There are actors you wonder about and then there are those that you kind of dismiss when it comes to their careers and Christian Slater happens to have fallen somewhere in between these two categories. When you look at what he’s done in the past it’s not hard to wonder why since when he came on the scene and really got going he was a lot of fun to watch. He was energetic, he had the look that people liked, and he was someone you could watch for a while without getting bored. Some people might groan at this mention but I happen to like the guy as “Arkansas” Dave Rutabagh in Young Guns II, despite the fact that the sequel didn’t pack nearly as much punch as the first movie. Others would no doubt cite other movies that have likely made a bigger impression on them such as Heathers and even True Romance. Throughout the 80s and 90s Slater was pretty much one of the best guys for the job when you needed someone with a lot of frantic energy to get in there and just mix things up. But somewhere along the line, possibly by the time the 90s were ending, his career just seemed to reach a certain point where it couldn’t really go any further. Bridgette Rogers from the Gazette Review has a pretty good explanation and it’s one I happen to agree with even if it might be hard to hear.
Slater was almost always the sidekick, the extra, and the guy that you looked at but then looked past. Anytime he was the center of attention the idea was that people were still going to look past him. He had a bad boy streak for a while and it worked for him up to a point, but as he started to grow up that streak kind of faded out as he found that people weren’t buying into it as much any longer. The honest to goodness truth is that he didn’t really go away, but there were times when people might have wanted him to simply because he hadn’t adapted yet to the changing landscape that is Hollywood. That might not seem fair but if you take a look at his resume from the 90s up until recent years he doesn’t have a whole lot of big hits that one could cite in order to claim that he’s the same caliber of celebrity that he was years back. Movies such as Broken Arrow, Hard Rain, Mind Hunters, and of course, the unfortunate Bullet to the Head with Sylvester Stallone might have given him a chance to come back, but even starring with the likes of Travolta, LL Cool J, Morgan Freeman, and Stallone wasn’t enough to really give him back the cred that he’d lost. He was still a bit player coming back and to be honest he’s still played the part of a bit player even with his time spent on Mr. Robot since throughout the years his career has simply never recovered its full glory.
Don’t get all bent out of shape right away, he’s still a decent actor and he can still turn in a good performance, but it is a bit amazing that he still has the kind of clout in Hollywood that he does at this time since throughout the years a lot of people seemed to have forgotten about him or simply dismissed him. He’s kind of gone the same way as a lot of people that were famous back in the day, but somehow he managed to sneak in under the radar and became yet another individual that’s made a successful, if not massive, comeback. If anything at this point Christian Slater is a survivor of his own fame as Alex Simon of HuffPost has said. He’s managed to come back from a line of failures that wasn’t really his fault even though he’s not blameless, and has managed to do so in a way that shows how he’s evolved and finally changed his act so as to better blend into the current era. Yes, this means acting his age and embracing the fact that he’s one of the older men in the cast as of now.
That’s nothing terrible to be honest since he’s earned it by this point and has also earned the distinction of still being around when so many people that were a part of his generation are either trying to hang on at this point or have left show business for various reasons that are too numerous to count. It’s not so much of a surprise that he’s still around, but it is impressive since at one point it almost looked as though he was going to make a meager living off of whatever cameo appearances he could get. Thankfully that’s not the case.