I always loved this film and kinda idolized Buckaroo Banzai himself: rock star, neurosurgeon, particle physicist, rocket car driver, comic book hero, and savior of the world against an menacing horde of alien criminals locked away in the 8th dimension‚ you can’t get a much better CV then that. He was more then a little geeky, but he still had the charisma enough to capture the heart of cute dykie-haired Penny Priddy (Ellen Barkin)—yes I was attracted to short hair even way back in my teens.
I’m not much of a celebrity hound and I don’t watch TV, so I didn’t really know what Peter Weller was up to these days until my parents sent me a link to a wired article. Interestingly, Weller has become a modern polymath renaissance man himself. He’s starring in the show 24, hosting the History Channel‚ Engineering an Empire series, playing Frank Lloyd Wright in an off-broadway play, and working towards a PhD in Italian Renaissance art history at UCLA where he also teaches courses, writes papers, and is busy climbing the academic ladder.
“I’ve always followed my passions,” Weller says, “even when it didn’t seem to make much sense.‚”
I can really relate to this statement as someone else who is juggling several seemingly desperate interests from a successful career in health industry web design/development to artistic tomfoolery to pursuing a degree in neuropsychology—not to mention all my other side projects like helping with NifNaks (currently undergoing a massive redesign) and my Dad’s growing web business.
Sometimes, it gets a bit overwhelming. I glance around at all the younger students in my classes, see others my age with a single career and free relaxed weekends, and then wonder what the hell I’m doing. Then there’s people like Peter Weller who is 60 and yet continues to zigzag through multiple careers, is pursuing a PhD, and is still wearing rockstar shades.
Still after all these years, Buckaroo Banzai is my role model.