I remember ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ for five things – the Bryan Adams song that sat on the charts for an entire summer like a bloated dominatrix, that American-accented ‘Robin of Lawwwxley’, the terrifying white-haired witch with long brown nails, the cool ‘camera on the arrow’ shot, and Alan Rickman’s delivery of ‘At least I didn’t use a spoon’.
Rickman, you charming and evil bastard.
You can always tell when any historical film was made because the hair will always be as close to modern-day as possible – in this version of medieval times all men have blonde-tinted mullets and the women have perms. I’m sure they toyed with turning Robin’s green tights into stonewashed denim.
The cast was an unusual mix of big Hollywood names and jobbing British TV actors – some have gone on to play God, others now work in shops for larger ladies.
What happened to Little John? That kid ‘Wulf’ with the cool hair? Kevin Costner’s career?
Find out after the jump!
Hold on! First up here’s a bit of trivia about the film itself
– Kevin originally tried an English accent but the director asked him to stop as it wasn’t very good.
– James Ferman, the British censor at the time, admitted they made a mistake giving it a PG rating as it proved ‘too frightening’ for children (pretty sure he’s talking about that witch, her milky eye still haunts me).
– Robin Wright (of ‘The Princess Bride’, ‘Forrest Gump’ and now ‘House of Cards’) was due to play Maid Marian but she dropped out as she was pregnant. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio replaced her 4 days before shooting began.
– Morgan Freeman’s character was inspired by ‘Nazir’, a character from the 80’s Robin of Sherwood TV series which producers thought was part of the original legend.
– Cary Elwes says he was originally offered the part of Robin but turned it down, if both he and Robin Wright had played the parts, the film would have the same leads as ‘The Princess Bride’. Cary went on to spoof the role in ‘Robin Hood: Men In Tights’.
– Sean Connery got $250,000 for two days work on the film, he donated it to charity.
Right, let’s get on with the cast!
‘Prince of Thieves’ came at the height of Kevin Costner’s golden era when he was involved in all the biggest box office hits including ‘Dances With Wolves’, ‘Field of Dreams’, ‘The Untouchables’, ‘JFK’, and ‘The Bodygaurd’ but his whopper flop ‘Waterworld’ in 1995 hurt his bankability and decent lead roles dried up. He looks set for a return as a name to book as he plays Superman’s adopted dad in ‘Man of Steel’.
As a young man Kevin worked in marketing and acted on the side until he met Richard Burton on a flight back from his Honeymoon, the acting legend advised him to go for it full time. He moved to Hollywood and made a soft-core porn film before getting his break in ‘Silverado’.
He and Harrison Ford were always up for the same parts – in fact ‘Air Force One’ was written for Kevin and he helped develop the film but he passed the role on to Harrison Ford as he was still busy on the flop ‘The Postman’.
He has three children with his first wife and three with his second with Christine Baumgartner.
He’s a big Arsenal supporter.
Alan Rickman – the Sheriff of Nottingham
His big break in screen acting came when he was 42, playing Hans Krubler in ‘Die Hard’.
He played romantic leads in ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Truly, Madly Deeply’ and played Emma Thompson’s cheating husband in ‘Love Actually’ (more on that here). Alan had comic roles in ‘Galaxy Quest’ and ‘The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’, but is most known for being a villain with a deliciously evil voice in films like the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise and ‘Sweeney Todd’.
In 2013 he’s due to reunite with Rupert Grint for a film about the legendary club ‘CBGB’.
He met his partner Rita back in 1965 and they’ve lived together in London since 1977.
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio – Maid Marian
Mary had roles in big films of the 80’s including ‘Scarface’, ‘The Abyss’, and ‘The Colour of Money’ but has since fallen off the radar. Her most high profile role since has been as a ship’s captain in ‘The Perfect Storm’ in 2000.
She has appeared in the TV drama ‘Without a Trace’ an an episode of ‘Law & Order: Criminal Intent’, and the most recent series of ‘Grimm’.
She has two sons with her husband Pat O’Connor.
Morgan Freeman –
Before getting his big break on screen Morgan was an award-winning stage actor and also one of the stars of early 70’s kids TV show ‘The Electric Company’.
His big break came with ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ in 1989 (a part he had played on stage) and he hasn’t really stopped since.
Morgan almost always plays a wise, calm old man (see ‘Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Seven’, ‘Invictus’, Christopher Nolan’s ‘Batman’ trilogy) and he took that to it’s naturally conclusion by playing God himself in ‘Bruce Almighty’.
He has been married and divorced twice. He has two sons and two daughters.
He has one gold earring as he says pirates had them as they could be used to pay for a funeral if they were to die abroad. Morgan says always thought that was ‘cool’, I tend to agree.
Christian Slater – Will Scarlett
Christian’s first big role was playing an investigative monk opposite Sean Conery in ‘In The name of the Rose’ but it was his role in the cult classic ‘Heathers’ that turned him into a late 80’s teen heartthrob.
He went on to star in ‘Pump Up The Volume’, ‘Young Guns II’, ‘True Romance’ and ‘Interview With A Vampire’ (replacing his friend River Phoenix who died suddenly).
After a few arrests (one for assaulting his girlfriend) and a trip to rehab his star began to fade and these days he does a lot of voice-over work, TV series (like ‘Breaking In’) and lower-budget films.
His exes include Winona Ryder, Samantha Mathis and Christina Applegate. He has two children with his ex-wife Ryan Haddon and recently said “acting is my hobby, staying sober is my job”.
He seems designed (both in voice and hairline) to play a younger Jack Nicholson in a biopic.
