45. Howard Payne
Played By: Dennis Hopper
Movie: Speed (1994)
A possible narrative for Dennis Hopper circa 1986 to 1994: In the wake of his performance as Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (and Hoosiers, too, but whatever, basketball), Hopper suddenly found himself with clout. People wanted to work with him! And so he got work, garnered additional acclaim, directed Colors.
Then, he blew it all. In 1993, Hopper played King Koopa in the mistake that we'll respectfully call Super Mario Bros. (as opposed to its unofficial title, TO BOB HOSKINS, EVERYTHING IS FUCKED! JOHN LEGUIZAMO). He needed a career boost, and he needed it fast. He needed: Speed.
Imagine the anxious sweating as Hopper's agent read the screenplay to Hopper via a large cellphone. Imagine the agent whisper-shouting the details: "A mad bomber! A bus that can't go below 50 MPH because it will explode if it does! Money!"
Imagine Hopper's reply: "Are you kidding me? I AM THAT BUS." —RS