Child's play: As a child in Texas, he only had a Super 8 camera but that didn't stop the young auteur from pursuing a graphic realism in his early work: he used real guns to shoot holes in a car for an action sequence, and set light to his arm for another.
Talk loudly and carry a small stick: Since his breakthrough appearance in the 1985 teen-flick Weird Science, when his sadistic big-brother character was turned into a giant insect, Paxton has had no problem with celluloid humiliation. "I had to beg for my life and say I had a little penis," Paxton remembers of his sleazy character in the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle True Lies. "That line would have scared off a lot of lesser men but I relished it."
Loving the alien: He consolidated his Hollywood status in James Cameron's Aliens, playing a gung-ho space marine. Giant insects featured again, but this time he was eaten by one. Scarily, entire Internet sites are dedicated to Hudson, Paxton's character in Aliens, based largely on his catchphrase "Game over, man!"
Any time, any place, any chord: Never allow a male film star to have too much time on his hands. Keanu Reeves obviously got bored playing Connect Four and his rock band Dogstar was the result. Paxton managed the same feat back in the Eighties on the world, but had the grace to give his outfit the worst name ever: Martini Ranch.