Michael Biehn: Interview

Michael Biehn stars in sci-fi thriller The Divide , which is out in cinemas now. Total Film chatted to the acting legend to discuss his sci-fi past, present and future. Here’s what he had to say…


On working on The Divide

"It was kind of a unique experience because Xavier Gens directed it, and Xavier's kind of a David Lynch character - he looks kind of normal but has bizarre and wild ideas about things.

“The story takes place in a bunker, my character's bunker, and I play this burnt-out, 9/11 guy. I've kind of given up on the world but I work as a building superintendent and I've turned the basement of the apartment building into a survivalist bunker thinking that something was going to happen, and something does happen.

“There's a nuclear event of some kind and before I can get the door closed on the bunker, about 4,5,6 people squeeze their way in and so what we're left with is a bunker that was built for one guy to last a year or two, and then there's a bunch of people down there, and it's me and Milo Ventimiglia, Rosanna Arquette, Courtney B Vance and a lot of real good actors.

"Food starts running low and radiation poisoning is leaking into the space we're working in, and things go a little bit awry, to say the least. It's a very, very, very dark look at humanity. I call it a psychological horror story, and it's very dark, kind of Requiem Of A Dream dark"

On improvisation…

“It was a lot of fun to do because Xavier gave us a lot of chance to improv and take the screenplay in different directions to what it was originally intended to go, and everyone was really very dedicated, and a lot of the young people like Michael Eklund and Milo just really, really cared about the project.

“And we had a lot of fun. Mostly because we'll never have the opportunity to have that freedom to write… rewrite… We shot it chronologically and I've never shot a movie chronologically before."

Read our The Divide review .

Matt Maytum
Deputy Editor, Total Film

I'm the Deputy Editor at Total Film magazine, looking after the long-form features there, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.