In 1996, he embodied one of the two real and unforgettable villains of “Rock”, a masterpiece of action cinema directed by Michael Bay. Indeed, in the role of Captain Frye, Gregory Sporleder burst the screen and gave a hard time to Nicolas Cage, who played him the special agent of the FBI expert in chemical weapons Stanley Goodspeed. More than 25 years after the release of the film, what has become of it?
Rock, a pinnacle of action cinema
Anyone who loves cinema has necessarily seen – and loved – Rock, pinnacle of 90s action cinema and one of the very best Michael Bay films. With his royal cast (Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, Ed Harris), on an unforgettable soundtrack by Hans Zimmer, Michael Bay stages an explosive hostage-taking on the island and famous prison of Alcatraz.
When Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris), revolted by the lack of recognition of his fallen men in clandestine operations, takes possession of the island with loyal Marines and installs gas-laden missiles there. VXs pointed at San Francisco, the authorities send there chemical weapons expert Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) and a former British secret service agent, John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery), only man to ever escape from Alcatraz.
Together, they will have to prevent General Hummel from carrying out his threats.
Gregory Sporleder, Crazy and Dangerous Marine
Action film with a thousand qualities, linking the great action scenes without downtime, Rock has a crucial storyline point. Indeed, General Hummel is a profoundly good man, in search of justice. If he is the antagonist of the film for a long time, he is not fundamentally a “bad guy”.
On the other hand, among his men, there are two new recruits, Captain Darrow and Captain Frye, two members of the Marine Reconnaissance Force, who they are there for the promised money, the action and as much violence as possible. So they are the real ones bad guys of the movie. Captain Frye especially, with his disturbing features, is terrifyingly nervous.
He is played by Gregory Sporleder, an American actor then aged 32, who bursts the screen in this role of, let’s say it, real psychopath. Until then, since his debut in 1989, he had briefly appeared in a few films, including An extraordinary team and true romance. Second role very present in Rock, he is the direct adversary of Nicolas Cage in a final confrontation, with an atrocious but also very satisfying outcome (video below, SPOILER warning).
After Rock, some film and television roles
The same year, he also played an important supporting role in Twister. He will continue with second and small roles in a small handful of films, some remarkable and others very forgettable. We see it thus in Clay Pigeons, in In the skin of John Malkovich, in The fall of the Black Falcon, or in SWAT Elite Unit. After a last role in The Crazies in 2010, remake of The Night of the Living Fools by George A. Romero released in 1973, he disappears from the big cinema screens. Until 2018, where he holds one of the main roles of the small independent film In the Wake of Ire, released only in the United States.
In fact, since the 2000s, it is especially necessary to turn to the world of the series to see Gregory Sporleder again. We note in particular his role as Mr. Edwards in the 2005 adaptation of The Little House On The Prairie, and his presence in six episodes of season 3 of True Blood in 2010, in the role of Calvin Norris, father of Crystal and Felton. For the rest, he makes appearances for a single episode in several successful series. Thus, we find it, for example, in Smallville and 24 hour clock in 2002, in 2009 in monks, in American Horror Story in 2011, in 2013 in Sons of Anarchy and in 2014 in Criminal Minds. Last notable appearance to date, in Agent Carter in 2015.
A career whose peak was Rock, for the incarnation of a psychopathic antagonist who will have made a lasting impression!