Bears in Hollywood: What films and TV shows should be in a Bear’s media library?
Over the years, a surprising number of Baylor Bears have played important roles in Hollywood. On screen, we’ve seen Baylor alumni such as Angela Kinsey, BA ’93 (“Angela” on the The Office) and Allison Tolman, BFA ’04 (Molly on season one of FX’s Fargo) earn Emmy nominations for their work.
Behind the scenes, recent successes include such Bears as Derek Haas, BA ’91, MA ’95, and Michael Brandt, BBA ’91, MA ’94 (co-creators of NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. and Chicago Med), John Lee Hancock, BA ’79, JD ’82 (director of The Rookie and The Blind Side) and Kevin Reynolds, BA ’74, JD ’76 (director of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Risen).
A conversation with friends on the subject got me to thinking: What films or TV shows should be in a Baylor grad’s media library, based on the Bears who played important roles in front of (or behind) the camera? Here’s a quick list of prominent examples:
- 2 Fast, 2 Furious (written by Brandt/Haas)
- 3:10 to Yuma (written by Brandt/Haas)
- The Alamo (written and directed by Hancock)
- Believe Me (written and directed by Will Bakke, BA ’10)
- The Blind Side (written/directed by Hancock)
- The Count of Monte Cristo (directed by Reynolds)
- The Double (written by Brandt/Haas, directed by Brandt)
- Fandango (directed by Reynolds)
- The Founder (directed by Hancock)
- Krampus (starring Tolman)
- My Dog Skip (produced by Hancock)
- One Night with the King (based on the novel by Mark Andrew Olsen, BA ’89)
- A Perfect World (written by Hancock)
- Red Dawn (co-written by Reynolds)
- Risen (directed and co-written by Reynolds)
- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (directed by Reynolds)
- The Rookie (directed by Hancock)
- Saving Mr. Banks (directed by Hancock)
- Seven Days in Utopia (co-written by David Cook, BS ’80, based on his book)
- Shrek (art director Doug Rogers, BFA ’82)
- Silence of the Lambs (based on the novel by Thomas Harris, BA ’63)
- Snow White and the Huntsman (written by Hancock)
- Underworld: Blood Wars (co-written by Kyle Ward, BA ’03)
- Wanted (written by Brandt/Haas)
- Waterworld (directed by Reynolds)
- Chicago Fire (created by Brandt/Haas)
- Chicago Justice (created by Brandt/Haas)
- Chicago Med (created by Brandt/Haas)
- Chicago P.D. (created by Brandt/Haas)
- The Daytripper (produced and hosted by Chet Garner, JD ’06)
- Drop Dead Diva (starring Jackson Hurst, BBA ’99, as Grayson)
- Fargo (season one) (starring Tolman)
- Hatfields & McCoys (directed by Reynolds)
- Any of Jeff Dunham’s Comedy Central specials (starring Dunham, BA ’86)
- The Office (starring Kinsey as “Angela”)
- Wings (starring Crystal Bernard, ’79, as Helen)
Bill Bickley, BA ’69, deserves his own special note here. After writing for such classic series as The Partridge Family, Happy Days and The Love Boat, Bickley played a large role in developing ABC’s original late 1980s/early 1990s “TGIF” programming block, first producing Perfect Strangers and later co-creating such shows as Family Matters and Step by Step.
And how could I forget Where the Heart Is? The film’s climatic scene, as Natalie Portman’s character confesses her true love, was actually filmed on the Baylor campus back in 1999.
Sic ’em, Bears in Hollywood!
(updated May 2017)