Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


More actors, more action

EW compares as veteran stars and new faces, including Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, take on more action-packed parts

Posted on

The pecs will droop, the ponytails will gray, and Steven Seagal, Sylvester Stallone, and Jean-Claude Van Damme will one day face mandatory retirement. Fortunately, a new wave of would-be action stars are waiting to take up their lethal weapons and die just as hard. Watch for these sometimes unlikely heroes, soon to be causing mayhem at a theater near you.

Terminal Velocity
Role: A sky diver who takes on a bunch of Russians.
Action Experience: Rescuing (Hots Shots! one and two, The Three Musketeers) and kidnapping (The Chase).
Special Skills: Survival (Platoon, Hot Shots! one and two), fencing, and swashbuckling (The Three Musketeers).
Bulked Up?: Looks good, but he has, in fact, shed the rock-hard ripples he acquired for Hot Shots! Part Deux.
Good Career Move?: Two words: Keanu Reeves.

Tank Girl
Role: A futuristic heroine navigating the post-apocalypse, a.d. 2033.
Action Experience: Outdriving the mob (Cookie).
Special Skills: Can talk tough (Cookie).
Bulked Up?: To be announced.
Good Career Move?: Career?

The Next James Bond?
Role: Secret Agent 007.
Action Experience: Getting dressed in 10 seconds flat (Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Special Skills: Looks good in bed (Four Weddings and a Funeral). Looks good in a tux (Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Bulked Up?: Not yet, but if Keanu can do it…
Good Career Move?: Sean Connery is still considered sexy.

Drop Zone
Role:A federal marshal who infiltrates a group of sky divers.
Special Skills: Shooting (Demolition Man, Passenger 57), shooting (White Men Can’t Jump). Driving (Snipes led the cops on a chase in Jupiter, Fla., in April); packing (Snipes was busted in L.A. last year for allegedly having a concealed weapon).
Bulked Up?: He was born bulked up.
Good Career Move?: Good idea to beef up his rep, since he’ll play a drag queen in the upcoming To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar.

The River Wild
Role: A mother held hostage by a psycho whom she has to guide through the rapids to safety. Action Experience: Scaling the steps at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
Special Skills: Running (Still of the Night), falling (Death Becomes Her), dingo hunting (A Cry in the Dark).
Bulked Up?: No, but she did learn to row.
Good Career Move?: It’s time to see the brawn behind the brain.

Blown Away
Role: Head of the Boston bomb squad and prey of explosives-happy Tommy Lee Jones.
Action Experience: Rescuing stranger (Fearless), killing stranger (The Vanishing).
Special Skills: Scaling walls (The Fisher King).
Bulked Up?: He already is (see Against All Odds).
Good Career Move?: Ask Harrison Ford.