Serving a Black Warrant
by Ronald Sklar
What do Tom Berenger and William Shakespeare have in common? They both insist that the play’s the thing.
Tom says, “the whole play is the most important thing, and your part is secondary to that. You should be supportive of the playwright.”
This rule of Tom’s thumb goes back to his high school days in Park Forest, Illinois. Tom was required to appear in Blood Wedding, the famous Federico Garcia Lorca play. It was mandatory for all advanced Spanish students (yep, Tom is fluent, and this was an AP class).
He said, “I went up to the teacher and said, ‘I can’t do this. I’m not an actor.”
Of course, that statement had to later be amended, big time. After studying journalism and history at the University of Missouri, the acting bug knew it was Tom it needed to bite.
He switched to drama (“Who would’ve thunk it,” Tom says). That led to commercials (“Ned, put your money where your mouth is. Girls notice whiter teeth and fresh breath!”), soap operas (“Mom, you had to keep going on about her being a nun!”) and then, film.
He was one of Diane Keaton’s unstable pickups in Looking for Mr. Goodbar but found lasting fame in a series of forever iconic movies, including The Big Chill, Eddie and the Cruisers and Major League. In 1986, Platoon won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Tom, as the damaged Staff Sergeant Barnes, was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. He won a Golden Globe award for the same role.
On TV, he earned an Emmy award for his part in The Hatfields and the McCoys (playing uncle to Kevin Costner’s character) and transformed into Teddy Roosevelt in The Rough Riders (watch him channel it! Damn!).
His fan base expanded and solidified with the Sniper films, and now we have Black Warrant to satisfy our action jones in these trying times.
In it, Tom plays a semi-retired special ops assassin who tries to stop a cyber terrorist organization from attacking the power grid. Plot twists? Shit being real out in the streets? A hero who is gonna hero? Exactly this.
“I don’t know how they write action movies,” Tom says of the largely underrated genre. “That’s still kind of a mystery to me.”
But here, the mystery’s the thing. In other words, if the world ever needed another Berenger action flick, it’s right this very minute now. The universe owes us.
Black Warrant now available on Digital and On Demand.
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: December 20, 2022.
Photos © 2022. Courtesy of Saban Films. All rights reserved.