Kurt Russell Stargate Performance Reason Revealed By Aliens Star

By Britta DeVore | Published

If you’ve ever thought that Kurt Russell brought a little bit too much anger to his character Jack O’Neil in the 1994 sci-fi classic, Stargate, you wouldn’t be alone. Even those closest to the Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor could sense that he was putting a little extra gruff into his portrayal of the Colonel and, thanks to his Tombstone co-star, Michael Biehn (Aliens), we’re one step closer to understanding Russell’s attitude.

According to Biehn, who played Johnny Ringo alongside Russell’s Wyatt Earp in the Western flick, it was Russell’s experience on the set of Tombstone that put him in such a downshifting funk going into filming for Stargate.

Tombstone Effected Kurt Russell’s Performance In Stargate

For those who may need to be filled in on this bit of movie trivia, although it was directed by George P. Cosmatos, Tombstone’s completion has largely been cited as something that couldn’t have happened without Kurt Russell’s help.

Essentially, filming on the gun-toting flick was a true hellscape, after its original writer and director, Kevin Barre, was fired, with Russell forced to step in to push Cosmatos along. Naturally, being the one person driving production to completion was a stressful job for Kurt Russell, with Biehn believing that this stress carried over into his performance in Stargate.

He Wasn’t Pleasant On The Set Of Stargate

roland emmerich space nation

Referring to Kurt Russell as “grumpy and angry,” Biehn recalls a trip he took to the set of Stargate very shortly after Tombstone wrapped filming. He says that, partly because filming for the star-studded Western was delayed so much with the director shakeup, Russell was forced to hop from one project to the next, with no break in between. He said that his visit to the Stargate set to see his old pal was anything but pleasant as Russell had carried his negative feelings from one title to the next. 

Made Colonel Jack O’Neil The Character He Needed To Be


Michael Biehn also made it a point to add that he had never seen the fun-loving Kurt Russell in this crabby mood when they were working on Tombstone. Biehn thinks that, in the end, Kurt Russell’s terrible experience on Tombstone had a direct effect on not only his negative attitude toward Stargate but also added to his performance, giving Colonel Jack O’Neil a tough layer of irritability.

Perfect For Jack O’Neils Backstory

While it’s easy to imagine one tough and downright unpleasant encounter on a set could bleed into the next, overall, the frame of mind that Kurt Russell brought to Stargate played into his character. Russel’s Jack O’Neil was not only a revered member of the Air Force, but he was also a grieving father after his son tragically died after accidentally shooting himself. With this character’s background alone, it’s not a far jump to imagine that Jack O’Neil (should he have been a real-life person) would be in a bad headspace. 

Kurt Russel’s Recent Work


Sticking to the genre, Kurt Russell can currently be seen alongside his son, Wyatt Russell in Apple TV+’s Godzilla-centered series, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. His next film role will be in Andrew Patterson’s crime thriller, The Rivals of Amziah King, which is now in post-production.

Source: Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum