Sunday, February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton R.I.P. (Game Over, Man)
I saw on the news section of Facebook that Bill Paxton had died at sixty-one, I gasped, then clicked on the link, in case it was those lying click-bait bastards who "advertised" the deaths of Sly Stallone and Chuck Norris last year so you'd go to their soulless garbage website.
But no, the man actually did pass away after complications from surgery. Should've been you, Gordie.
I first became enamored with Bill in 1986 when my mom rented ALIENS for me (on the recommendation of the video store clerk, when I really wanted her to check out RUTHLESS PEOPLE). His Private Hudson was the breakout star in that flick, stealing every scene and providing perhaps the most quotable character in cinema history.*
Paxton was famous for playing characters who are blowhards or douchebags, as opposed to the many people you and I know who play those in real life. I saw him in various movies over the years, like TERMINATOR, PREDATOR 2, TRUE LIES, TWISTER, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, WEIRD SCIENCE (the character I voice in "Newfound Fame," Chet, is named after his character), APOLLO 13, TITANIC, and the recent EDGE OF TOMORROW. But he'd always be Hudson to me.
Private Hudson should have been the most annoying, grating, cowardly, loud character in the film (I remember Paxton saying he was worried that audiences would hate him, that he was going to ruin the movie for everyone), but for some reason, he's the guy who I most related to, who never stopped running his mouth, whether he was excited or terrified. I love Private Hudson, and there have been times I've seen lesser filmmakers than Cameron try a Hudson-type character in their movies . . . and it almost never works.
I met Paxton only once, during the first season of "Big Love," and got him to sign a TWISTER DVD for my sister. Not sure if she still has it.
I've been told that my "Calling" story series was ripped-off from Paxton's own FRAILTY . . . so you know he really made an impact on me.
Heck, I even listened to Martini Ranch's song Reach (an obscure song from an obscure band, headlined by Paxton), and maybe I should again.
I've been told that, as I get older, more and more famous people who meant something to me will die. That's too bad. But what would be worse would be not having heroes and role models to begin with.
Rish Outfield, That Wasn't Funny, Man.
*Whenever my friend Dennis allowed his girlfriend to change his mind in high school, I'd say, "Why don't you put her in chaaaarge?" in my best Bill Paxton voice. Dennis did not appreciate it.