Monday, April 24, 2017

Blast from the Past: John Stockwell

John with Christine co-stars Keith Gordon and Alexandra Paul

It's always interesting to me what makes an actor stand out. I have seen John Stockwell in many films over the years. He took two turns co-starring with Tom Cruise, in the 80's hits Losin It, and Top Gun. I also have childhood memories of watching him in North & South and Billionaire Boys Club. It wasn't til last week however, on a night when sleep escaped me, I turned on the television and caught John in 1983's Christine.

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors, but I don't often enjoy the movie adaptations of his novels. Because of the scope, most play better on television, where the longer multi-part format can fit in more of the character and story. (think IT) I read and enjoyed the novel Christine, back when I was taking 3 buses each day to get to University. I never had much interest however, in checking out the old 80's version of the flick.

John shot by Andy Warhol

Despite it being the middle of the night, I stayed up to finish it. Keith Gordon was great as Arnie and John was incredibly sexy as Arnie's friend Dennis. I loved the 80's feel, and the way film built tension through Christine's, the Plymouth Fury, hold over Arnie. The next evening I began to look for a bit more info on John and his work.

Partying with Bianca Jagger

I was surprised to learn that the actor began as a successful male model, living in Italy and working mostly internationally. During his time as a model, John was credited as John Samuels became a friend of Andy Warhol. Stockwell was mentioned frequently in the artist's memoirs, The Warhol Diaries, including his brief 80's relationship with Bianca Jagger. John started acting in the early 80's, his first film being the 1981 flick So Fine starring Ryan O'Neal.

John with Calvin Klein, Andy Warhol, and Tom Styron at the Calvin Klein Party for Elton John

In the late 80's John began screen writing, eventually moving on to producing and directing. Although John continued to act periodically, by the 2000's he was mostly working behind the scenes. Some of the big screen films John directed include; Into The Blue, Killer in the Family, Blue Crush and Crazy/Beautiful. John also directed several episodes of The L Word. John's next project is directing Wesley Snipes and Anne Heche in Armed Response out later this year.

Christine (1983)

With Patrick Swayze in North & South (1985)

With Top Gun co-star Anthony Edwards at a pro-peace rally (1987)

Directing Paul Walker and Jessica Alba in Into The Blue (2005)

Dangerously Close (1986)

I believe John's only nude scene was a brief (and steamy...literally) butt scene in the shower from 1986's Dangerously Close. John has a great body, and given he wrote the script, must have been ok with showing it off a bit. Too bad the director choose to obscure it for so much of the scene.

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