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Prior to the release of Robocop and Total Recall, Ronny Cox was best known for playing Drew, the nice-guy businessman whose morals are tested in Deliverance when one of his buddies is sexually assaulted. But Paul Verhoeven’s twin sci-fi epics made him one of the 1980s’ most iconic villains, which might account for why he’s not especially happy about both films being remade.
“Well, maybe I’m a little prejudiced about this, but I hate remakes,” Cox tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I think both of those films hold up pretty damn well. And I wish them well with them.”
Speaking to THR to promote Warner Bros.’ new Blu-ray release of Deliverance, the actor and musician says that he acknowledges that John Boorman’s 1972 classic and Verhoeven’s films were integral to his career. “In many ways, Robocop — and Total Recall after that — was as big a boon to my career as Deliverance,” he says.
“That was the first time I got to play a bad guy. Because I’d spent all of that time playing that moral guy in roles and roles and roles for more than 10 years,” Cox adds. “As you know, in the film business, sometimes if you play that sensitive, moral character, sensitivity gets equated with weak, and so I never got to play these guys that had guts.”
The actor, who also appeared in such films as Beverly Hills Cop and Murder at 1600, admits that not even his friends were ready to see him play such evil characters. “When I got cast in Robocop, someone once said to me, ‘Ronny, having you play the guy in Robocop is like having an astronaut that’s gone bad.’ And because I had this residual feeling, people would see me on the screen and expect me to be a good guy, but then when I was mean, I was really meaner than anybody.”
That said, Cox confesses that he has enjoyed being seen — and cast — as villains. “Straight up, it’s more fun to play the bad guys a gazillion times than it is to play the good guys,” he says.
Deliverance (below) was released June 26 on Blu-ray.
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