I know John Carpenter gave Roddy Piper a lot of carte blanche with his lines in “They Live”. What I want to know is did John do the same for Kurt Russell in “Big Trouble In Little China”? That ramble on the C.B. radio must be one of the more unusual and amusing monologues around. In fact a lot of the lines in the film have an attractively ad-libbed quality. It’s true to say they don’t make them like this anymore, maybe because nobody else made them quite like John Carpenter.
I loved those monologues. This was one of Russell’s best performances, imo; he’s perfect for this role.
If you look at Kurt Russell in “The Thing” and “Big Trouble In Little China”, it really is like two different people. I’d like to think Kurt ad-libbed that monologue, in addition to numerous other quips in the film.
Eh, I don’t know. It’s entirely possible that that monologue was actually in the script, it was such a radical script that I’m of the opinion that it’s just Russell’s uncanny ability to embody a role which makes it seem ad-libbed. I’ve listened to the commentary between Russell and Carpenter on the film, but I don’t think they mentioned who came up with the monologue in that scene. Some of the various quips throughout the film were ad-libbed though (by a few of the actors), but I can’t remember which ones.
Carpenter himself said that Russell’s performance in The Thing is the best thing he’s (Russell’s) ever done because it’s so unlike Russell’s personality in real life, so he really put forth the effort in acting the part (same with Escape from NY and LA – that somber, sardonic loner).
But yeah, no one makes films like Carpenter.