When we think of famous actors, our minds automatically go to the likes of Hollywood A-list stars we’ve seen in every other major movie within the past few years. Sure, we’re riddled with the likes of beautiful people who, in some instances, encompass a certain amount of talent that warrant the amount of attention in the media they’re received in their careers, but there are so many other strong actors out there that get some time in the spotlight but don’t get the fame they deserve.
One of those actors is Harry Dean Stanton, a character actor working in Hollywood for decades. He’s appeared in a myriad of films like “Paris, Texas,” “Alien,” “Cool Hand Luke,” you name it. Now he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves with his new documentary “Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction.” Documentary filmmaker Sophie Huber gives us a more in-depth look at the character actor’s life from the beginning to now. We got the chance to sit down and talk with the two about this cool new documentary, which you can see in limited theaters now.
What was the process like, putting this all together, especially considering not only being able to center the documentary around his very colorful film career but being able to bring in the people that you did.
Sophie Huber: Well first, it was quite hard to bring Harry in. It took about a year to persuade him to do it. It started through the music because I started recording songs with him before we started filming, and that was the basis, for me that’s where it started. Also that was how I could find and persuade Harry to do it, to put focus on the films rather than his personal life. Then that would open him up a little more, as much as he would. Well I wanted to either find the people that connected to his work in film or through music. I didn’t want it to be a talking heads sort of film where you interview 20 people because it would also be hard to choose them so I wanted to focus on the ones I would use clips from or Kristofferson because I knew that was an important music influence for Harry. They were in more than one film together.
What did you enjoy most about being a part of this process and working with this documentary filmmaker?
Harry Dean Stanton: Sophie. I did it mainly for her.
Sophie Huber: I did it mainly for you. [laughs]
Mr. Stanton, you’re obvious still working now in the industry. What is it that you still love about acting that keeps bringing you back to one new role after another?
Harry Dean Stanton: It’s all the same, all on camera and off camera. It’s all one big movie.
Is there an iconic role that you’ve played? You’ve played so many great roles, is there one that’s stood out that’s really memorable?
Harry Dean Stanton: My favorite films are “Paris, Texas” and “Repo Man.”
Is there a reason why those two are your favorites?
Harry Dean Stanton: The writing and the cinematography. Mostly the writing.
How was it like working with Wim Wenders as a director?
Harry Dean Stanton: He’s good. He’s a good director. Quite an introvert.
You talk a lot about Jack Nicholson. Did you guys try to interview him for the movie?
Sophie Huber: Well actually Harry asked him himself and he said no. He just didn’t feel emotionally up to it. We’re very, very, very close. We used to live together for two and a half years.