Coming of age as a young actor enrolled in the University of Arizona’s drama program, Michael Biehn had no idea that he was destined to become a legendary everyman-hero affiliated with two of the most enduring franchises in science fiction history. Despite landing roles as time-soldier Kyle Reese in Cameron’s tech-noir thriller, The Terminator, in 1984 and that of intergalactic badass Cpl. Dwayne Hicks in Aliens two years later, Alabama-born Biehn claims not to have been much of a science fiction fan prior to arriving in Hollywood.
“No, I wasn’t really into the genre at all,” Biehn recalls. “Truthfully, I had very little expectation for myself as an actor when I moved to California. At the time, if you had told me that I could have made a living doing commercials for the rest of my career, I would have sold my soul for that opportunity. Slowly but surely, things picked up for me. I started picking up parts here and there and then I met Jim and the whole thing just took off.”
Flash forward two-and-a-half decades and a busy Biehn (who just received the Vienna Film Ball Award for his film, The Victim, with wife Jennifer Blanc) is set to reunite with the crew who joined him in stamping out extraterrestrials and naysayers for the sequel to Ridley Scott’s space horror classic Alien. It’s hard to believe 27 years have passed since Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ellen Ripley, faced her nemesis on xenomorph-infested planet LV-426 backed by Biehn and his platoon of heavily-armed badasses. Now, fans of James Cameron’s iconic science fiction-action film, Aliens, will have the chance to see Weaver and Biehn in the flesh as the Calgary Arts & Entertainment Expo presents Aliens EXPOsed. Revisiting their roles as Ripley and Hicks (as they are also known), the co-stars will be joined onstage at the Stampede Corral by core cast-mates Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser, Jenette Goldstein, Mark Rolston and Carrie Henn.
“There was a 25th anniversary reunion a couple of years ago with Sigourney, Lance and Jim,” says Biehn, who still acts in addition to juggling a host of producing/writing/directing projects. “It was so great to see everybody again. It almost seemed like no time had passed. Any time you get a chance to spend time with people that you’ve worked with on such an amazing project it’s a pleasure. It’s nice when you can go years without seeing each other for and then pick up right back where you were before. It left us all feeling like we wanted to spend more time together, but with our schedules it’s almost impossible to coordinate.”
As if sci-fi acolytes alike needed additional enticement to pick up tickets to this special event, the evening’s proceedings will be officiated by Expo-favourite Garret Wang, a.k.a. Ensign Harry Kim of Star Trek Voyager. While an Expo pass itself does not grant admission the separately-ticketed events in the Corral and Boyce Theatre, fans will still be able to get up-close and personal with Sigourney Weaver who will be appearing at the Calgary Expo on Sunday, April 27 for autographs, photo ops and a spotlight panel. Biehn and the rest of the cast will also be appearing at the Calgary Expo throughout the weekend for autographs, photo ops, panels, and teaming up for a collective Aliens photo op on Sunday. *Facehugger filter optional.
Catch the cast of Aliens at Aliens EXPOsed April 26 at Stampede Corral.
By Christine Leonard