My favourite film and TV characters named Mike or Michael

Should you celebrate your name? I think so. Be proud, I say. After all, it’s your name. And thinking on my own name being one of the oldest in the world — it stands to reason that it would’ve turned up in quite a few movies and TV shows. So I decided to investigate. Here are a few favourites.


Sean Astin as Mikey in The Goonies (1985)

At this point, with The Goonies, Lord Of The Rings and Stranger Things, Sean Astin has firmly established his credentials as one of the ‘heroes of the nerds’. We must protect him at all costs. I’ll always remember him as the brave lad that went in search of One-Eyed Willy’s pirate treasure and fought the Fratelli gang.

Will Smith as Mike Lowrey in Bad Boys (1995)

‘Mike Looowwrey… Why don’t you whip it out for her, big boy?’ “Yeah, right on your forehead.” There’s no denying that Martin Lawrence and Will Smith had great chemistry in this movie. Add Tea Leoni to the mix and this movie sung. They didn’t quite capture the same chemistry in the sequel, and I’ve yet to see the third one, Bad Boys For Life (2020), but I hear it’s pretty good.

Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather (1972)

Is this Al Pacino’s most critically acclaimed role and performance? More than likely. I’ll probably get thrown out of film club for saying this, but I probably preferred him in Scarface, and even The Devil’s Advocate. I guess I like it when he has fun. That said, I can’t deny how effective he was in this role. It made him a legend.

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham in Star Trek: Discovery (2017—)

Once you get over the fact that ‘Michael’, in this show, is a woman – which honestly, is not that hard to do – then you’re treated to a new (at the time) Star Trek show which did things differently. This rubbed a few fans up the wrong way at the time, but Martin-Green really made the role her own. Season 4 is out 18 November (UK).

Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield in Prison Break (2005-2017)

I admit, I was late to the party with Prison Break, having only gotten into it in recent months. For those not in the know, it’s a hugely popular show that ran for five seasons, with rumours of a sixth floating around. It starred Wentworth Miller as Michael Scofield, a man trying to break his brother out of prison. The first season still remains the best, but the show was thrilling throughout.

Channing Tatum as Magic Mike in Magic Mike (2012) and Magic Mike XXL (2015)

The thing about these movies is that, on the surface, yes, they’re full of men stripping. But if you look deeper you’ll find that both movies are interesting dramas which look to break down toxic masculinity, and even just masculinity, in interesting ways.

Gerard Butler as Mike Banning in Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

I suppose you could say that Butler had form in terms of action movies before this movie, with Machine Gun Preacher, 300, Law Abiding Citizen and Gamer, and others. Yet I still feel the Has Fallen series cemented him in people’s minds as a fully blown action star. Grizzled, gruff, and getting the job done.

Tom Hanks as Michael Sullivan in Road to Perdition (2002)

I consider this film a bit of an underrated masterpiece. It was directed by Sam Mendes and starred Tom Hanks as a hitman for the mob. In some ways, it was one of his darkest roles to date: an antihero, you could argue. The rest of the cast was also rather good too: Paul Newman, Daniel Craig and Jude Law.

Jason Patric as Michael in The Lost Boys (1987)

Let’s be honest, Joel Schumacher’s movie was all about Keifer Sutherland’s antagonist vampire David, with Patric playing Michael, our straight hero. He has to get the girl, save the day, all that good stuff. I feel this movie paved the way, particularly in tone, for shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

By Mikey P

Freelance editor, writer and podcast creator by day. Spoken word poet and screenwriter by night.

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