News & Press
Jun 06

‘Journeyman’ Bill Paxton is on the edge of a legendary career

It’s been a busy year for Bill Paxton, 59, who graced the big screen in last month’s Million Dollar Arm, had an arc on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., will film the History Channel mini-series Texas Rising and co-stars this weekend in Edge of Tomorrow. Here’s what you need to know about the veteran actor:

Tomorrow is his first Tom Cruise flick. “We had known each other in passing for years and years because we’re both old journeymen in Hollywood. He’s always been very cool to me so when we met it was kind of like we did knew each other. We have the same work ethic, we’re both film animals, we love our work and we’re very hands-on. We just kind of hit the streets running.”

He believes in aliens. “There is other life out there, just not, hopefully, the kind from Edge of Tomorrow. “My father used to always say, ‘We would have to be pretty conceited when you think of all the billions, trillions of stars (and) planets in the universe to think we’re the only intelligent life form out there.’ But these aliens (in Tomorrow) are more like an infestation. They’ve taken Europe like the Nazis did in WWII. The alliances of the Free World have come together to form a federation and we’re going to try to amass this massive counterattack and Tom Cruise’s character has the misfortune of being a guy stuck in a time warp who keeps coming to on the eve of this invasion.”

He loves working. “It’s great to be this busy. I came out of Big Love and people kind of thought that was me, and I played the straight guy, the anchorman, so I didn’t really get to flex the kind of character work that really got me notoriety in the first place. They forgot I came up playing a lot of different parts. Once I put on the beard and I was opposite Kevin (Costner) in Hatfields & McCoys, that seemed to remind people I could do a lot of different things. And I’ve been working a lot since then. Now I’ve gotten back to my roots playing all kind of supporting roles which have a little more color to them.”

He really enjoys those supporting roles. “If you’re not No. 1 on the call sheet, then you can get days off, and boy, that’s something you want when you’re in a town like London (whereTomorrow was filmed). It is one of the perks in the business, especially if my wife can come with me now that my children are a little older. I’m a totally immersive person. I think it’s the nature of being an actor; you are always trying to assimilate wherever you are. I go to all the museums, I get into the music.”

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