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US Magazine March 1996

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US MAGAZINE March 1996

Interviewer: Chris Mundy

'he has settled into something of an on-screen roll that began with the low-key grace of his performance in Untamed Heart, hit its stride with the swagger of True Romance and now includes his role in Broken Arrow - the first action hero played by the actor'

"My kind of hero is a very human, down-to-earth hero we can all relate to," says director John Woo. "In Broken Arrow, the hero is the boy next door. He is smart, kind humble and responsible. Christian has those great qualities combined with his tremendous energy. He reminds me a bit of Steve McQueen."

Along with Broken Arrow, Slater has just filmed a romantic role (in Bed Of Roses) and made his directorial debut with a 30 minute short for Showtime, Museum of Love, which stars Samantha Mathis and Sandra Bernhard.

"I pretty much knew from an early age that this is what I wanted to do," he says. "It's only now - later - that I'm trying to get into some other things. I enjoy the business, so I've never wanted to take myself out, but I've tried to become more cautious about things."

Q: You are doing fewer films. Are you more choosy?

A: I'm trying not to put myself into anything I'm not 100 percent confident about. I had such a good time working with John Woo and John Travolta, and it was so professional. I want to work with people who are real professionals.

Q: With 'Broken Arrow', was there a sense that it could be a defining movie for you, John Woo and John Travolta all at the same time?

A: It wasn't anything we talked about, but it was an unspoken thing. Every time you do a movie, you want to do it well, and you want it to do somethimg for you. You want to grow. Each time you roll the dice. John Woo is very special, and Travolta - I don't want this to sound silly, but he's kind of like a warm blanket. He's very comforting. He's got a really easy, calm way about him. He's special.

Q: Did you go into 'Broken Arrow' thinking that it would really change your image?

A: I was really excited. That was the core of it. I'm a huge John Woo fan. As a kid, I always wanted to play the hero, and this was my opportunity to do that. I wasn't thinking about image. But this character definitely is the all-American guy. Very focused, no real weaknesses. He's your real action-hero guy.

Q: What's the best piece of advice you have ever got?

A: Keep things simple. There are no big deals. We only make things big deals." That's pretty good.

Q: You're more guarded and careful than I would expect. Do you feel like you've been burned?

A: The older I get, the more I realize how important it is to have certain things that are really my own, parts of my life that I keep to myself.

Q: Is there a character you've played that's most similar to you?

A: Probably the character in Bed Of Roses.

Q: What about him makes him similar?

A: He's very shy, humble, normal.

Q: Are there roles you can point to or periods in your life that have led very clearly to where you are now?

A: The start of the mapping out process, when I started to really pay attention and be careful, began with Untamed Heart. It started there, and then I did True Romance, Murder In The First, Interview With the Vampire, Bed Of Roses, Broken Arrow. Those are all films I feel good about.

Q: Have you gotten more guarded?

A: I think so. You kind of have to eventually. When you're younger, you don't think about things, but the older you get, you realize that it's important to keep things to yourself.

Q: Is there a type of movie you haven't gotten to do that you'd like to do?

A: I'd like to do something with Rob Reiner. I think he is a very Capra-esque director.

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