« WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

Episode 1053 - Danny Huston

2019-09-12 | 🔗

Danny Huston felt somewhat doomed when it came to show business. His father John and grandfather Walter were legendary Hollywood figures and his half-sister Anjelica seemed like the coolest person in the world to him. To Danny, getting into the business seemed daunting. But after helping to shoot the opening credit sequence on one of his dad’s films, Danny was hooked. His father was his friend and collaborator but his death left Danny rudderless. And that’s when he started acting. Danny talks with Marc about his many roles, from small independent films to blockbusters like X-Men and Wonder Woman to his new film which he directed, The Last Photograph. This episode is sponsored by BetterHelp and Pepsi. 

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Hey folks, if you're wondering when you can come see me I'll, be at Jfl forty two in Toronto, on Thursday September nineteenth at the Sony Center for the performing arts. That's next week, then I'm at the VIC Theatre in Chicago on September twentieth and then I'm at the Masonic Temple in Detroit on Saturday September, twenty first and I'll be at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis on Sunday September. Twenty second, you can find all of my tour dates: a w t, F, pot, dot com, slash tour that includes my new dynasty, typewriter dates here in LOS Angeles on October fifth, and six before I had the Philadelphia, Washington DC and Boston at October, tenth eleventh and twelve, then onward to there's Nashville San Francisco and Atlanta. Coming up all the dates, everything you need to know, W t Ipod, dot com, slash, tour; ok! Alright, let's do the show proper
Do the show properly properly do a proper propped proper, her a. That this stuff for your hair, all right. Let's do this. How are you what the what the buddies, what the next what's happening? A mark Merrin. This is my podcast wtf how's it going the okay yeah, I know: it's bad, yes, yeah! I know I know. I know it's going, get worse! I get it! I get it. I guess the storms, the heat, the water, rising things dying, I get it, it's all, gonna, there's, no stopping it. Now how's it going good morning: WHI welcome to the show will adapt right, hey look, you know, and I don't want to be a dick about it, but.
I've never been happier not to have children. How Davis's song is that Karina Musical. I've never been happier not to have children. I Never been happy or not to have children, I so I don't know man I apologize good luck with what you're doing, I hope. Everything's. Okay,. Today on the show, Danny Huston. The actor, Danny, Houston, Angelica's brother right, then Houston, John Houston son, so I Danny's here he will be here in a minute. You can hear him talk to me about he's got this new film out that it's heavy, but it's beautiful! It's film called the last photograph- and we talked about that about other things, about being a Houston, how about some updates. You want some updates on things I can fucking do that. I can not a problem.
I guess I am now at fourteen fifteen. Sixteen seventeen eighteen, eight teen days. Often nicotine and I I think it's all mental now. Obviously, but it's powerful? The mental thing is there's just these moments, where Their their moments, it happen where my brain just sort of like. Should we do? Should we be doing some right now shouldn't you? Should we should you be doing one now Shin at what's going on now this you, we got a free second here it's time to get feeling we the freezer gotten open? Second, let's fill it with something: take it down a notch or jack it up. Where is that, where is that, where is the substance where's, the stuff in that for second, so that happens occasionally, and I'm just trying not to feed all those free seconds with food been doing a lot of cooking here at the house. I find that comforting very
gives me a certain. It's a meditative quality. It's creative, it's engaged and I get to eat things at the end of it nuff like cooking for three hours and eating whatever you made in seven minutes, but I've been doing a lot of food prep around the house. You know trying out new things right now, I'm kind of festering about a marinade for some chicken thighs what's going to, but the chicken thighs in the fridge. Look. I know I know thing you're, not great. I don't know how they get better. I'm sorry, but I do know that by the end of the day will figure out a marinade for my chicken thighs. That does I have too much sugar in it. That I know is going to happen so little things. Folks also, thank you for all the mail. The email about clearing up get me mail about the Seattle shows the, but there was a massive thunder lightning storm. I knew that. I think I might have told you about that. With the lights going on and off and the ghosts,
