Change of Character for Henriksen

Poor Lance Henriksen. He's champing at the bit to do a comedy or even play a romantic lead.

"I want to play D'Artagnan," says Henriksen. But so far these roles have eluded the actor, best known as the benevolent android Bishop in "Aliens" and astronaut Wally Schirra in "The Right Stuff."

"They (casting agents and producers) get scared (of) me in meetings," he says sheepishly. "I don't know why. I guess they are looking at something I am not seeing."

Henriksen adds with a chuckle: "I did play a loving father in 'Pumpkinhead' and a loving leader of a vampire group in 'Near Dark.' But no one has been able to type me at all."

This is big week for Henriksen. His latest feature film, "Stone Cold," opened Friday. In the action flick, he plays Chains Cooper, the evil leader of an outlaw biker gang.

"It's really an original film," Henriksen says. "The bad guy doesn't get stopped by the hero (Brian Bosworth). He actually does what he sets out to do."

On Monday, a kinder, gentler Henriksen stars opposite Jill Clayburgh in NBC's movie, "Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story."

Although Ireland, who lost her long battle with cancer last year, was married to actor Charles Bronson, Henriksen says his character is referred to in the film simply as "Charlie" for legal reasons.

"But it doesn't take much imagination to guess who I am," Henriksen says. "He's a man desperately in love with his wife and his family and would do anything to keep sanity flowing."

Henriksen relished "showing a side of me I don't often get to show."

But he did have one problem during the production: "I thought I would get fired every day. That's how I felt through the whole thing because I heard rumblings of controversy and they (the producers and director) never filled me in on what it was."

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