INTERVIEW: Meet The Biehns

Do the titles Aliens or The Terminator ring a bell? These films are among a handful that have withstood the test of time and transcended generation lines. Most people would consider their career successful if they had been involved in one of these blockbuster hits, much less having major roles in all of them.

This Saturday, the Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson will be showing a double feature of Aliens/The Terminator with guest star Michael Biehn in attendance. Biehn saw a rapid rise to stardom throughout the 80s and 90s with leading roles in these films, as well as other classic hits like Tombstone. The two movies being shown are each part of series that have spanned six movies and counting, a true testament to the magnitude of the originals. When asked about why the movies have blossomed into such a long running success Michael simply answered, “Because of James Cameron.”

Regrettably, Michael’s character was killed off without his approval in Alien 3. He took issue with the way this was handled and was a very vocal proponent against it. Corporal Hicks has been absent from the series ever since- that is, until recently. Production began on Alien 5 over the past year and rumor was that Hicks was set to return. Not only that, but Biehn was set to reprise his role. The hype, however, proved to be short-lived as production of the film came to a premature end several months back. This would generally be considered crushing news for fans, but it has not deterred Biehn. “I believe it’s gonna get done,” Michael replied when I asked whether or not that will be the end of things. Franchise fans can still find solace and hope in the possibility that another movie may be in the works soon.

Tombstone obviously will never get a sequel due to the historic nature of the film, but it has definitely been one of the highlights of Biehn’s career. He played outlaw Johnny Ringo amongst a sea of other Hollywood giants. Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, and Billy Bob Thorton were also featured in the western. The movie depicts the events that led up to and followed the infamous gunfight at the OK Corral. Biehn has stated that this was one of his favorite characters to play and did quite a bit of research before portraying the outlaw. Historically, there is quite a bit of controversy about who was at fault for the events that took place. Due to his portrayal in the film, I wanted to see who Biehn believed was to blame. True to his character he adamantly stated, “THE EARPS!”

Fame wasn’t the only thing he found acting in the 90s; he also met his wife Jennifer Blanc while filming together. Jennifer is no stranger to the spotlight in her own career. She began her career starring in parts for various roles, eventually landing reoccurring parts in The Mommies and Party of Five. She later played Kendra Maibaum in the television series Dark Angel, a show that only lasted one season but still has a large cult following. She has since gone on to star in dozens of shows and movies.

Jennifer has done everything from voiceover work for Balto to high intensity movies like The Victim. She has had the opportunity to test out almost every genre and type of character imaginable. With such a variety of roles, is it truly possible to pinpoint a favorite?

“I loved playing Kate on Party of Five and loved being directed by my hubby, Micheal Biehn, in The Victim. Playing opposite Salma Hayek and Joe Lynch in Everly was awesome too. Of course Dark Angel for James Cameron was a career changer for me. I also have to say playing Zanne in Friends ‘Til the End for NBC, opposite Shannon Doherty, was intensely satisfying for me.”

Jennifer and Michael have both curved the career paths in recent years. Not only do they both continue to act in films, but now they have also moved on to produce them. The couple began their own production company, “BlancBiehn Productions”. If you think that marriage and being business partners is difficult enough, imagine have your spouse direct you.

“I think it is a little of both,” Jennifer responded when asked if it was more difficult working for her husband or another producer.

BlancBiehn Productions currently has several films in the works. The couple has typically focused on grindhouse-type movies throughout the years. The Victim, Hidden In The Woods, Treachery, and Among Friends are a few of the titles to come from the company. Nevertheless, you may find the company branching out to other genres in the near futures as well.

Jennifer went on to state, “I think we finally want to [try other genres], more socially conscious films.”

“My son, Caelan, has one that we are really trying to get made and it’s an important one,” added Michael.

We can only speculate what the new film could potentially entail. Until then, you can find Michael and Jennifer both in attendance at the 2018 Dallas Comic Show this weekend. The convention will be held at the Richardson Civic Center. To find out more about the convention click here. If you are interested in learning more about BlancBiehn Productions you can find more of their titles on their website.