Hollywood Heavyweights Confront Their Fears In Space’s Action Movie Marathon


The stars of your favourite action movies may seem indestructible—and their fictional incarnations usually are—but there’s always a flesh and blood human being in there somewhere. While this may not be the first thought that comes to mind when you’re enjoying Space’s Action Movie Marathon (which runs from December 26-31), the iconic stars of these movies were (almost) all fuelled by very real fears and vulnerability.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the highlights of this year’s Action Movie Marathon—and the insecurities hiding just beneath the surface.


Sylvester Stallone (Cliffhanger)


Determined to conquer his fear of heights, Sylvester Stallone signed on for this high-wire action extravaganza that returned him to box office supremacy. However, he didn’t even attempt to conquer his more crippling fear of bats. When it came time to shoot in a cave full of these creatures, Stallone made it clear what time it was: CGI time.


Arnold Schwarzenegger (True Lies)

true lies

In True Lies, Arnold Schwarzenegger found himself wearing a more dapper wardrobe than usual, but he still faced an endless onslaught of gunfire, explosions, and other life-threatening attacks. However, the actor’s only real fear was the film’s tango sequence. Terrified of humiliation and determined to equal Al Pacino’s dancing prowess in Scent of a Woman, Schwarzenegger endured six months of preparation, so he wouldn’t miss a step.


Keanu Reeves (Speed)


Unafraid to perform roughly 90 per cent of his own stunts, Keanu Reeves channeled his anxiety about Speed into a more cerebral threat: the film’s script. Concerned about the way his dialogue would be received, the actor repeatedly turned down offers to play Jack Traven, only to change his mind when Joss Whedon did an un-credited re-write, breathing unembarrassing life into almost every line.


Nicolas Cage (The Rock)

the rock

Nicolas Cage’s eclectic filmography suggests a high level of fearlessness, but he once shared Reeves’s misgivings about embarrassing dialogue. In the case of The Rock, Cage solved this problem with extensive adlibbing, making most of his dialogue even more bizarre in the process. He was particularly relentless when it came to profanity, replacing any offending term with ridiculously innocent turns of phrase like “gee whiz.”


Liam Neeson (Taken)


Unlike the other actors on this list, Liam Neeson fears nothing. Going into Taken, he expected the film to flop, but that didn’t stop him from instantly signing on to play Bryan Mills. So why did Neeson make a movie he thought would fail? Apparently, he just wanted to learn some martial arts, specifically Nagasu Do, a hybrid of Judo, Aikido, and Jiu Jitsu. In other words, Neeson has nothing to fear, but we should all probably fear him.

As you work out your other fears, be sure to check out Space’s Action Movie Marathon. Here are the complete listings:

Tuesday, December 26

5 a.m. – The Expendables 2

7:05 a.m. – The Expendables 3

9:45 a.m. – Cliffhanger

12 p.m. – True Lies

2:55 p.m. – The Expendables 2

5:05 p.m. – The Expendables 3

7:45 p.m. – Cliffhanger

10 p.m. – True Lies

1 a.m. – The Expendables 2

3:15 a.m. – The Expendables 3


Wednesday, December 27

6 a.m. – Cliffhanger

8:15 a.m. – True Lies

11:15 a.m. – Escape Plan

1:45 p.m. – Taken

3:45 p.m. – Taken 2

5:45 p.m. – Taken 3

9 p.m. – Escape Plan

11:30 p.m. – Taken

1:20 a.m. – Taken 2

3:15 a.m. – Taken 3


Thursday, December 28

6:30 a.m. – 16 Blocks

8:30 a.m. – Escape Plan

11 a.m. – Taken

12:50 p.m. – Taken 2

2:45 p.m. – Taken 3

5 p.m. – Speed

7:30 p.m. – Stealth

10 p.m. – Kingsman: The Secret Service

12:35 a.m. – Speed

3:05 a.m. – Stealth

5:35 a.m. – Kingsman: The Secret Service


Friday, December 29

8:15 a.m. – Speed

10:45 a.m. – Stealth

1:15 p.m. – Kingsman: The Secret Service

4 p.m. – The A-Team

6:30 p.m. – Con Air

9 p.m. – The Rock

11:50 p.m. – The A-Team

2:15 a.m. – Con Air

4:45 a.m. – The Rock


Saturday, December 30

7:30 a.m. – The A-Team

10 a.m.            – Con Air

12:30 p.m. – The Rock

3:15 p.m. – National Treasure

6 p.m. – National Treasure: Book of Secrets

8:45 p.m. – Now You See Me

11:30 p.m. – National Treasure

2:15 a.m. – National Treasure: Book of Secrets

5 a.m. – Now You See Me


Sunday, December 31

7:45 a.m. – National Treasure

10:30 a.m. – National Treasure: Book of Secrets

1:15 p.m. – Now You See Me