The Essentials: Fly Like an Eagle Two aka I Can Fly Like an Eagle Too
Just as I assumed, everyone was super excited about the eagle action movies presented in The Essential Eagle Action Movies For Action Movie Lovers Looking For Action Movies With Eagles because eagles are truly a majestic animal. While there are plenty of additional eagle action movies that I could make you hip to I am going to change it up for the sequel and provide you with some of your favorite actions stars that you may or may not have known are licensed pilots in a little piece I like to call The Essential Action Movie Action Stars Who Have Taken to the Skies to Emulate the Most Spectacular of All Winged Animals, the Eagle. So without further ado and in no particular order, let’s do this thing.
- Clint Eastwood is one of the greatest actors and directors of all time. He also happens to be a long time pilot and his films have been included in the prestigious The Essential Eagle Action Movies For Action Movie Lovers Looking For Action Movies With Eagles. Where Eagles Dare might not have a ton of aviation, but it is a can’t miss for any action movie buff. Eastwood has acted in many aviatic roles that have even taken him to outer space with a chance to fly the space shuttle in Space Cowboys. Bonus points to anyone reading this on the web browser Firefox because Firefox is an underrated Eastwood flight movie.
- John Travolta is dedicated to the flying game. He owns and flies a Boeing 707 that bears the names of his children Jett Clipper Ella. The fact that he named his children Jett (Rest in Peace) and Clipper (a name PanAm used for their planes) is a testament to his love for aviation. The official ambassador of Qantas Airways has had a successful and varied action career and taken the controls of vehicles like the B-3 (a movie iteration of the B-2 Bomber) in Broken Arrow. If you are looking for a little light reading Propeller One-Way Night Coach: A Fable for All Ages a novel by John Travolta comes with my highest recommendation.
- Treat Williams is another pilot/author and has written one of the greatest children’s books on airplanes titled Air Show! I am sure he has used his long career as a pilot and love of planes to write the book and I also have to give special recognition to Robert Neubecker for the superb illustrations. Williams has a diverse filmography and while I most remember his action career from the top notch The Substitute sequels, I can’t leave out iconic flying and eagle roles in The Eagle Has Landed and The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (easily Treat’s best movie poster.) Coincidentally, both co-star the legendary Robert Duvall.
- Lorenzo Lamas is a real Bulletproof Action favorite. While many action TV fans might remember him acting with a motorcycle in Renegade, Lorenzo’s’ true passion is in the skies. He has even taken work as a helicopter tour guide in scenic Southern California. Although when you find something you love like flying and get to see beautiful vistas everyday, I don’t know how much work it really is.
- Chuck Norris is a name that is hard to keep off any list of actions stars. Even if that list is The Essential Action Movie Action Stars Who Have Taken to the Skies to Emulate the Most Spectacular of All Winged Animals, the Eagle. Unsurprisingly, Chuck Norris is a licensed pilot who first learned to fly in the U.S. Air Force. Most remember Chuck for his near limitless kick-ass movies with his fighting skill in the spotlight, and Chuck takes that dedication and skill when he has the stick in his hand.
- Harrison Ford fits in the category of persons who probably should no longer be piloting aircraft. Commercial airline pilots have mandatory retirement ages for a reason. It is a shame because Ford has acted in many iconic roles with iconic vehicles like the Millennium Falcon, that biplane in Raiders and even Air Force One. However, because of his wanton disregard for his safety and the safety of others the movie that is most realistic is that time his character crashed a plane in Six Days Seven Nights.
- Tom Cruise stars in one of the most iconic fighter pilot movies of all time, Top Gun. His role as Maverick inspired Cruise to get his pilot’s license and he hasn’t looked back. You have to love the desire and passion that Cruise brings to all of his characters and is good to know that he brings that passion to his personal life and hobbies. And although he wasn’t flying the plane at the time, special recognition goes to Cruise for performing his own stunts while hanging on the outside the Atlas C1 5000 feet in the air during the filming of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.
- Dennis Quaid might not have the iconic role of sticking his jet fighter straight up the hole of an alien mothership like his brother Randy Quaid in Independence Day, but he is a real life pilot and has his fair share of on screen flight time. Hell, he even starred as a pilot in a film with flight in the title, Flight of the Phoenix. Quaid is another pilot who played a character with space aspirations in The Right Stuff, however, I always remember Quaid for his role as naval aviator turned miniaturized submersible pilot in Innerspace.
- Gisele Bundchen is easily the worst but best looking actor to make this list. (Not that being the worst on this list of heavyweights is anything to sneeze at.) She has the smallest filmography, but probably became a pilot for the most altruistic reason. Her only real action movie was the largely forgettable and land based Taxi, but Gisele got licensed to pilot a helicopter for her role as a UN Environmental Ambassador. As long as you ignore the fact that helicopters spit out harmful greenhouse gasses, you have to give her credit for making a difference with her platform. She is part of the reason Matt Spector gives back and helps as many needy causes as possible. It wouldn’t hurt you to give back in whatever form you are able, every bit helps.
- Kurt Russell might have something to say about being a pilot and giving back. The long-time action star and licensed pilot is an Honorary Board Member of the humanitarian aviation organization Wings of Hope. The organization is an aviation non-profit that delivers humanitarian programs around the globe to lift people in need toward health and self-sufficiency. All I need to lift me up is to see Russell in his iconic Snake Plissken role piloting a hang glider while shooting evil scum in Escape from L.A.
Just like its predecessor, The Essential Action Movie Action Stars Who Have Taken to the Skies to Emulate the Most Spectacular of All Winged Animals, the Eagle has been a massive success. Hopefully, you have learned a little more about some of you favorite action stars and have been motivated to follow your passion and hobbies with such vigor. Or at least come to understanding of the majesticness of the eagle. I will leave you with a few honorable mentions that just missed out being part of The Essential Action Movie Action Stars Who Have Taken to the Skies to Emulate the Most Spectacular of All Winged Animals, the Eagle.
- Morgan Freeman might act in pretty much everything, but I don’t find his action movies very credible. Freeman was another member of the United States Air Force, but he didn’t earn his pilot’s license until he was 65, a little old in my book.
- Angelina Jolie is an avid flyer and strong female action star and would have made the list but she once got banned from flying by the FAA because she failed to renew her license on time.
- David Jason is best known for his comedy, but he pilots helicopters and is an enthusiastic glider (is there any other kind?). He almost made this list for voicing both the lead character and narrator of Danger Mouse which had that super cool car that could fly.
- John Denver is probably the poster child for what can go wrong for anyone piloting an aircraft. Although he wrote one of the most famous songs with jet plane in the title, the reason he didn’t make the list has nothing to do with the “Leaving on a Jet Plane” or that tragic day in October of 1997. It is because his action filmography is very light, and unlike Clint Eastwood who was in Firefox, John Denver was in Foxfire.