In the run up to that exciting Millennium publication, we look at the journey of character actor Lance Henriksen through images.
This entry has been a work in progress and finally it is ready and not a moment too soon, because the time is near. This is a look at Henriksen's career and the many wonderful highlights along that road to Frank Black and beyond. Some are true standouts for me personally.
Watching those early seasons of The X-Files again recently, it was clear to me that Millennium had the benefit of a learning curve by Chris Carter as a production. Millennium had the benefit of roughly three years of The X-Files to its credit before moseying out into an unsuspecting world with a series that seemed to be perfect in execution and tone. Creators, producers and writers were able to get their feet wet on The X-Files and establish and finesse the rhythm for that series before climbing into the world of Millennium. Millennium was the recipient of those growing pains because it is nearly flawless on almost every level as a production, a heady, atmospheric mix of crime drama, horror with just the right touch of science fiction possibilities.
Further, Chris Carter and his team did a remarkable job casting each series. The young aesthetic of The X-Files cast plays into its raw power. The casting of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, as Special Agent Fox Mulder and Special Agent Dana Scully respectively, is inspired. They were young and clearly still learning on the job. The two demonstrated themselves as outsiders within the FBI. This energy and dynamic really plays out beautifully over the course of nine seasons. The young cast is given the chance to learn and grow and we, the viewers, mature with them.
Conversely, Millennium had the benefit of a veteran presence in Lance Henriksen. This was a seasoned actor who clearly had seen a thing or two. There was a confidence and experience to his grizzled character and Henriksen channeled that vibe naturally, effectively and via an appropriately mature calm for the Millennium series.
Duchovny and virtual unknown Anderson work wonders with the material on The X-Files and the length of that series allowed its strengths to truly shine. The shorter length of the Millennium production was a truly fortunate recipient to find the strength of a professional out of the gate like the shoulders of Lance Henriksen. The risky Millennium couldn't afford to get it wrong. It was the immense talent of Henriksen that was the core of the series grounding it through the transitions to each season as showrunners took Millennium into different, sometimes controversial, but exciting directions.
The strengths of Millennium's storytelling craft can be traced or drawn from some of the procedural exercises of The X-Files. Chris Carter's Fire and Glen Morgan & James Wong's Beyond The Sea certainly reflect the roots and seeds from which these creators would draw upon and take much deeper with Lance Henriksen at the Millennium helm.
But beyond the fantastic work provided by Lance Henriksen for the unforgettable Millennium series he has played key characters in a number of film roles before and after. These are Henriksen's highlights over the course of a varied career. This is by no means a complete filmography as his career has been vast and varied and, sadly, rather easy to miss at times. The title is meant to be fun. Lance Henriksen: Androids, Aliens & Gunslingers: Profile Of A Serial Actor.
Damien: Omen II 
Jagged Edge 
Aliens  "Right before we shot it, I went up to Jim and I said, 'Rather than just a casual demonstration, what if I put my hand over Bill's hand as I do this?' Jim said, 'That's a good idea.' So we did it... That one act tells you everything you need to know about Bishop. I put my hand on top of Bill's, because I was protecting him. Bishop wouldn't hurt a fly. He wouldn't hurt anything that's alive." "Aliens was a figurative rebirth into the world of acting, as well as a game-changer in his off-screen life."
Near Dark  Jesse Hooker, "Held [the family] together like my alcoholic grandfather held the family together."
Survival Quest 
Johnny Handsome  "His strength as an actor is that there's such clarity in his emotions. He's got a wonderful ability to tap into his emotions, and to transmit everything he's going through - the anxieties, the anger, the happiness - so clearly. So you don't feel like you're watching a guy act; you're watching real emotions." [Walter Hill]
Stone Cold 
Alien 3  "The actor was was... disappointed with the film's nihilistic ending, which seemed to him like an insult to the mythology created by the first two films."
The Hills Have Eyes III 
The Mangler 2 
The Untold [Sasquatch] 
Into The West / Supernova / Hellraiser: Hellworld / When A Stranger Calls / Abominable / Pumpkinhead 3: Ashes To Ashes / Pumpkinhead 4: Blood Feud 
Pistol Whipped / Alone In The Dark II / Screamers: The Hunting / Slammin' Salmon / The Penitent Man / The Genesis Code / Scream Of The Banshee / Good Day For It 
Beautiful Wave / The Arcadian / Monster Brawl / It's In The Blood