Is Ed O'Neill married . . . with an image problem?
Known for his role as beleaguered hubby-father Al Bundy on Fox Broadcasting's "Married . . . With Children," O'Neill - a dramatic actor prior to the series - recently got laughed right out of Paramount's Vietnam action-adventure, "Flight of the Intruder."Because test screening audiences laughed when a serious O'Neill appeared as the prosecutor in a military trial, O'Neill's scene has been snipped. The role has been recast with actor Fred Dalton Thompson, according to a source close to the production.
"I don't feel good about what happened," O'Neill says. "As an actor, it's kind of frightening. It shows what TV can do to you. At the same time, I can't complain about what the series has given me. It's a double-edged sword.
"What I don't want is for these producers in town to think they can't use me in serious films - especially since all I did before this ("Married") was serious."
A longtime friend of director John Milius, O'Neill did two days work on the film - which was to be unbilled.
"My scene comes an hour or so into the picture. There's no introduction to my character - I come from out of nowhere. Suddenly there I am, in a uniform, walking around this table at a court martial. I think that, to audiences who aren't expecting me, it's as if Al Bundy's suddenly appeared. It's like Al Bundy Joins the Army."
If anyone wants to see O'Neill, the dramatic actor, they can watch the ABC-TV movie "The Whereabouts of Jenny," to air this fall. O'Neill portrays a father separated from his daughter by a witness relocation program.
"The whole film is serious," O'Neill says. "There's nothing to laugh at." - PAT H. BROESKE
- Is `Rocketeer' His Rocket to Stardom?:
HOLLYWOOD - Bill Who?
That was the question on a lot of minds when Bill Campbell was announced as the star of Disney's "The Rocketeer." Based on the popular comic book character who fights for justice, donning a streamlined helmet and strapping a rocket pack to his back, it's due next summer.
A former commercial art student who considered becoming a comic book artist, Campbell, 31, came to Hollywood six years ago after working in Chicago theater.
He's since appeared on a spate of TV shows, including "Dynasty," playing the boyfriend of Steven Carrington during the 1984-85 season; and a crew-cut, gum-chewing young cop on NBC's "Crime Story."
"The Rocketeer" is the first feature film role for the boyish, 6-foot-4, 205-pound actor.
"One of the appealing things about him is that he's a regular guy," Campbell says of the character. "He wears aviator-type clothes - you know, boots and leather jacket. And he's propelled through the air by something that is technically possible.
"He's not so much a fantasy figure as he is an adventurer."
Directed by Joe Johnston ("Honey, I Shrunk the Kids"), the film is currently in its second week of shooting near Valencia, just north of Los Angeles. Alan Arkin, Jennifer Connelly and Timothy Dalton co-star.
Campbell spoke to us between takes, "beating up bad guys - you know, delivering knuckle sandwiches." But he doesn't plan on doing his own "flying."
"Since the Rocketeer wears a helmet, I think there's going to be a stunt man. I have no desire to hang from wires."
A sequel to "The Rocketeer" is a possibility, but Campbell isn't worried about being typecast at this point. "I'm just happy to be working in a movie," he says. - PAT H. BROESKE
HOLLYWOOD - Crispin Glover, Peter Boyle, Karen Black and Michael Greene star in "Rubin and Ed," which is in production in Salt Lake City and the southern Utah desert. The dark comedy, which Paul Webster will produce and Trent Harris wrote and will direct, tells of two misfits who hate each other yet wind up on a weird desert odyssey together. This is the second American production for British-based Working Title, Ltd. The first, "Drop Dead, Friend," wrapped in Minneapolis last week.
William Sanderson (formerly Larry on "Newhart") will play a mechanic, Terry O'Quinn will portray Howard Hughes and Paul Sorvino a gangster in the Gordon Co.-Touchstone's "The Rocketeer," now filming in Southern California. This adaptation of the comic-book series set in 1938 Hollywood also stars Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton and Alan Arkin. Joe Johnson directs.
Kathy Baker, John Mahoney, Keith David and Jeffrey Tambor join Ray Liotta in Orion's "Article 99," which begins filming Oct. 8 in Kansas City, Mo.
- The Movie Chart
Films going into production:
BLACK ROBE (Alliance Comm.-Samson Prods.). Shooting in northern Quebec. "Jesus of Montreal's" Lothaire Bluteau portrays a youthful Jesuit missionary who ventures into the wilderness to save souls. "Driving Miss Daisy's" Bruce Beresford directs. Executive producers Jake Eberts and Brian Moore. Producers Robert Lantos and Stephane Reichel. Screenwriter Moore. Also stars Aden Young, Sandrine Holt and August Schellenberg.
DESERT SHIELD (S.E.A.L.S.) (21st Century). Shooting in Israel. Rob Lowe stars in the very contemporary tale of two elite military men who attempt to infiltrate and destroy a missile installation targeting American ships in the Persian Gulf. Executive producer Ami Artzi. Producer Menahem Golan. Director Shimon Dotan. Screenwriters Dotan and Stuart Schoffman. Also stars Gale Hansen, Jan-Michael Vincent and Tracy Griffith.