work in television. He has voiced a number of characters on the hit Adult Swim series “Robot Chicken” as well the actor found another recurring role on the quickly cancelled “Law & Order: LA” as Detective Rex Winters. Perhaps this was just one “Law & Order” too many coming after “SVU”, “Criminal Intent” and so-on. Yet according to Skeet’s IMDB page, he has a number of films coming up in 2013 and beyond. There is the family drama 50 TO 1 scheduled for release in 2014 as well as a “rumored” appearance in CITIZEN SOLDIERS that same year. As for television, he is currently set to star in the CBS pilot “Anatomy of Violence” from the executive producers of “Homeland,” co-starring Amber Tamblyn – no word on whether it will be picked-up thus far.

This past January it was reported that Skeet seems to have a little issue with child support not being paid. I bring it up simply because it was pretty recently in the news. Yet without knowing the actor, or his family for that matter, that is not what this column is about. As a genre vet, I happen to dig Mr. Ulrich and would love to see him return to horror in some way, shape or form. Maybe by some miracle “Jericho” will rise and find itself on Netflix, and I’ll even check it out. And maybe this “Anatomy of Violence” will earn him a brand spanking new hit series. Either way, anytime you’d like to make a return to horror Skeet, we’d love to have you back. If you'd like to hear more from Mr. Ulrich, you can follow him on Twitter here!

Extra Tidbit: Would you like to see "Jericho" return courtesy of Netflix?

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9:08PM on 08/18/2013

He was gonna be in "Cursed"...

...but he dropped out once he saw the rewrites that the studio had mandated.

Smart move.
...but he dropped out once he saw the rewrites that the studio had mandated.

Smart move.
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4:19PM on 08/17/2013
such a hottie
such a hottie
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6:17PM on 08/16/2013

SOUTH PARK

His 'cameo' in Hell, in the South Park movie makes me laugh every time...
His 'cameo' in Hell, in the South Park movie makes me laugh every time...
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3:20PM on 08/16/2013
He's probably travelling the world like Bruce Wayne, apologising person by person for 'Scream'.
He's probably travelling the world like Bruce Wayne, apologising person by person for 'Scream'.
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