Christian Slater’s Now Gleaming the Tube

Photo: Mitchell Haaseth

“Christian Slater is Henry. Christian Slater is Edward.” That’s the tagline for the new NBC drama My Own Worst Enemy, about a man whose two personalities—suburban dad and government op—confront each other. Viewers, meanwhile, will have to confront the fact that Christian Slater is … 39?!

Which is harder to believe: The Bourne Identity–lite setup or that Christian Slater is back, and on network television? It’s been nearly two decades since Slater made his name as a misfit teenage heartthrob in Heathers and Pump Up the Volume. But his life as a leading man pretty much ended when he played third fiddle in Interview With the Vampire in 1994. Since then he’s faded into straight-to-DVD clunkers, stage roles, and tabloid debacles.

Still, there happens to be an entire generation carrying the faint memory that Slater, in his prime, was actually good. It wasn’t just his widow’s peak, creepy voice, overarched eyebrows, and gigantic forehead that once earned him comparison to a young Jack Nicholson. Unlike other teen-movie vets turned TV stars—think Patrick Dempsey—Slater hasn’t aged well (those eyebrows now appear too Botoxed to move). But it’s possible he’s taken the James Spader path—increasingly complex over time. To his return we say, “Greetings and salutations.”

My Own Worst Enemy
NBC; premieres October 13, 10 p.m.

Christian Slater’s Now Gleaming the Tube