iconic ending of "The Breakfast Club" on cable: Nelson's rebel in a trench coat, John Bender, gets the girl (Molly Ringwald) and her diamond earring and pumps his fist as he walks away from school to the tune of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)." Or, maybe you last saw him in "Pitch Perfect," which is about an a cappella girl (Anna Kendrick) and an a cappella boy (Skylar Astin) who aca-almost kiss while watching that scene from the John Hughes classic. The power of Judd Nelson's fist pump is truly, totally immeasurable.
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And the actor has big reason to pump his fist as The CW confirms that the "Suddenly Susan" vet will return to primetime this fall in "Nikita."Executive producers Craig Silverstein and Carlos Coto tell us that the former Brat Packer will play in "multiple episodes" as "a deep-cover operative working for Amanda and Mr. Jones, the dark forces who last season framed Nikita for the assassination of the president." We're told that Nelson's character — "a major player in a worldwide plot that only Team Nikita can stop" — has a secret that "will alter the very fabric of the Nikitaverse." Yikes.
We have to wait a while before the Nikitaverse premieres, but in the meantime, instead of watching "The Breakfast Club" on VH1 for the 4,356th time (or while watching it for the 4,356th time), why not learn about some of Nelson's other works so that you can start conversations about Judd Nelson, Bigfoot, and Roseanne Barr's TV mom. Good idea, right? Let's go.
We were fortunate to catch Nelson when he starred in a production of Irwin Heller's dramatic play "He She Them" at the Shubert Theater in Boston in 2003. Nelson electrified the audience as a businessman smitten with a married woman. He was funny and brittle, and he had to memorize a ton of dialogue. This wasn't exactly Nelson's first rodeo, either. The Maine native has returned to New England for theater on more than one occasion. In 2001, he performed in "The Cocktail Hour" at the Cape Playhouse in Massachusetts with Estelle Parsons (Roseanne's mom on "Roseanne"!). Sadly, we don't have a time machine, so we can't show you a clip, but they photograph cute together.
Luckily for audiences, Nelson is one of those actors who gets around. He has 98 projects on his IMDb page, and he's only 53 years old. One of our recent favorites is the charming, tennis-centric independent film "Road to the Open." Nelson gives a straight, strong performance as an anger-management leader of a bunch of, well, angry people. His co-stars include John Schneider and Eric Roberts and his beard, which is thick and impressive. Seriously, you'll know it when you see it:
If you liked "Sharknado," then you should put "Bigfoot Wars," a movie based on the big-selling book series by Eric S. Brown, on your radar. Nelson is no stranger to the science-fiction genre and has more than a few fun movies under his belt, but this one — which also stars C. Thomas Howell ("Stay golden, pony boy") — looks like a standout. Nelson plays a scientist hunting for, you know, the giant, evasive mythological creature. "Bigfoot Wars" is shooting right now in East Texas, and according to pictures, the locals have welcomed the production with arms wide open.
Headmaster of Horror
If "Scream" and "The Breakfast Club" had a baby, it might look like "Bad Kids Go to Hell," a comical horror movie adaptation of a popular comic book:
Nelson plays the headmaster of a private school. (Yes, we are that old. He's not just a teacher; he's the boss of the teachers.) The tagline is campy-funny-creepy: "Daddy's money can't save them now." And it's also true. Nelson brings on the nasty as a harsh disciplinarian, even harsher than "Breakfast Club" principal Richard Vernon, who notoriously raided Barry Manilow's wardrobe and fumbled with a toilet seat cover. Yep, talking about Judd Nelson inevitably comes back to "The Breakfast Club," which definitely calls for a fist pump.
The final six episodes of "Nikita" will air later this season.