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What Ever Happened To Skeet Ulrich?

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | August 17, 2015 | Comments ()

By Kristy Puchko | Miscellaneous | August 17, 2015 |


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With Scream the TV show being a thing, I got to wondering what ever became of the bad boy behind the 1996 slasher that started it all. Seriously, what happened to Skeet Ulrich? He seemed set for stardom, but where the hell has be been?

Do you remember the allure of Billy Loomis? Dark and brooding with the looks of a young (pre-scarf fetishizing) Johnny Depp? In 1996, Ulrich was a newly minted horror hunk between Scream and The Craft.

Then in 1997, he snagged a small role in the Oscar-winning Jack Nicholson comedy, As Good As It Gets as a young hustler who was channeling Don Juan De Marco Depp.

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Riding high in 1998, he headlined the crime drama The Newton Boys alongside Matthew McConaughey, Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio. If these bank robbing brothers were a boy band, Skeet was the Joey.

Despite a trio of ’90s hunks, that movie did not great. A period piece with explosions, it cost $27 mil to make, and earned $10 million. Period. But this isn’t the kind of failure that should sink a promising and intensely sexy ingendude’s career.

That honor might be handed to Chill Factor, an action film he fronted with post-Jerry Maguire Cuba Gooding Jr. You remember this one, right? Where a short order cook and an ice cream delivery man are charged with saving the world from a temperature-induced bomb?

Audiences did not warm to Chill Factor. The $70 million thriller made just $11.7 mil. Gooding went on to make Boat Trip. Ulrich tried to rebound with Ang Lee’s Civil War drama Ride With The Devil. Though Lee’s films tend to be bedecked with praise, this one was a major bust. No notable nominations, and a soul-crushing box office of just $635,096.

Jewel was in this movie. And yet no one went? Go figure.

Then came a string of movies with titles that are so bland they could be about literally anything, like Takedown, Nobody’s Baby, and Soul Assassin. Next, Ulrich did Chilly Dogs, which actually beat Gooding’s Snow Dogs to theatres. Well, in France. It never opened in the U.S.

Wow. No wonder Ulrich turned to TV.

And here the mystery is solved! Why haven’t I seen Ulrich in years? Because he went from bombs to B-movies to TV shows I’ve either A) never heard of, or B) never watched. (And I work from home, so that’s a category that is smaller that you might think.)

Ulrich bounced from the one-season Miracles to a lead role on Jericho, which I think I heard of, maybe. Once the show was cancelled, he landed a recurring role on CSI: NY, then Law & Order: LA, which only lasted a season. And over the past eight years, he’s occasionally popped up on an ep of Robot Chicken.

Basically, his rise was felled by a string of flops. But hey, the guy’s still working. And his next movie, Lost in Austin, actually sounds like one we’d watch. Not so much because of its Lifetime plot line (woman fakes the abduction of her 11-year-old to become famous), but because it’s got a cast that includes Craig Robinson, Chris Parnell, Patrick Warburton, Jaime Pressly, Linda Cardellini and Kristen Schaal. I mean, that’s got to be good, right? Right?

Kristy Puchko’s pulling for you, Ulrich.


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