In tribute to stogie lover Wolverine, we rundown five other action heroes that are smokin' hot - literally.
Cinema's archives are dusted in the ash of burnt out cigars. Meatier than cigarettes and less fussy than pipes, the stogie has become cinematic shorthand for manly strength, very rarely to be found in the delicate paw of the fairer sex. They're a favourite with those bastions of masculine ruthlessness, the gangster flick and the western. In the former they famously gave Tony Montana (Al Pacino) something to chew on in Scarface while Clint Eastwood's Man with No Name in the Dollars trilogy opts for the Spanish cigarillo yet their CV doesn't stop there. They've have also made memorable appearances in comedies (Groucho in every Marx brothers film, Gomez Addams in The Addams Family outings) and are capable of suggesting both wealth and power (Gordon Gecko in Wall Street) or working class spirit (Paulie in Rocky).
Certainly, the trend has suffered in recent decades due to the anti-smoking movement, yet some secret smokers still manage to sneak under the radar and one such fella is back on the big screen - Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It's the burly berserker's first solo movie, but far from the first time we've seen him with a stogie between his lips. It was amid a cloud of cigar smoke that he made his dramatic entrance in 2000's X-Men, quietly puffing away in his corner of a bar before entering a cage fight and now we track his habit back through the ages with this prequel tale.
And so to celebrate the return of Wolverine, we sniff out five other cinematic action hero smokers.
The Comedian from Watchmen
Nothing stops this costumed hero from kicking ass and why should it, when he's capable of fighting AND enjoying a serious smoke? The cigar is never very far from The Comedian's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) lips and it's a habit that survives from his early years in the 40s as one of the Minutemen through to his demise in the 80s. He even manages to chew on one while wreaking havoc with a flamethrower during the Vietnam War - now that's commitment to the cause.
Major Alan "Dutch" Schaefer from Predator
We're terribly sorry Mr Schwarzenegger, but we regret to inform you that only one of your cigar-chomping screen outings has made our list. It was a tough business choosing just the one, after all you're so well-known for your love of lighting up both on and off screen (The Last Action Hero, Raw Deal), but in true talent show style we've made a decision and awarded the spot to your elite fighter from the 1987 sci-fi classic. How could we not when an action figure of Dutch even comes with a toy cigar, how's that for making an impact? And such is the charm of the Austrian Oak that onset he even managed to convert non-smoking co-star Carl Weathers into a cigar aficionado.
Hellboy from the Hellboy movies
For some actors, working with fake teeth and a plump stogie would have them mumbling and dribbling all over their co-stars - not Ron Perlman. Playing comic book hero Big Red in the two Hellboy action films gave him the chance to indulge one of his off-camera passions. There was no fake herbal stunt cigar for him. "Oh, I'm smoking a real cigar!" he reveals. "Real cigars and real good cigars. I smoke the same cigars in the movie that I smoke in real life. Just because I smoke a lot of them and you may as well... you gotta get your little pleasures through while you can." Hellboy couldn't have put it better himself.
Captain Steven Hiller from Independence Day
There are no high-fives or air punches when Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and computer buff David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) infect the alien spacecraft's computer system with a virus and plant a nuclear bomb onboard in 1996's Independence Day. Oh no, this pair prefer to drag on R & J Coronas to celebrate their newfound status as the heroes of Earth. It's a celebratory habit carried over by Steven from his days flying with buddy Jimmy (Harry Connick Jr.) and may mark the start of a beautiful friendship.
James Bond from Die Another Day
It's been a few years since Bond lit up a stogie, what with the latest 007, Daniel Craig refusing to do so in the role (read more about this here). And despite enjoying cigarettes in both the Ian Fleming books and the early Sean Connery flicks, the more modern era saw smoking shown the door (Pierce Brosnan's Bond even refers to it as a "filthy habit" in Tomorrow Never Dies). Yet, he made the exception in 2004's Die Another Day on a trip to Cuba (naturally), where he enjoys a local cigar as he chats up the bikini-clad Halle Berry as Jinx. As Ron Burgundy would surely misunderstand, "When in Rome..."
Wednesday, April 29, 2009