but then someone sent me an email saying that there there's some indication that perhaps the Moore Theater is built over a graveyard of settlers that had been moved. So there it could be a poltergeist situation over there. Then somebody sent me an email about all the people who sweat on that stage and the spear is in including William Burroughs, Chris Cornell Kerr Cobain cats like that. Place has been around a long time. Some of these vessels, some of these structures, Have a bit of. A bit of a spiritual residue that they can act kind of like a giant organ box, it They're not holding or going energy holding just the so psychics shrapnel of the creativity that happened in the structure. Now, even either you buy into that shit, you dump some days. I do some days, I don't you dig
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therapy goes, the EMDR sessions are interesting and I believe they are working. I do I believe that the EMDR this we hold the buzzers start target some trauma. Hang with that. Buzz Buzz Buzz then, where we at now dish that out Buzz is buzz where we at now that are of process through the sort of re reintegrating of the trauma or whatever dissipating in the Mdr is having an effect. I think it's okay, I think I'm going to be alright cats. Cats are all right. Maybe somebody can give me some insight, Michael, my older cats, are shrinking. They're, getting very skinny monkeys, very skinny he's getting very fragile he's eighteen years old. Is there something I should be doing there eating a lot everybody's running around everybody's having a good time? But
Apparently they have a hard time as they get older absorbing protein. They run very high protein diet and they're eating it, but he seems to be just diminishing before my eyes, though, he's got a lot of personality still and he's running around energy. Everything is fine, he's just very he's: skinny does anybody know? Is I don't you know, don't you speculate here? I need some real advice. I could google it. I did okay dad. I guess I can call them that, but I don't know there is there. Is it? Is there a way to fatten them up? I think I'm kind of blessed to have skinny cats. That's that's who I am. I can project my body, Morphea under cats, like I'm very happy that all my cats are lean and has something to do with what I feed them. Buster is is a large cat, he's not fat but he's the younger one. But I just don't know if I'm doing the right thing. Maybe I should ask you. You know? Maybe I should just do what everyone else does and do the proper research.
I really just been here at home. You are trying to enjoy my life on a few. Page down for some reason. I started re watching breaking bad I watched most of bill. Burr's new special, last night at Royal Albert Hall, I'm starting to realize. Oh, even after watching bird special like I am definitely not as Rock and angry as I used to be for no reason like the general flow of rage, is different. For me. I don't know it's early onset dementia or I'm generally working through things- maybe it's the emdr- I don't know, but I'm just not. I do get seeding. I do get angry and I do get anxious and I do get full of a certain amount of dread, but now about to pop anymore. I don't know why that happened or whether I'm going to assume it's good. I don't know how to what to tell ya in terms of how it happened. But it happened
Oh yeah, before I forget all you, fish vans Betty is not given me a fish playlist, you know the idea. Sometimes people say things on this show and they don't manifest. I, on the other hand, have figure out how to use Spotify that's my project for the week as the temperatures rise and the water rises and species drop dead around us, you know we're, I think, we're kind of lower on that list, but we're definitely on that list I'm going to figure out how to make a Spotify playlist. Now I'm going to try to integrate my instagram in my Spotify as the world burns. Rights are denied people. Caged, hey blossoms, I'm going to be diligently trying to put together a Spotify playlist right.
That's doing something right: fucking, fuck, hey There are a lot of things to celebrate these days. Folks, especially when enjoying movies tv shows, sports teams and musicians. You love and Pepsi. You can take all of your pop culture celebrations to the next level. Weather your favorite show returns for a new season. Your favorite director releases, a new movie or your favorite band, drops a new album when it's time to celebrate its time to crack open a Pepsi all right. You know when I celebrate with Pepsi when I'm doing stand up, and this is the truth folks, Is it true that you know I don't just advertise anything on the show, but I have a diet, Pepsi or two in my rider, when I get to the venue like I'm, not I'm not a demanding performer, I have a very simple writer. It's like veggies and hummus saw almond some raw almonds and Diet
Pepsi in a can, because here's one thing you need to know about me: Diet, Pepsi, gets me amped and I swear it does and is different than other drinks. So when I'm going on stage, I will swing down that diet. Pepsi it backstage in just like boom, then I'm in it. It gives me a will, give me all jack and That's something to celebrate right. Sure, so for whatever celebration you want to have whatever moment you want to share with family and friends, have some Pepsi on hand, Pepsi the a fish? sponsor of the NFL remind you to always be celebrating yeah, get it. Where you can man right, chicken, marinade thinking limes. I got a lime tree outback and thinking lines going to start with limes. So here what do we cover today? Cats?
