Actor’s Resume: David Keith On Working With Gene Hackman In ‘Behind Enemy Lines’

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Behind Enemy Lines - cr: 20th Century Fox

David Keith has carved out a heck of a movie career. An Officer and a Gentleman, Firestarter, Heartbreak Hotel, The Two Jakes, and now Walden are just a few of the movies on his resume. As far as his favorite three hours on a movie set, that honor would have to be Behind Enemy Lines which featured a memorable experience with Gene Hackman.

Directed by John Moore, Behind Enemy Lines centers on Burnett (Owen Wilson), a disillusioned pilot whose craft is shot down over Bosnia. Gene Hackman is Reigart, the commanding officer who is determined to rescue him. David Keith played O’Malley, and he recalls why working with Hackman was the best three hours of his acting life.


I did a movie called Behind Enemy Lines, and the three hours that I spent shooting that one scene where Gene Hackman and I kind of go head to head was, to this day, the greatest three hours that I’ve ever spent as an actor. He is absolutely fathomless when it comes to digging deep and going, you know, the deeper the emotion that I would get into, he would go. That was just wonderful. It was a joy. 

Have you seen Behind Enemy Lines? Let me know your thoughts on the 2001 movie which co-stars Gabriel Macht.

Behind Enemy Lines is currently streaming on Max. For updated streaming info, go to its Just Watch page.

Catch David Keith with Emile Hirsch and Tania Raymonde in Walden starting December 12 (on Digital and On Demand).

David Keith as Judge Boyle in the Thriller, Horror, Suspense film, WALDEN, an Uncork’d Entertainment release. Photo courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment

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