MovieChat Forums > To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) Discussion > William Petersen ... what happened ?

William Petersen ... what happened ?


With 'To Live...' and 'Manhunter' in the bag, this guy could have been huge, but he then passed on 'Platoon' and 'Good Fellas'. Is an actor's success all down luck when picking a role?
frank-on-films.blogspot.com

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"After Manhunter (1986) and To Live and Die in L.A. (1985), there were all these cop movies that came my way, but they weren't any good, so I didn't do them.

Then, there was talk about my doing Platoon (1986), but I didn't want to sit in a ditch in the Philippines for eight weeks for no money. Instead, I did an HBO baseball movie for more money and more fun, and I got to play ball.

I enjoy watching great movies like Platoon (1986), but I don't have to be in them. I never fell in love with movies. I didn't want to spend all that time an effort.

I've had it pretty good. I've had it my own way."


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Wait a minute... who am I here?

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He seems like he would have a huge ego in real life.

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No huge ego. He just doesn't act to be famous. He acts because he loves acting. I had the pleasure of meeting him last July at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago where he was doing a play. Actually, my friend & I spoke with him twice that day. He is very humble, sweet, funny and normal acting. He drives himself to the theater in the family car rather than having a limo or a driver, he has no "entourage" or body guards, he walked down the street to pick up his own dinner & has the bag under his arm in the photo of he & I together. He is very down to Earth and very generous with his time with his fans. He talked to us, laughed with us, asked us questions about our lives, took our cameras and checked out the photos of us with him to see of they turned out good or if we needed to take another. He even apologized when he decided it was time to leave, shook our hands and told us it was nice meeting us!! He could easily have been a huge movie star because he is a phenomenal actor; on stage he is at his very best and with all the CSI fame he could've become a real conceited jerk, but he hasn't.

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He could easily have been a huge movie star because he is a phenomenal actor; on stage he is at his very best and with all the CSI fame he could've become a real conceited jerk, but he hasn't.
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Wait a minute... who am I here?

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i think he's more into theater and tv roles than movies....

"i like your movies man, you got a great penis"

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I think some people are content to get to do what they want and are not just motivated by popularity and money. He seems content to work as a lower profile actor and he seems to have done just fine. I don't think he sounds like he has an ego- quite the opposite actually.

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I thought he would go on to have a Keven Costner type career.

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Biggest problem he had after Manhunter and TLADIL was that nobody would have been willing to cast him in lead roles as both those movies were underwhelming at the box office.

Perhaps he also wasnt willing to play ball and kiss ass while chasing roles. Interesting about his link to Goodfellas, it must have been the Ray Liotta role.

Anyhow he stuck to his guns and reaped the rewards in the end.

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Yeah, and it's really too bad that both films weren't big hits at all---Manhunter got lots of bad reviews when it came out (and now it's considered a cult classic) and TLADIL, for some wack reason, was barely even promoted--I don't remember seeing any trailers for it,and don't even recall if it played anywhere near me,either. It's a shame because Petersen was good in both films--especially in To Live And Die In L.A.,and if it had been promoted properly, it probably would have made him a star. His energetic,gung-ho performance was what drove the film,too. Nice to know he's cool with never having been one, though---that's not for everybody,anyway. At least he can say he's been in not just one, but at least two genuine '80s cult classics!

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[TLADIL, for some wack reason, was barely even promoted]

The studio hated it — especially the ending.
But Friedkin had final cut so they had no right to change it — only the right to dump it.
Which they did.

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He decided to do CSI.


Schrodinger's cat walks into a bar, and / or doesn't.

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