Ok, everybody's good old cats are a little lean, I'm well into no nicotine one thousand four hundred and fifteen. Sixteen one thousand seven hundred and eighteen days, I'm doing ok, leveling off EMDR working pretty well, do not know what to marinate. My chicken thighs in world is ending. Betty Gilpin did not give me a fish playlist the ghosts at the Seattle. More theater are probably there, but I think I summoned lightning. It wasn't just goes. I summoned lightning I'd like to make it about me. I'd like to think I have that much power. Some of this stuff, I'm doing, is a little dicey. Little button pushing I've gotten some emails about my final bit, some a concerned fan emails or just sort of like we were laughing through it, but it felt wrong. I you know what I mean come on just words Little less angry working on it, working on stuff
so Danny Houston is here. Danny Houston made a nice move, he's been in a lot of movies, also on succession. This season that show I love that show by the way, oh yeah, I started breaking bad again up to speed everyone's here. This movie, the last photograph, is a touching dark movie. It's not! I don't know if it's dark is just heavy emotionally, but it's poetic. It's one of those movies that Dag like me, enjoy seeing it's exactly the it is a beautiful deep. A moving sad, independent film, but that movie the last photograph is now in theaters and on demand- and this is me talking to the star and director of that movie,
Danny Huston. I was a rickety old house in the Hollywood hills that certainly has a a life of its own. I was even after a long time, yeah, probably about fifteen years yeah yeah as they I that's a whole different life up there. It seems I mean. Is it that's the life that people think of when they think of Hollywood? What I'm? I'm literally under the Hollywood, sign your high, I mean I can't see it, but if you're looking at me, I can. I can extend my arms wide open and I'm gonna hold that and and holding the back of my life. I can see it, but you can so somebody's. Looking at you in front of your house exact, I get a well that's: okay, nice! So fifteen years, were you before that New York? No, I was in a near Laurel Canyon, near Wonderland, hello, yeah, one two and the street mmhm in the pharmacy lady, the Horrible Slaughter Street yep. That's where the that's! The point of reference is sort of like I'm, I'm up by the Okay House, the election, the charming school. Well, how he was known for! Did you watch? Did you see once upon a time in Hollywood? I loved it. You did right. Do I because you grew up in some of that right I mean, I know where it in a way. In a way, I'm I I really I I I grew up in Ireland and and and lucky past and lucky Bass, cheers and and and ITALY, and then I went to school in England, I sack I came to Hollywood late,
my father in the lives and and and islands and then later Mexico yeah, but but LA was always a sort of stopping point the Mexico period. It's so weird that that generation of of of your dad's don't those guys they just went to Mexico. I don't know you know it's like Peckinpah young and go. Do they have this romantic idea? I'm sorry! It's what I always associate the family, the Houston family, with this kind of strange adventuring, paying yeah for national. Well, I mean I I've growing up. I I wasn't well. I guess it was clear that he was he was director, but he can't come from faraway countries
bearing gifts and- and it was like a like a pirate coming to visit the house and with tall tales and yeah I mean a sort of swash buckling kind of guy and and Ireland he he he left. Sadly, you know after about four or five marriages. I guess where, where where do you fall and how is it like, as I had your half sister she's, your half sister right, Angelica and younger yeah, your mother was which wife my mother was, which is she. She wasn't a wife how my mother was in between wife number, four and five, or either between five and six, and but he had a relationship with everybody. Yes, so knowing my father and my mother were we're tremendous together and and very very close yeah, but yes, that was all there was a lot going on always, but now a things of it. I guess settle down but like when you started to I
What would you great, like you were in ITALY like like right in Rome? I grew up in Rome. My father was making a film based on a rather well known book called the Bible, though yeah right and and it was it was a long pre production and post production. The whole thing took about three or four years, and so I I happen to be born there. I like to say that I was conceived if, if we're using his films via as as a measuring stick, I was conceived during Freud yeah born during the Bible. Right and t isn't on night of the iguana, and you know so so I I I spent some time on on on on the side of the Bible and yeah. I remember watching the first cut and, but you know once Father is is, is, is a guard probably four or four for every since son and daughter yeah, but in this particular case the film
