"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
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
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
- Broadcast Film Critics Association: Alan J. Pakula Award, The Contender,
- Csapnivalo Awards: Golden Slate - Best Male Performance, Very Bad
- MTV Movie: Most Desirable Male, Untamed Heart, 1993
- MTV Movie: Best Kiss, Untamed Heart, 1993, shared with Marisa Tomei