Michael Wincott – Guy of Gisborne
He’s also popped up in ‘Basquiat’, ‘The Diving Bell and Butterfly’ and you might have seen him more recently playing Ed Gein in ‘Hitchcock’.
Geraldine McEwan – Motianna the witch
Geraldine had a long career with mostly theatre roles including a spell in the Royal Shakespeare Company.
On screen she appeared in ‘The Magdalene Sisters’ and you probably recognise her for playing ‘Miss Marple’ in the recent TV adaptation of Agatha Christie’s nosy old bat/detective.
She had two children with her late husband Hugh Cruttell.
Geraldine died in January 2015 aged 82.
Brian Blessed – Lord Locksley
Brian is known for his huge booming voice and larger-than-life persona. Check him out on a chaotic episode of ‘Have I Got News For You’.
He’s starred the camp classic ‘Flash Gordon’, ‘Blackadder’ series 1, loads of Shakespeare plays and stage musicals like ‘Cats’ and ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.
In 2004 he impersonated Pavarotti on ‘Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes’.
He has a daughter with his wife Hildegarde Neil.
Nick Brimble – Little John
Nick also popped ‘A Knight’s Tale’ and a load of British TV shows like ‘Z Cars’, ‘The Sweeney’, ‘Robin of Sherwood’, ‘The Bill’, ‘Casualty’, ‘Doc Martin’ and he played Terence Turner in ‘Emmerdale’.
Michael McShane – Friar Tuck
Michael is best known for appearing on the improv show ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’, he also played Kramer’s nemesis in ‘Seinfeld’.
He voiced Cid in ‘Final Fantasy X’ and ‘Final Fantasy X-2′ and voiced Tuck & Roll in ‘A Bug’s Life’.
in 2012 he appeared in the ‘Doctor Who’ episode ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’.
Daniel Newman – Wulf
He had a lead role in ‘Endgame‘ in which he played an abused rentboy caught up in the gangster underworld.
His latest role was in ‘Hotel Babylon’ in 2009 and he seems to be concentrating on his work as a personal trailer these days (see here).
He was married and divorced at a very young age and has two daughters.
Walter Sparrow – Duncan
Before ‘Robin Hood’, Water was a stage actor who also had parts in ‘Young Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Dr Terror’s House of Horrors’ and ‘The Accidental Tourist’. He went on to play ‘Crazy Pete’, a homeless man, in ‘Now and Then’ (more on that here), Ben the gardener in ‘The Secret Garden’ and Maurice in ‘Ever After’.
He died in 2000.
Soo Drouet – Fanny
Soo went on to star in episodes of ‘The Bill’, ‘Ruth Rendall Mysteries’ and she played Monica in ‘Casualty’.
Her last acting role was in 1999 and she is now working in retail. From her Facebook page it seems she goes by the name Sue Baker.
Daniel Peacock – Bull
Daniel is best known for starring in ‘The Comic Book Presents..’ alongside Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Heplayed Danny in the cult classic ‘Quadrophenia’ and was the irate gardener who buried Victor Meldrew in ‘One Foot In The Grave’.
Danny’s dad is Trevor Peacock who played Jim on ‘The Vicar of Dibley’.
Danny is still regularly working in small roles on TV and recently reunited with French & Saunders for ‘Five Go To Rehab’, a sequel to ‘Five Go Mad In Dorset’.
Jack Wild – Much the Miller’s Son
Jack was discovered by his teammate’s mum June Collins (a theatre agent) – his teammate happened to be Phil Collins!
He then became world-famous for playing The Artful Dodger in ‘Oliver!’
He went on to appear in the surreal US kids TV show ‘H.R Pufnstuf’.
He began drinking aged 12 and became an alcoholic. His drink problems ate up his fortune, caused a divorce from his wife and gave him three heart attacks.
He landed the role in ‘Robin Hood’ after going to rehab and he found work on stage until he had to have part of his tongue and throat removed because of oesophageal cancer.
Jack died in 2006 aged 53 and was survived by his second wife Claire Harding.
Richard Strange – Executioner
Richard was the founder of 70’s punk band ‘Doctors of Madness’, he later became a solo artist who performed at Glastonbury in 2009.
As an actor he’s appeared in ‘Batman’ ( a goon), ‘Gangs of New York’ (an undertaker) and ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2′ (he was a Death Eater).
He’s also an art curator.
Sean Connery – King Richard
Sean had a tiny cameo as King Richard The Lionheart at the very end of the movie.
He will of course always be known as the original James Bond – a part that may have eclipsed the rest of his career.
Before acting joined the Royal Navy (he has two tattoos from that time, ‘Mum & Dad’ and ‘Scotland Forever’) and then became a bodybuilder. Sean also says was so good at football he offered a place at Man United but turned it down for acting.
What you may not know is that during his days as Bond he was already wearing a wig.
He got regular work again as an older actor with roles in ‘The Untouchables’ (he won an Oscar for the role), ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’, ‘The Hunt For Red October’, ‘The Rock’, ‘First Knight’ and ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’.
He says he turned down the role of Gandalf in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ films as he ‘didn’t understand the script’, apparently he was also offered up to 15% of the box office which would have earned him $400 million.
He is now retired from acting and public appearances but Sam Mendes considered asking him to play the role of Kinkade in ‘Skyfall’ before deciding it would have been too distracting for the audience (Albert Finney played the role).
Sean has been married twice and has a son called Jason. He is a member of the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) and supported Celtic Football Club but changed to Rangers in the 90’s saying he supports whoever plays the best football. Controversial.
The cast of ‘Robin Hood Prince of Thieves’, we salute you!
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