‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves’ Cast Celebrates 25th Anniversary
As Disney (“Nottingham & Hood”) and Sony (“Robin Hood: Origins”) ready new interpretations of the woodsy dwelling archer, we look back at the cast of the 1991 classic as one of the most authentic period pieces to come out of the ’90s, save for the impressive lack of English accents!
Kevin Costner (Robin “Hood” Locksley)
In his mid-30s, Costner was a bit of a catch having wrapped “Field of Dreams” and “Dances With Wolves” just prior to donning the quiver and arrows. Although he may have not been the likely choice, Costner played the role in a remarkably less cartoonish way than previously depicted, but his faulty English accent was eventually acquitted before filming. That may have been the reason — “Get ready” — that he won himself a Razzie for Worst Actor. Whether or not that’s a shocker for lovers of the film, it gets worse: That butt shot of him swimming beneath the waterfall? Butt double.
After another decade or so, his career began to taper off with “Waterworld” and “Bodyguard” standing at the top of his resume. His career hit a new point when he took on the role of Jonathan Kent in the new Superman films, and, again, it’s up to you whether that’s a good thing. And yes, he was in “Field of Dreams 2.”
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Maid Marian)
Since her classy role as the Maid Marian, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio only went on to do a handful of movies before switching over to TV roles in 2005. Since then, she’s been caught up in very non-Robin Hood-esque roles on shows like “Without a Trace,” “Law & Order” and the new TV adaptation of “Limitless.” Eve Hewson is set to play the Maid Marian in the 2017 remake, “Robin Hood: Origins.”
Morgan Freeman (Azeem the Great)
Playing the sage and savior to Robin Hood after meeting in prison during the first scenes of the film, Azeem is the most controversial character of the film, being quoted as a savage and a barbarian. Despite the racial barrier, Freeman’s character ends up winning over every nay-sayer in the film before it’s over. I just love how he was the only one who didn’t bow to Sean Connery in the final scene. Unfortunately, Freeman was somehow not nominated along with his cast mates, but he seems to have won the battle having the most successful career of them all. He is 79 today.
Christian Slater (Will Scarlett)
Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for two movies that year, the other being “Mobsters,” it’s safe to say 1991 was not a particularly great year for Christian Slater, likely because of his lacking English accent. Albeit, as a personal fan of both him and the film, he did great as Will Scarlett (a plot twist — he’s Robin’s lost long brother — that brought the ending more suspense). Slater has reinvigorated himself as a TV actor with television’s prize show “Mr. Robot” and voice-overs for “Robot Chicken.” And let’s not forget his hilarious guest spot on “Entourage” as a psychotic version of himself. Fun fact: He was only 21 when he played Will Scarlett.
Nick Brimble (Little John)
Leader of the woodsy rabble and self-proclaimed “best man of the woods,” Little John was played brilliantly by English actor Nick Brimble, now in his 70s. He stayed busy in the ’90s and ’00s with both TV and film, including “Lock, Stock…” the TV adaptation of “Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels,” as well as Heath Ledger’s “A Knight’s Tale.” For the past decade, he’s been strictly in TV, currently in the first two seasons of “Grantchester” and the debut season of “The Halcyon,” which is currently filming.
Alan Rickman (Sheriff George of Nottingham)
Possibly one of the best villains of all time, Alan Rickman played a number of classic roles between the Harry Potter series, Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd” musical and the new adaptations of “Alice in Wonderland.” In the early weeks of 2016, he died at age 69. His role as Sheriff of Nottingham is still held as the best performance to date for the role.
Geraldine McEwan (Mortianna)
After hours of makeup and fake contact lenses, Geraldine McEwan was transformed into the creepy, elderly witch mother to the sheriff. In her dungeon beneath the castle, she cast spells, foretold the future and perversely peeped on her son (Rickman) during his sex-capades — deleted scenes! But no trick was more impressive than her transformation for the role.
She began acting in the early ’50s. Between the late ’90s and early ’00s, she was part of many adventure films. In 2010, she quit acting, with one of her final credits being in the Agatha Christie series “Marple.” In 2015, she passed away.
Michael McShane (Friar Tuck)
If you didn’t recognize him for “Prince of Thieves,” you definitely saw him as Lloyd Burwell, the mechanic, on “Brotherly Love,” the cheesy ’90s show starring the three Lawrence brothers. Michael McShane has had a long, prosperous career — his role in “Robin Hood” likely a jump-off point — to this day, including guest spots on “Frasier,” “Seinfeld” and “3rd Rock from the Sun.” He was also the hypnotherapist in the classic comedy “Office Space.” A lot of his roles have been one-off guest spots and video game voice-overs, but McShane recently picked up recurring roles on new shows “Wayward Pines” and “Red Bird.”
Michael Wincott (Guy of Gisborne)
Just the opposite as Christian Slater, 1991 was a great year for Michael Wincott, starring in both the Robin Hood film and Oliver Stone’s “The Doors,” a classic retelling of the life of Jim Morrison. Since the days as the sheriff’s cousin, Wincott has had a lot of small roles in hit films, including “The Crow,” “Alien: Resurrection,” and a reuniting with his “Prince of Thieves” costar, Morgan Freeman in 2001’s “Along Came a Spider.” In 2014, he took a recurring role on “24: Live Another Day,” which we totally needed in our lives, and is set to appear in 2017’s “Ghost in the Shell,” starring Scarlett Johansson and Michael Pitt.
King Richard (Sean Connery)
There was a lot of talk of King Richard and the vulnerability of his throne during the film, but we never saw him until his triumphant return in time to give away the bride at his cousin’s wedding. Connery stole the ending when he appeared as the reigning king. He was paid $250K for two days’ work, all of which supposedly went to charity.
Bonus: Bryan Adams
Winning a Grammy for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture, “Everything I Do (I Do It For You),” Bryan Adams is the unsung hero of the film. His music video rolling through the credits presents a modern day, jean-jacketed Adams amongst the medieval backdrop of the film in what can only be described as the most hilariously awkward music video since Madonna’s “Like a Virgin.” The song was also nominated for both an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Don’t get too carried away; two other men are credited for writing the lyrics and music. The video does have more than 180 million views, so that’s something.
Happy 25th Anniversary!