A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting one of my favourite actors from the 1980s, the American actor Micheal Biehn. Well known to fans of sci-fi, his name may not be that well known amongst the members of the general public but his face is very familiar having played striking roles in landmark James Cameron films such as "Terminator" and "Aliens".
Michael Biehn was in Dublin for the Horrorthon festival at the Irish Film Institute which showed a selection of his films including a 70mm print of "Aliens", a film he recently starred in and directed himself called "The Victim" and the film I saw called "The Divide". "The Divide" begins with a mesmerising opening sequence where a woman watches what looks like a nuclear missile hit New York city. People scramble in panic to escape the blast, a handful make it to an underground shelter where the door is shut behind them. Most of the rest of the film takes place in the claustrophobic confines of this shelter where Michael Biehn is the building's caretaker. His character now calls the shots over the rag tag bunch of people who's lives are now joined together by being trapped in his basement. They listen as what sounds like more nukes are dropped on the city above them and as food runs low and they slowly realise that are dying from radiation sickness, the tension is constantly cranked up, resulting in a gripping if bleak piece of ensemble acting. Michael's character dominates much of the film but there are also great performances from Mile Ventimiglia (from "Heroes), Rosanna Arquette and Lauren German. I knew very little about the film when I went it to see it and it was an unexpected pleasure throughout. Check out the excellent trailer below:
When I said at the start that I met Michael Biehn, well to clarify, I got a chance to say hello to him and then something along the lines of "I really admire" your work and that was about it really. Many other people were competing for his attention and it was time for him to go into the screening where he did a Questions and Answers at the end with the Dublin audience along with his partner Jennifer Blanc-Biehn. See my Iphone photo from the event below:
Though brief it was still fun to finally meet someone in reality that featured in some of my favourite films from my teenage years. Though he appeared in TV shows such as "Hill Street Blues", it was of course his appearance in "Terminator" (1984) for which he is best remembered. Here's the trailer, enjoy: