Marvel Movies

Michael Bailey Smith

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Michael Bailey Smith

Michael Bailey Smith portrayed Ben Grimm in 1994's The Fantastic Four and Creepy in Men in Black II.

Significant roles

  • Super Freddy in A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Child (1989)
  • Belthazor in Charmed (2000-2002)
  • Creepy in Men in Black II (2002)
  • Monster Man in Monster Man (2003)
  • Pluto in The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
  • Papa Hades in The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)


  • "Ben's constantly fighting with why he has turned into this...thing. There's a wis range of emotions, from being sad to enraged. I've played all bad guys, so it's great to beat somebody up and not feel bad about it in the morning."
  • "Oh, yeah. I've already been recognized. There have been quite a few comic magazines that have come out with articles, and I was at Gold's Gym in Venice and someone said, "Hey, you're Ben Grimm from the Fantastic Four!" What's fantastic is having little kids come up and ask for my autograph."
  • "I was thrilled that I got this part. For the first time, I got to play a character that wasn't a bad buy. I remember Stan Lee coming to the set and he said if he was to make Ben Grimm as a real person, it would be me."
  • "I personally took it upon myself that if I couldn't be in the suit, then I wanted to have as much input as possible. I wanted there to be continuity, so that the mannerisms are basically what I would do."
  • "Carl Ciarfalio is not only a great stunt man but a good actor as well. A real professional and he put so much into it..."
  • "Before the movie, I really didn't read any comic books. When I got into lifting weights, I enjoyed anything that was big and muscular. I loved the Hulk..."
  • "However, when I got the part, I read a lot. Plus, going to conventions and comic book stores, I became a fan of the comics and fans who read them. It was incredible to see the faces of the people when you met them and they knew you played Ben Grimm. Pretty awesome. We had such great hopes for this film. This was going to be the film that was going to give a boost to our careers. Take us to the next level … But it never happened. The film was shelved."
  • "...when I first got the part I thought I was not only going to play Ben Grimm but The Thing also. But production told me that they had hired a stunt man to play The Thing, mainly because it took several months of pre-production getting the suit ready. Carl Ciarfalio played The Thing and he was willing to work with me to make sure that continuity between the Ben Grimm and The Thing remained the same."
  • "I got to act like a little kid, fall in love and experience the horrible change into The Thing. There was a full range of emotions I experienced with this character. When we finished the film, the cast knew we had something. We knew that this could turn into a little gem."
  • "The production company, Concorde Pictures (Roger Corman), played a trailer at the convention to see the response. There must have been 500 people waiting for hours to see the preview. It was awesome! When the preview finished, we all heard a thunderous cheer from the audience. Right then, we knew we had something. We asked Concorde Pictures what promotion they were going to do. They said that they couldn't do much more due to budget constraints. So that's when Alex Hyde-White and I went to work. We hired a publicist and began to work on promoting the film. The only help we got from Concorde Pictures was production shots of the cast to autograph for the fans."
  • "We showed the preview, talked about the characters, went to children's hospitals ... did everything we possibly could to promote this film. It was fantastic seeing the look on people's faces, their excitement and enthusiasm; especially the little kids. We took a little low budget film that had no chance of really doing anything and generated enough publicity, enough heat that people throughout the country started talking about it."
  • "In mid-January (1994), we had it all set up. We were going to have the premiere at the Mall of America in Minneapolis. We had the Ronald McDonald House and Children's Miracle Network tied into the premiere. We had local and national TV and newspapers tied in. With our own money we did all of this. But, one week before Christmas, I got a call from our publicist. The film had been shelved and to stop all efforts in promoting the film. I was devastated. All that work, all of our hopes and dreams for this film, were gone. At the time, we didn't know why. All we knew was that no one was going to see this wonderful little movie."
  • "We started filming in December, which at the time I did think was a little strange because most of Hollywood slows down during this period. With Neue Constantin retaining the rights, it was their chance to continue shopping it around to the big studios. Not the finished movie of course, just the rights. They found a buyer in 20th Century Fox Studios. So, that was it."
  • "When I look back at what happened, there is still a little sadness but it was a great experience meeting and touching the lives of so many people that had a common bond with the Fantastic Four. Maybe the visual effects weren't the greatest but you know what, the story was great, the characters were great and all of the actors put 100% into the making this film very special."
  • "This is Show-BUSINESS, not Show-FRIENDS. It's all about business … all about making money. Like it or not, that's the way it is. From this point on in my career, my perspective on the whole industry changed. Whenever I've finished a film or a TV show, I basically just let it go. I've done my job as an actor and that's all the control I have. But you know what, if I had to do it all over again, I would. Call me crazy, but I would."

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