Alone in the Dark
"My mistakes do happen on a grand scale and very public level. They're humiliating, embarrassing. But if nothing bad happens to you, you'll just continue to act ridiculous." Christian Slater
Christian Slater received broad recognition while playing Will Scarlett in Kevin Reynolds' Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991). He is also credited to such films as The Name of the Rose (1986), Heathers (1989), Pump Up the Volume (1990), Young Guns II (1990), Kuffs (1992), Untamed Heart (1993), True Romance (1993), Broken Arrow (1996), Very Bad Things (1998), The Contender (2000) and 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001). His recent films include Mindhunters, Pursued, Churchill: The Hollywood Years, Alone in the Dark and The Deal. On stage, he performed in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” at London's Gielgud Theatre and starred in a Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie” in 2005.
The 5' 8 1/2" tall actor, who frequently drew attention for his law problems, was one of Empire magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995). His private life has been linked to several names, including actresses Kim Walker (dated 1986-1988), Winona Ryder (dated briefly in 1988), Samantha Mathis (dated briefly 1989-1990), Patricia Arquette, Nina Huang (also model and writer; engaged October 1994; separated 1995), Christina Applegate (dated 1996) and model Christy Turlington.
As for his acting, Slater reportedly will costar with Anne Heche in the Actors' Fund's "Casablanca" reading. He is also scheduled to complete the upcoming films: 2004: A Light Knight's Odyssey (voice), A License to Steal and Hollow Man 2.
Childhood and Family:
In a family well rehearsed with the film scene, Christian Michael Leonard Gainsborough (a.k.a. Hawkins) was born on August 18, 1969, in New York, New York. His father is actor Michael Hawkins (a.k.a. Michael De Gainsburgh, Michael Gainsborough; played the original Frank Ryan on Ryan's Hope) and his mother is casting director Mary Jo Slater. His godfather was the late soap actor Michael Zaslow. The only child of the family, Christian has one half brother, actor Ryan Slater (born on April 19, 1983).
Christian Slater attended Dalton School, Professional Children's School and the High School of Performing Arts in New York, New York. On February 12, 2000, he married executive Ryan Haddon, but they separated on January 5, 2005, and filed for divorced on February 25, 2005. The couple has two children: son Jaden Christopher Slater (born on April 6, 1999) and daughter Eliana Sophia (born on August 15, 2001).
Experience and Judgment
Son of an actor and a casting director, Christian Slater made his TV debut on the ABC soap opera "One Life to Live" at age 8 and debuted on stage opposite Dick Van Dyke in a touring revival of "The Music Man" at age 9. He got his first regular role on the series "All My Children" and appeared in the TV movies Sherlock Holmes (1981) and Living Proof: The Hank Williams Jr. Story (1983). He also costarred with Tristine Skyler, playing two children investigating the tale of a missing miser in a mysterious mansion, in the TV movie version of Virginia Masterman-Smith's book "The Treasure Trap," the adventure The Haunted Mansion Mystery (1983).
Matthew Robbins' The Legend of Billie Jean (1985, starring Helen Slater) was Christian Slater’s feature acting debut. After playing the regular role of delinquent D.J. LaSalle on the ABC soap “Ryan's Hope” (1985), Slater won his first starring role in a feature, as a manipulative, alienated teenager in Adam Holender's adaptation of Jack Horrigan's play, Twisted (1986, video release in 1991). He then costarred with Sean Connery as Adso of Melk in Jean-Jacques Annaud's film adopted from the best-selling book by Italian author Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose (1986) and decided to move to Los Angeles the next year to further his acting career.
Francis Ford Coppola subsequently cast Slater to portray Junior Tucker in his biographical movie, Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988, starring Jeff Bridges) and Graeme Clifford later handed him the starring role of Brian Kelly, a teenager trying to uncover his adopted brother's murderer, in Gleaming the Cube (1989). He also starred as Cliff Petrie, an outcast in a small Southern town in the romantic TV movie Desperate for Love (1989).
Jason 'J.D.' Dean, Winona Ryder's outcast boyfriend in Michael Lehmann's dark teen comedy Heathers (1989), was Christian Slater’s breakout role. He followed it up with another leading role, opposite Martin Sheen, as a teenager interested in space exploration in writer-director's David Saperstein's sci-fi drama Beyond the Stars and a supporting role alongside Luke Edwards and Fred Savage in Todd Holland's The Wizard. He also costarred as Arkansas Dave Rudabaugh in Geoff Murphy's western movie Young Guns II (starring Emilio Estevez) and starred as Mark Hunter (Hard Harry), an alienated teenager who runs a pirate radio station, in writer-director Allan Moyle's Pump Up the Volume (both in 1990).
The portrayal of Will Scarlett, in Kevin Reynolds' screen version of the adventures of Robin Hood, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, starring Kevin Costner), was probably Slater's most memorable role to date. He followed it up with lead roles in films like Mobsters (1991, as Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano), Kuffs (1992, played the title role) and lent his voice to Pips in the animated movie FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992). He hosted the "Saturday Night Live" show in 1991 and 1993 and made his stage directorial debut with the play "The Laughter Epidemic" (1992).
Producer-director Tony Bill paired Slater with Marisa Tomei, playing an introvert busboy with a heart problem, in his romantic Untamed Heart (1993). His performance subsequently handed him two MTV Movie Awards (one shared with Tomei). He then appeared in True Romance, Jimmy Hollywood and replaced the late River Phoenix as the interviewer in 1993’s Interview with the Vampire.
In 1996, Slater costarred opposite John Travolta in John Woo’s Broken Arrow and helmed the 30-minute film for Showtime, Museum of Love (starring Samantha Mathis and Sandra Bernhard). He also acted in other films like Murder in the First (1995), Bed of Roses (1996), Merry Christmas, George Bailey (1997, TV) and Julian Po (1997, played the title role). The rest of the 1990s saw Slater debut as a producer in Hard Rain (1997, he also starred) and co-executive produce Very Bad Things (1998, also played one of the leads), the latter of which gave him Csapnivalo Awards for Best Male Performance. He was also seen in the films Basil (1998), White Lies (1999) and returned to Broadway after a 15-year hiatus, portraying narrator Clifford in "Side Man."
The new millennium watched Slater playing young senator Rep. Reginald Webster in the Joan Allen film The Contender, for which he gained praise at Broadcast Film Critics Association and received an Alan J. Pakula Award. Subsequently, Slater shared the screen with Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner in 3000 Miles to Graceland and with Tim Allen in the jaunt comedy Who is Cletis Tout? (U.S. release: 2002). He reunited with director John Woo in his war movie Windtalkers (2002, starring Nicolas Cage) and appeared in Bob Dylan’s Masked and Anonymous (2003). On the small screen, Slater played reoccurring roles in several episodes of "The West Wing" (in November 2002, as Lt. Cmdr. Jack Reese) and in "Alias" (February and March 2003, as Neil Caplan).
Recently, Christian Slater could be seen acting in such films as Renny Harlin’s thriller Mindhunters (as an FBI agent), Pursued, Churchill: The Hollywood Years, Alone in the Dark, and The Deal. On stage, he debuted on the British stage playing Randle P. McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End in September 2004. Since March of 2005, Slater has been playing Tom Wingfield, opposite Jessica Lange, in the Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie." He recently announced a new London production of “Sweet Bird of Youth” and reportedly will star with Anne Heche in Actors' Fund's "Casablanca" reading.
"Good judgment comes from experience. Sometimes, experience comes from bad judgment." Christian Slater