In the surf world, we knew Lopez was a legit actor after his complex and deeply nuanced portrayal of a steely Hawaiian local named “Vince” in the 1987 classic North Shore. His brooding performance wasn’t enough to get the nod from the Academy, but it was more than enough to make him the greatest professional surfer/actor to ever live. But as spectacular as North Shore was, we like his old stuff better. In 1982, Lopez stepped far beyond the comfortable realm of surfing to play a wily thief/archer named Subotai in Conan the Barbarian. Lopez and Schwarzenegger team up to kill a bunch of assholes in some kind of snake cult, proving once and for all that black magic is no match for two good buddies with swords and stuff. Lopez’ tour de force is highlighted by the dialogue below:
Subotai: Food…fooood! I have not eaten for days.
Conan: And who says you will?
Subotai: Give me food, so I have strength when the wolves come. Let me die, not in hunger, but in combat!
Conan: Who are you?
Subotai: [jumps to his feet] I am Subotai! Thief and archer! I am Hyrkanian…the great order of Kerlait!