Los Angeles Daily News
circa 1989

 Cautious Pinchot in Movie Role

LOS ANGELES - For someone young and suddenly acclaimed, the movie business can be as treacherous as surfing a tsunami.

That's one reason why nobody has seen Bronson Pinchot on the silver screen since his breakthrough as Serge (the gay art-gallery assistant) in "Beverly Hills Cop."

At the time, although it was a small part, Pinchot was the center of whirlwind attention.

He was singled out for praise in Newsweek and on network TV.  Film crews came from Australia, France and Italy to interview him.

There were stories in USA Today, People and US.  He was still living in a "flophouse" in "a bad part of Hollywood," and already fans "would follow me up and down the aisles of a supermarket" or "scream stuff at me from cars."

And that was the end of Pinchot's movie career, until now.

The problem was, Pinchot wanted to be a real actor.

He was trained at the Yale school of drama.  He had already appeared in "Risky Business" and "The Flamingo Kid," as well as off-Broadway.

"But suddenly there was a rash of people asking me to do the (Serge) character in their movie."

Everyone thought he was a stand-up comic.  A&M Records even paid him to write a comedy album and then turned it down.  His TV series, "Perfect Strangers," where he plays strangely accented Balki, was really "the first time someone had approached me as an actor, not a bubble-gum machine and saying, 'We want that flavor.'

"At one point I had the choice of playing the goofy guy with the turban in 'Short Circuit,' later played by Fisher Stevens, or 'Perfect Strangers.'  A real concerned friend of mine said, 'Bronson, just be real careful you don't become the young, male Clara Peller.'"

Pinchot followed the advice, and now, after five years, he's back in the movies.

In August, he will appear with John Larroquette in Warner Bros.' "Second Sight," the story of an uptight yuppie detective "with a car phone and rare French posters in his office" (Larroquette) and "a talented yet extremely undisciplined psychic to help him solve crimes."  That's Pinchot.

"My image for him is, you know when you turn on your garden hose, and by the time you get to it, it's whipping around like a hyperactive snake?  This character has too much psychic energy coming through.  It turns him into a spaz.  He gets what he's after, but he destroys buildings and cars in the process."