Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Adventures of Peter Weller Across The Eigth Dimension

OK, that might be exaggerating a tad but the guy certainly gets around.  Recently I was working up a jokey idea for a sticker using the image of Detroit's favourite police cyborg - Robocop - when I ran across an article on the varied career of the man in the suit himself, Peter Weller. It reminded me to post the sketch in the previous update, but there's also a couple of details about his offscreen life that really need to be shared. I promise this is a one-off & the blog isn't about to become Entertainment Tonight.

It seems like after the promise & fun of the Actor's Studio, Buckaroo Banzai, Robocop & Naked Lunch, Weller had a stretch of bad luck direct-to-video experiences. Anybody who saw Screamers surely had to feel for him in this rough patch. Or at least that's how it looked from the outside. But in fact Weller was doing exactly what he wanted, apparently enjoying the cop shows & exploitation as much as the arty fare, seeing it all as breadth of experience. That's what he's always after. And it turns out he's quite the polymath - as well as acting he also directs, plays jazz trumpet (in the Three Men From Italy group with friend Jeff Goldblum), runs in marathons, speaks fluent French & Italian and - this is my favourite part - while living in Italy discovered a passion for history which led to his becoming a university lecturer on ancient civilizations, literature & fine arts. Showing up for class & discovering your teacher is Mr Banzai has gotta be a little weird. Now all he needs is a touch of physics & medicine and he's totally ready to fight aliens. Weller is currently working towards a PhD in Italian Renaissance Art History from UCLA. A few years back he fitted in hosting the Engineering An Empire series for the History Channel. Also he's in the fifth season of Dexter. Not a lazy man.

And here he is. PW, the renaissance man.. with a shoebox on his head. That's really him, helping out a campaign to get a statue of Robocop built in Detroit. Google "RoboCop Speaks To Detroit" for his funny, rambling video plea. And relax - they raised the money. The statue will be built. 
Love this guy.  

One more subject I've learned about from the web trawling - The Robocop Unicorn craze. I don't know how I missed it til now, but it seems to be weirdly popular. Far as I can tell, it started with a fake political ad, (you tube ahoy for this one) urging citizens not to vote for ED-209, who has problems negotiating stairs, but to give it up for "Robocop Unicorn." It caught on. I have no idea why. But it led to a lot of pictures like this:

It's a strange world. 
Thank you for your cooperation. Good night.