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20 Awesome Actors Who Deserve Their Own Biopics

01 October 2013 | Features, People Lists | by David Zou

actor biopics

If executed correctly, biopics can be an absolutely wonderful thing. There are (and have been) a ridiculous amount of truly interesting people in this world, and without biographical films, a lot of us would never know the details of their existence. A solid portion of those aforementioned interesting people happen to be movie actors, but for whatever reason, films about actors haven’t had too much success in the past. That being said, I think we’re all due for a truly great biopic revolving around a deserving actor: here’s 20 we think would make for some seriously great cinema.


20. Arnold Schwarzenegger


The Actor: The Austrian Oak has killed more on-screen bad-guys than we’ve had hot dinners. Provided his personal life doesn’t derail his acting return for too long, that is…

Their Amazing Life: Schwarzenegger’s acting career was always a fairly improbable story, and even in an age when every other pro-wrestler is turning their hand to movies, the idea of a bodybuilder becoming the world’s biggest star still carries a certain magic. And that’s without even toughing on the wholly bizarre sequence of events that saw him elected Governer Of California…

Key Scene: “Milk is for babies!” To this day it remains our favourite ever Arnie line!


19. Danny Trejo


The Actor: The Mexican heavy in every contemporary crime film from Runaway Train onwards, Danny Trejo finally bagged himself a starring role in last year’s Machete where he played, er, a Mexican heavy.

Their Amazing Life: Having grown up in a rough part of LA, Trejo found himself in and out of jail throughout his younger years. However, it was his time in the clink that would eventually help him bag his big break in the movie business. Having bagged himself a part as an extra on Runaway Train, he bumped into screenwriter Eddie Bunker with whom he had done time in San Quentin prison. Remembering that Trejo was handy with his fists, Bunker got him to give star Eric Roberts boxing training, and was so pleased with the results that he wrote him a major part in the movie! So it turns out crime does pay after all.

Key Scene: The tearful Hallmark moment when Robert Rodriguez and Trejo realise that they are second cousins. The two were long oblivious of their family connection until working together on Desperado!


18. Clint Eastwood


The Actor: The man with the face of granite, Clint has snarled his way through more Westerns and cop dramas than you could shake a fist at. Sadly, he’s hung up the scowl for good now, but after appearing in movies for more than fifty years, we suppose he probably deserves a break.

Their Amazing Life: Perhaps unsurprisingly for a man with such a badass reputation, Clint spent time in the military having been drafted as a twenty-year-old in 1950 during the Korean War. In addition to that, there’s his political career to consider, with Clint having served as mayor for his home town in California. And then there’s his other job as a blues pianist, if proof were needed that he’s not all about the scrapping and snarling.

Key Scene: Whilst on military leave in 1951, Clint was a passenger aboard a Douglas bomber that crashed into the ocean having run out of fuel. Unfazed, Clint escaped from the stricken aircraft and swam the three miles back to shore!


17. Mickey Rourke


The Actor: Former heartthrob turned Hollywood survivor, Rourke’s triumphant performance in The Wrestler marked the conclusion of a story arc as satisfying as any of his on-screen characters.

Their Amazing Life: The Wrestler is akin to a Rourke biopic in all but name in the sense that Mickey plays a fading great dragging himself back from the depths for one last crack at glory. Having trained as a boxer in his teens, the decision to step away from acting and re-enter the ring is one that would make for a great narrative twist, with his eventual rehabilitation and eventual recognition from the Academy (well, a nomination at least) supplying the requisite happy ending.

Key Scene: A false dawn in which Rourke is offered the role of Butch Coolidge in Pulp Fiction, only to turn it down. Error.

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  • José Rafael Solis Corps

    I would’ve taken out Danny Trejo and put in either Edward James Olmos, José Ferrer, Raul Julia or Benicio del Toro.