Michael Biehn and Jeff Fahey, you have a great history of genre
characters. With Michael,
there is THE ABYSS, TERMINATOR, ALIENS and in the past few years,
they stopped by the Four Seasons in
|Michael Biehn||Jeff Fahey|
How did you both get involved with Grindhouse? Did you just get called and audition?
Jeff Fahey: I got a phone call. Mike, you wanna tell your story?
Michael Biehn: I got a call from my agent, he said Robert wanted to see me and have me read a couple of pages of dialogue. He didnt have a script. He was interested in me for a role so I came here, the Four Seasons, he was casting out of here. So I read a couple of scenes and I had worked on them a little bit and I just didnt get it very well. I finally got it where it was kind of okay. It was after like four or five different tries at it and I thought the wind had kinda gone out of the room at that point so I left.
I was disappointed, I didnt think I had gotten it or hed be interested. Then I heard he was and actually, when I was on the set I asked Robert about it and he said that he asked the casting director he was kind of looking for a kinder, gentler Mickey Rourke - then she mentioned me and he thought that was a good idea and he brought me in just to meet me. And I said, I didnt think the readings had gone and he was like, Readings? No, dude, you had that role before you even walked in the door. I was like, Oh, God, I wish I would have known that. [Laughing]
Quentin and Robert told us that they had always wanted to work with you guys.
JF: Thank God. [Laughing]
MB: Well it was great. What a great thing to have somebody like Quentin Tarantino say about you as an actor. You know, thats just, Quentin and Robert, its really kind of a validation when the guys that are cool, like the hip, cool filmmakers think that like, youre cool. They wanna work with you so Its been really
Well you both have some great resumes. Youve done great work throughout your careers. Do you find that Hollywood doesnt recognize that all the time?
JF: They recognize it when youre working. Its job to job. Its that old saying, when youre hot, youre hot, when youre not, youre not. You survive as best you can. I dont wanna say survive as such a tragedy but you do what you can to move along.
Well a lot of people dont have careers that get to last ten, twenty or thirty years
JF: Absolutely, theyre no complaints comin from these two. I mean, its been great.
MB: It has been great.
JF: It really has been. And some are better than others, but weve been working.
MB: You know, I think the best think about working is the opportunity to work in a situation like the one we just did; which is like, with Quentin Tarantino or Robert Rodriguez or with Jim Cameron or with Billy Friedkin, or a Michael Bay. Youre around these guys and youre around the process and you are watching guys who are really, really good and really at the top of their game. And to be able to give them something that they want or they need to make their movie that to me is the most exciting thing and you dont I hadnt had that opportunity in awhile.
JF: It is very easy when you walk into a situation like this with these two guys who are at the top of their game. And at this level, regardless of the film itself, youre job is just very easy. You just show up and deliver and they are gonna take it somewhere else.
Is it fun or is it work?
MB: Oh, its fun.
JF: Its work. [Laughing]
The chemistry on-screen between you guys is great but when you worked on set, did it take a while to get into that?
MB: You know what I like about what you just said though? Is that basically, Jeff and I have and we are at each others throat throughout the movie until the last scene [you said], and its kind of nice that you say we have a nice chemistry on-screen
MB: Because its
Its like a real brother relationship.
MB: It is like a real brother relationship. But we grew up and were about the same age
Did you know each other before this at all?
MB: We met
JF: Our paths have crossed a lot.
MB: Yeah. Growing up in this business at the same time, work with some of the same directors.
From the early Eighties?
MB: Late Seventies. For me
JF: We auditioned for a lot of the same roles..
MB: Auditioned for the same roles, had mutual friends, directors. Hed gotten roles that I wanted So when I met Jeff, I felt like I just knew him. I just thought he was me; he was another side of me because weve had our ups, weve had our downs, weve been in good movies, and weve been in not so good movies
JF: And you know the other person can deliver. When we heard each others name it was like
MB: Like putting on a really nice old pair of shoes.
JF: We havent seen the film yet but we know so much stuff thats in it.
MB: Were the only two people that havent.
Youre such a tough guy in it.
MB: Am I?
Jeff, youve been doing genre stuff forever now, has there ever been
JF: Since Birth of a Nation.
Yeah Has there been any other experience that has been on par with this one?
JF: Yeah, there has been a couple. One, right at the beginning, was Silverado with [Lawrence] Kasdan and the whole group. And then, in the following years, they were all like that, but it wasnt all that high. And then, Body Parts was one. And then, the next was with Eastwood on White Hunter, Black Heart, and that was this whole other place, and then, the others outside the business, in theatre. Then, there were a couple that happened, the last high like this, on this level Eastwood, and I think that was 89. So this has really been a wonderful experience.
But youve kept working havent you?
JF: Theres work. But theres a number of things but these guys [Tarantino and Rodriguez] are at the top of their game right now, its a good thing to be involved in just for the experience.
MB: Joan Rivers said, Im happy Im not HAPPY! [Laughing]
Well you guys and Kurt Russell are about the only actors in the movie old enough to remember grindhouse movies.
Did you see a lot of shit n schlock and whatnot?
MB: I was in Nebraska and we had Drive-in movies, not grindhouse movies. It was an expression Id never heard before but I used to go to drive-in movies and watch. You know, a couple of the movies that Quentin screened at his house, Id seen. One was Pretty Maids all in a Row. I was like thirteen at the time and I was like, whoa man, this is interesting! that was one that really affected me but, I just remember I dont remember the names; I just remember like the bikers and the horror movies and stuff like that.
Theres a scene in the Tarantino segment where Kurt Russell was sitting there and hes talking at the bar about his past films [the character of Stuntman Mike] and these four young women havent heard of anything he has done. And they look at him like theyre looking at the wall being painted
JF: We know what that looks like.
When youve been working for so many years do you find people know who you are?
MB: I was in the make-up trailer recently, at seven o clock in the morning, and I was doing a series. And I sit down in the trailer and theres this like, pretty young girl. Twenty-one, twenty-two, blonde really pretty, kind of half dressed, getting her make-up and stuff. And I hadnt met her yet and she looked over and she smiled at me and I was like, oh... I looked back and smiled and I was like, dude I still got it she must have recognized me from Terminator or something like that, and I could just feel the vibe. And finally she said, Are you Michael Biehn? Im like... yeah. [A moment] My mother just loves you. [Laughing] You know, once you hear a few of those
What was it like working with Savini?
MB: Well, Tom He was always really good in the movie. You know, when I was working with him. Id never really known him. Id seen From Dusk till Dawn but I didnt really know him as an actor. And when he came in, the very first thing he did with me was the thing with the finger.
For what happens with the finger, youll have to see the movie. Let me know what you think. Send questions and comments to email@example.com.
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