Films often serve up amazing deep and detailed characters, the lead stars, the pivotal catalysts of intriguing storylines and many fan bois and gurls spend hours writing fan fiction and dressing up trying to connect with these amazing personalities.
At the opposite end of the spectrum there are the odd characters who seem to be forgotten, cast by the wayside and often have a miserable existence, well I’m going to pay homage to those orphaned characters, often not even good enough to be a sidekick and mostly used as cannon fodder.
I’m kicking off these (potential) series with Stathis Borans.
Who is Stathis Borans? Well he’s the rich and influential owner of Particle science magazine and ex-lover of Veronica “Ronnie” Quaife (Geena Davis) in The Fly (1986) remake. The film beefs up the gore for an already interesting story that was once immortalised by Vincent Price back in 1958. Generally he’s a bit of a childish prick but he’s also a unsung hero. John Getz had the pleasure of taking on this strange role, and is an actor who I always fail to recognise without his beard 😦
Typically Stathis is a douchebag who lost his girl through his own selfish actions and then once he tries to move on becomes an even bigger douchebag towards her and her new scientific genius lover Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) , he somehow manages to evolve into a semi hero, just when you thought he couldn’t get any lower he comes about and surprises everyone. At first he’s pretty jovial and dismisses what’s going on in front of his eyes, and shrugging off the awkward boffin as a trickless magician. But then later on in the film, as he realises that his ex lover is getting quite serious he results to stalking her, sleeping in his car over night outside of the apartment that she’s staying in.
Without this asshole the film wouldn’t happen as it does, and he’s often forgotten, but due to him being such an ass no one likes him but he adds some comedy spice. While there is a build up to his paranoia and his outburst get funnier and more crazy, he down take a chill pill and totally levels out once Ronnie needs help, he’s instantly there for her, calling in a doctor for a late night emergency abortion and and even turns up to protect and save her.
After his unfortunate run in with the new species of Brundlefly he ends up losing a foot and a hand to vomit drop but still helps to save the day.
For me it’s fascinating how all the men around Ronnie change Brundle is changing massively on a molecular level and Stathis managed to mature into a real human being , he should write a book “From the Yuppie Gobshite to Hero”, or maybe “How to lose your girl to an insect”. His controlling nature, talking down to people, turning up in her apartment and having a shower when paints him as a supercreep and it’s quite a change when he does humble down into a semi decent human being, and suddenly a hero, there are often changes to a character during the course of a film but I’ve never seen anything this dramatic without it being noticed. It’s as if another character should have appeared and though a lack of continuity they decided to reinvent Stathis on the spot. And Getz executes this dual role perfectly, his clothing plays a big part, he trades his sharp suits for casual jeans and comfortable jumpers, softening the shapes and making the character more approachable, but his body language and tone completely changes, sly and sophisticated he becomes very homely and less feral.
.. and then.. If he hadn’t been tortured enough, he returns, albeit it briefly in Fly II (1989) where the dishevelled husk of a man is back to his bitter ways but more twisted after his “accident” and then from losing the love of this life. Begrudgingly he helps out the son that should have been his but instead the diseased boy is the product of the love of his life and his biggest rival. It must have been heart breaking.
It’s easy to right the man off as a jerk, he’s full on but when things really started to boil down and did step up and were actually kinda brave. He has the worst luck, loses his girl, watches her fall madly in love with someone else, she refuses no strings sex with him she gets knocked up by a man fly, comes to him for abortion help, gets kidnapped, and when he goes to save her, he gets attacked by a man fly who vomits off his leg and arm only to then lose his girl to a botched pregnancy and then has to help her son.. What a loife story.
Check out this amazing article about his beard from MovieBeards.com