Why Kurt Russell Seems ‘Angry’ In His Stargate Performance, According To One Of His Tombstone Co-Stars

Photo of author
Written By Maya Cantina

1993 and 1994 were some particularly big year when it comes to the best Kurt Russell movies. The former saw him starring in Tombstone as Wyatt Earp, and then he followed that up with playing Colonel Jack O’Neil in Stargate. Of course, if you’re familiar with some of the Tombstone behind-the-scenes facts, you know that this wasn’t the easy production to take part in, and Michael Biehn, who played Johnny Ringo in the Western, thinks Russell’s experience on that movie is what led to him seeming so “angry” in Stargate

For those unaware, about a month after Tombstone began production, Kevin Barre, who wrote the screenplay and was supposed to make his directorial debut on the movie, was fired, and George Cosmatos took his place. However, it’s been rumored over the years that Kurt Russell was actually the movie’s secret director, and in 2017, co-star Val Kilmer said Russell was “solely responsible for Tombstone’s success.” During his recent appearance on Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum, Biehn clarified that Tombstone was ultimately put together by a “committee,” but he believes that the rocky process of shooting that movie influenced his performance in Stargate shortly thereafter. As Biehn recalled:

I know that Kurt, immediately right after [Tombstone], went on to do another movie called Stargate, that they made the television series out of, right? ‘Cause I went to visit him on the set like a week after we wrapped the movie, and he was already doing Stargate. But anybody watch Kurt Russell in Stargate, and he’s so grumpy and angry.

Rosenbaum then questioned if Russell’s demeanor stemmed from his Tombstone experience, and Michael Biehn said he suspected as much, noting how he’d “never seen him so grumpy before” when they were shooting the Western together. We can’t say with 100% certainty this was the case, but Russell certainly couldn’t be faulted for feeling this way since he and the rest of the cast and crew went through so much on Tombstone.

Honestly, the grumpy demeanor enhanced Russell’s performance as Jack O’Neil, a member of the Air Force whose son died after he accidentally shot himself. Between that tragedy and leading the mission through the title wormhole-creating device to visit another planet, it’s no wonder he’d come across as grumpy and angry in Stargate. Funny enough though, while Russell played O’Neil rather humorlessly, the character became more of a wisecracker when Richard Dean Anderson took over the role for the TV series Stargate SG-1, which ran for 10 seasons.

If you’re now in the mood to watch Tombstone and/or Stargate, the former can be streamed with a Hulu subscription, and the latter can be viewed on MGM+, which can be added on to your Amazon Prime Video subscription. If you’re looking for something more current from Kurt Russell, use your Apple TV+ subscription to watch Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, the MonsterVerse franchise’s first live-action TV show.


Leave a Comment

data data data data data data data data data data data data data