starts and
I hear in the beginning, as my father and during the war is over for God right and then the next thing I knew he was Noah yeah and there were animals falling into into into the Ark Right, and this was just fantastic for me and then and then my mother was also, and it may, I place Hago and she's in the middle in the desert. He said no is there, I mean I was Abraham Abraham, how and and and she's in the desert a dying of dying of thirst and suddenly this kid appears who's who's. Our son and he's not me right. At that point, I I got. I got very confused and I've had that problem, really all all my life trying to differentiate fiction from reality. It's hard right. It is like I interviewed, there's a guy who's, the guy that wrote the big book on your family Larry, Global yeah, Wrobel yeah. I I interviewed him awhile back. He will he. He was very, and I he he's a big interview guy and I remember I I set out to interview the interviewer and it went on a long time and I'm not sure what I was looking for. I just I know that I had to do it, but he came back again the doubt. What was your? Do? You? Did you like that book? Yes, I think we we we we all liked it. It did at times down of the possibly little to deeply in in the in into with interviews with others. I felt, but my favorite book biographies was a book called an open book that my father wrote and so wonderful collection of stories about,
the family are short stories. It's a collection of stories from his life and they're, just just marvelous and and We used to kid around saying it's anything but an open book, because it doesn't reveal the sort of things that Larry Grabelle global. Well, yeah yeah. I don't I didn't. I didn't dent. It was it's a big book and I I will eventually get it. You know it's great, it's great from from uh. You know you learn a lot about Walter Houston. Your grandpa is my grand father. I remember him from the Devil and Daniel Webster Reglan Daniel Webster. That's right and you know he was born in Toronto and his struggles and it's a it's. An interesting book from
from my point of view, as a piece of family history, sure well yeah, it's a it's sort of a fills in all the gaps. I would imagine for you yeah. Someone else is doing the research like. I just did that I did that, show finding your roots. You know it said you know we they do your genetic thing. They they do the research on it and it was. It was interesting, but you had a guy. Do thorough research in your talk to everybody involved in incorporated into the history is show business. That's a nice thing to have yeah as a point of reference. Even if you did dig up some bad was sometimes you gotta, there's bad there yeah. I was better happen then, and now I think it's it's creek create, creates a dramatic, read so white. When did you realize it's show? Business was the thing I I
looks somewhat doomed yeah. You know we just mention Walter, my Father Angelica yeah, my cool cool sister, Angelica, yeah, and and how much older she about ten years. Okay, so she was in and you're like whoa. She was, I mean yeah as as as a kid you know she was. She still is incredibly cool, but she she she was friends with like the rolling stones, yeah and Jack Nicholson, and so right. This was you know and curtain credibly, exciting here but yeah. My my nephew Jack Huston. It's it's it's kind of like the family business, so I mean I resisted for a while. I I like I like to paint- and I sometimes saw my father struggle with the whole
circus act, vs around filmmaking, Ryan and and and the money involved, and it it I I I can see that it it's it. It calls them trouble from time to time, even though he knew how to play the game yeah so beautifully, he was just a poker player. Really thank you yeah! I was just he blossom, just just like in what situations going on what was the? What was the education? Well, okay, well I'll, go I'll! Give an example. I remember when he was making puts his honor a greatly with with Angelica yeah and Jack. Actually, he yep.
A guy from ABC came up and said: Mister Houston, this incredible you, you you're using such a low amount of cost of footage of film yeah, you're saving so much in in the budget, by by doing so and and he's. Thank you very much recline and then and then, when the gentleman left left the the the room yeah my father's of it either he doesn't understand that they can't cut it any other way. So as a controller yeah, yeah yeah he be cutting in the camera, so that so that so they didn't have any anywhere. You go any option. Yeah! That's that's! That's the kind of thing you know that sort of trickery and we have when you were coming up like so you started as a painter just calling I went to art school. I went to film school yeah and Europe in in London, yeah and then- and then I had this this moment when he was making a film called under the Volcano area Albert Albert Finney Area based on Malcolm Lowry.
