Who is that actor: Xander Berkeley
- “Xander Berkeley, basically, is shorthand for “evil.” His evil, mind you, is not always turned up to maximum power, as in Air Force One, in which Berkeley plays a dead-eyed Secret Service agent who’s secretly working as a mole on behalf of Gary Oldman’s bad, airplane-hijacking Russians. Sometimes his evil is only at, like, a 3, quietly humming below the surface as he plays Julianne Moore’s cold, distant husband in Safe.”
I remember him vividly from the consumption – pun intended – horror/thriller Safe and being Joan Crawford’s grown son in Mommy Dearest. Despite being cast as a sinister character so frequently it’s often a spoiler to list his name in the credits, my Xander role is that of the kindly urine screener in 1997’s hipster sci-fi classic Gattaca. Originally I thought Xander Berkeley was the virtually unrecognizable Blair Underwood in Gattaca. I was like, “Who’s this bald Blair Underpants looking upstart? Hmmm Xander Berkeley? That sounds right. I’ve got my eye on you, Mr. Berkeley.”
In the last several days I have spied Mr. Berkeley’s work in the following places:
- Air Force One
- The X-files S1x07 “Ice” (shaddup)
- T2: Judgment Day
and I’m about to crack open Apollo 13, which I’ve never seen. NO SPOILERS. I don’t want this to turn into another La Bamba situation1. Oh yeah, XB’s in that too.
He’s one of my favorite character actors, who I suspect has far more range than what his acting roles might suggest. I’d love to see him a play a few less bad guys. Maybe an embezzling politician or the owner of a fledging strip club. Anything other than an evil swivel servant. I think he’s established he can get that job done.
1 That was a joke.