Many actors hate being typecast which can help to limit the future acting roles they’re offered in films or TV shows. Others – Arnold Schwarzenegger comes quickly to mind – relish in the kind of one stock character they play so well. Their fans expect them to wear a similar thespian skin – over and over again. For talented South African actress, Alice Krige (Chariots Of Fire), her sophisticated acting range has afforded her the opportunity to flesh out a great number of various types of characters. However, in movie after movie, Krige has risen to the tough challenge of crafting a ‘Mad Mom’ kind of vibe in the women she plays. Her ‘Mad Mothers’ make both the movie and raging character she plays far more memorable and loads of fun.
Ghost Story (1982)
In this creepy, classic ghost story, based on the book penned by novelist Peter Straub, Krige doesn’t play an actual mother, but still acts motherly to a group of young men.
Starring cinema greats like dancing genius Fred Astaire, John Houseman (The Paper Chase), Patricia Neal (The Day The Earth Stood Still) and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Krige plays Alma, a singularly haunting girl who is the skin crawling definition of unstable. Using engaging flashbacks, director John Irvin (Hamburger Hill), tells the story of a group of young, privileged men who are all attracted, even smitten by Krige’s enigmatic character. As the older, cultured women, she cultivates a sort of maternal atmosphere interacting with the playful youths, until things go horribly and fatally wrong. Krige’s powerful voice and eyes are on full force here and contribute to making her character one of the more menacing supernatural entities ever portrayed on film.
Leave it to the modern master of mayhem, writer Stephen King (Under The Dome), to pen such an original and haunting cinematic tale.
Here, Krige plays the last of her kind – well the last female of her kind – and is mother to the last of her male kind. Brian Krause (Charmed) co-stars as a lusty, ancient creature who’s romancing the beautiful Madchen Amick (Twin Peaks) to such a degree it’s becoming bloody painful. When Amick takes away her son, her beautiful boy, Krige goes to town in a primal violent spree that must be seen – and viewed many times – to be believed and fully appreciated. Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) plays a brutish, small town cop who gets on Krige’s nerves one too many times and pays dearly for his social and professional clumsiness.
Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
The 2nd silver screen outing for Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s (Patrick Stewart) TV crew became their most profitable and arguably the most popular adventure out of the four big budget theatrical flicks; “Star Trek: Generations”, “Star Trek: Insurrection” and “Star Trek: Nemesis”.
In this time tripping, action packed tale, Krige rules menacingly like a mad mom over her nightmarish Borg brood – a race of highly advanced cyborgs – first introduced in the 2nd season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, in the episode, “Q Who”, guest starring John DeLancie. Krige would go on to reprise her magnetic role in the TV show, “Star Trek: Voyager”, when she clashes with Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) – playing another kind of mother caring for the well being of her own Starfleet brood. Krige can turn a phrase so convincingly that we truly believe she’s more of a mother – than the unmerciful, tyrannical despot she appears to be – when negotiating a deal to resolve both Janeway’s crew problems of finally getting home to Earth and maintaining the integrity of her digitally run clan.
Honorable ‘Mad Mom’ Mentions
Habitat (1997) produced for direct to video and aired on the Sci-Fi Channel
The Little Vampire (2000) Krige plays a bloody thirsty, though nurturing vampire mom to Jonathan Lipnicki.
Reign of Fire (2002) co-starring Christian Bale (American Psycho & Batman: The Dark Knight)
Frank Herbert’s ‘Children of Dune’ (2003) TV Mini-series
Silent Hill (2006) based on the popular video game series & co-starring Sean Bean (Lord Of The Rings)