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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy

Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old June 5 2010, 01:39 PM   #1
Dusty Ayres
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RoboCop, PhD

THE CELEBRITY SECOND ACT HAS BECOME a staple of pop culture. The press releases almost write themselves: Comedian becomes reality TV host, reality TV host becomes actor, actor releases mediocre rap album. But those second acts don’t always sink to the level of cliché. Take Peter Weller. He’s had a long, meandering Act I. After a vibrant movie career in the 1980s that included playing the lead in cult hits like RoboCop, he fell into the far less glamorous world of direct-to-video and straight-to-cable. Then last year, he came back big, in a riveting turn as a bad guy on 24.
In the interim, though, Weller started getting into character for Act II. He spent much of the past two decades in Italy and, on a lark, enrolled in classes at the Syracuse University program in Florence. He soon discovered he had a thing for the aqueducts of long-dead civilizations, and now he’s working toward a PhD in Italian Renaissance art history from UCLA. This is no vanity degree; Weller teaches courses, writes papers, and is doggedly climbing the academic ladder. Buckaroo Banzai, the polymath who was arguably Weller’s most famous character — acclaimed neurosurgeon, race car driver, particle physicist, and, of course, rock star — would be proud.
RoboCop, PhD
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Old June 5 2010, 01:55 PM   #2
barnaclelapse
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

Really?

Huh...

Well good for him.
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Old June 5 2010, 02:52 PM   #3
Dusty Ayres
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

I know.
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Old June 5 2010, 07:26 PM   #4
firehawk12
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

Yeah, I remember hearing that he was in history channel shows as well based on his expertise.
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Old June 6 2010, 12:49 AM   #5
hyzmarca
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

Where ever you go, there you are.
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Old June 6 2010, 01:51 AM   #6
Timby
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

That article's a little over three years old. By this point, I would imagine he's either completed or is close to completing that doctorate.
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Old June 6 2010, 04:15 AM   #7
wew
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

I remember reading about his course on Rome and Film; he said a lot of students signed up thinking it would be fluff course taught by an actor; then when the saw the syllabus and saw that it was serious course, and about 1/3 to 2/3rd dropped it.

I remember him from both Robocop and from the Engineering and Empire Series, the latter I enjoyed.
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Old June 6 2010, 07:10 AM   #8
Brutal Strudel
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

I've long been a fan of Weller's--Buckaroo Banzai and RoboCop piqued my interest but it was Naked Lunch and The New Age that sold me on his strange, intense brilliance. As a struggling academic myself, I say bravo for him.
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Old June 6 2010, 01:41 PM   #9
John Picard
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

wew wrote: View Post
I remember reading about his course on Rome and Film; he said a lot of students signed up thinking it would be fluff course taught by an actor; then when the saw the syllabus and saw that it was serious course, and about 1/3 to 2/3rd dropped it.

I remember him from both Robocop and from the Engineering and Empire Series, the latter I enjoyed.

My Humanities instructor had several copies of various episodes of Engineering an Empire for us to borrow for papers we had to write. They were very well done and the 3D animation was well detailed and executed. Peter Weller narrated/hosted every episode, and his expertise was displayed during the Rome episode.
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Old June 6 2010, 03:13 PM   #10
Forbin
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

I've come to think of him now as the knowledgeable host of history documentaries.
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Old June 6 2010, 05:06 PM   #11
Locutus of Bored
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Re: RoboCop, PhD

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