Thursday, May 4, 2017
ACTORS & Skin: Rick Rossovich
Actors & Skin is one of my favorite themes to write about and research. My goal is to take an actor and attempt to find images that cover, and uncover, their entire nudity resume. The problem is, it takes a lot of time, research and sometimes scanning, and purchasing from Amazon and e-bay to ensure I have found as much of the source material as possible. It is especially difficult when the nude scenes come from movies from the 80's and even the 90's that have not made it to DVD.
The research can be fun though, a bit like mystery that needs to be solved. Sometimes I find movies and scenes I had never heard of before. Given the time required, it means that I am careful in choosing which actors to feature. It has to be an actor who, through a movie or role, made a strong impression on me. I usually only do an Actors & Skin piece once every couple of months, but I have a few in the can for the next couple of weeks.
Like many, the volleyball scene from 1986's Top Gun was one of those scenes. To be honest, I don't remember it making that much of an impression the first time I saw the film. I was about 10 or 11 and saw it in the theatre with my father and younger brother. I liked, but didn't love the flick and upon first viewing, the scene didn't really implant the way it later would.
A few years later, I remember eating lunch in high school with a few friends. A couple of the girls I was eating with had recently watched the film and were going on about how hot that scene was. we had a VHS of the film at home, and I remember sticking in the VCR in my room later that night. I got what they were talking about! The volleyball scene was like a erotic ballet of sweaty shirtless men moving in slow motion to music. Tom Cruise may have been the lead in the movie, but it was Rick Rossovich, and his character Slider, that held the lead dance role in the movies volleyball ballet.
'It’s funny because we had a read-through of the script…and the volleyball scene’s like an eighth of a page, a quarter of a page. There’s really nothing in the script about the volleyball scene, so there wasn’t a lot of anticipation about shooting that. It was something that wasn’t thought of, really, beforehand. I think it was a parking lot, as I recall, and they just dumped a load of sand somewhere that had a good backdrop for director Tony Scott. And he just directed it like that. Boom. And he just got shot after shot after shot. And we just had fun.'.
Rick went on to star in a number of big screen hits including Roxanne with Steve Martin and Navy Seals but it seemed by the early 90's that Rick was mostly working on television and in straight to video film releases. The plus was some of these movies included some great Rossovich rump, the downside was that Rick's talent and on screen strength and magnetism wasn't being used to it's full potential.
Rossovich, seen clearly in the volleyball scene, had an intense masculine energy that was incredibly sexy, especially when experienced on the big screen. Like his Terminator and Navy Seals co-star Michael Biehn, it is a mystery why Rossovich didn't continue the success he had in the mid eighties. My next big memory of Rick was his arc as Tag on the first season of ER. I had forgotten until working on this post that ER, not only saw his talent, but also had the wisdom of getting him as naked as prime time television would permit.
Rick with The Riker Brothers
Rick left acting briefly, I believe working in real estate for awhile. He returned to acting awhile ago and his IMDB page indicates he's back at work in front of the camera filming Where the Streets Have No Name due out next year. I managed to find most of Rick's skinning scenes in one form or another so be sure to check out the post below for the skin part of Actors & Skin.
Rick shot by his son, photographer Roy Rossovich