And he he was struggling with the title sequence. I used to make him cocktails or drinks depending what country was, and it would be a different track in in Mexico. It was a rum and coke and up- and I I brought a mirror of rum and coke and he it upset him. He said no, no, no, no, the coke should only color the run or back of portable, larger and then and we watched we watched the rushes, rounded look in front of all their and and the he was struggling with this. With this title sequence, up was the it was the paper mache dolls, but they didn't move so as for the shots were very static right for the Tulsa, so he turned turned around to me and said: Danny.
But you you've been to film school stuff right directly to title sequence, and, and I mean it was- it was almost a moment of hard for me right, but he handed over Gabrielle Figaro, wonderful, Cinematografia and I shot. I shot the sequence using a camera that moved around the dolls to try to keep, creates a movement, and he was delighted that was my first. That was it that was his job anymore. You I cooked, were you like a just because boy? I mean pleasing your dad's. Obviously great thing: he D dump this saying on yeah like you, we couldn't say no, I'm showed up in need you nailed it. I like to I like to think I did, but I didn't I did come out of film school and stuff, so it was it was. It was kind of my my secret ambition. Yeah. He just didn't know how I was going to unfold, for the confidence was gonna come from yeah and then what and then he'd do you. He produced the how how long before they do. You did the you know. The first feature, the first free trade and with with with him, was based on a foreign wilder, and you directed that right. I directed that will call MR nor right and had a wonderful cast as big cast our member Anthony, Anthony, Edwards, yeah yeah and again my my father. I mean
we were like two two hustlers yeah. I remember presenting the script to Lauren Bacall and that was a long flight of stairs. Did you write the script? No, he did
Are you dead yeah? He did with JANET. Roach was actually also wrote. Princes honor with him was that which he intending was a one of the things that he was intending to direct or how did that like? No, I gave it I. I know you gave him the idea yeah. I said all right: I'm gonna write this yeah and you're gonna direct, that's right, interesting, and so yes, so is so we we we got this great cast together and and yeah Lauren Bacall was absolutely outstanding on top of a flight of steps outside the Westwood Marquis, and I carried his oxygen tank up the steps what he has emphysema yeah, I I don't serve up the steps towards Lauren, Bacall yeah and I, and he turned around and winked at me- is that she is no way she's going to refuse this and sadly yeah, while we're making the film the he he called me. He he was meant to act on it yeah, and he called me so that Daniel, if I would fall they'll is, is it okay? If I get Robert Mitchum to stop by just in case, she will be fine, but
but yeah sure, of course, and then he did become ill and checked into the hospital in Newport. Ri and while you shooting, shooting and and Robert Mitchum Arrive, came to the to the hospital they spoke and Mitchell said you know, I'm sorry about the circumstances, but I'm I'm here yeah and when Mitchum left the room my father lowered his oxygen tank
to me and said biggest hoax ever pulled. You know he he he considered Mitchell one of the greatest actors, yeah and and couldn't believe that that that that that he that he got on, but this was also show of of of bravado and and and where I show a show of support. He was such a a gentle man. Yeah in that regard, did he get well or was that he got the wells for short time mmhm and so like what sort of white
fascinates me about not in the end the choice in in like something like, even like, Mr North and and then again with the new movie, which I watched, the the last photograph. Yes, it you know is that there, and even in some of the movies your father made that one it is that the stories are very, are very specific they're they're, not mainstream stories. Necessarily their stories like, as I have this big rant going on. You know actively in public about the limitations of the mainstream cinema because of the bullying element of you know, comic book movies, and you know what independent film means and where can go, and I just I I realize that some of the stuff, like your dad and and even like, I think, Mr North- it okay right because it had good actors, absolutely yeah. But then, as you move forward like watching the last photograph, I was, I use a powerful movie, it's very moving. You know it's beautiful to look at it's it's it's challenging in a lot of ways, but it's not like a story that yeah you just don't. These type of movies are are they're hard to to see anymore, like in movie theaters. It's not true. It's true, but I mean the. I thought it was an amazing movie and- and I'm glad I watched you before you came but like even with something like Mr North, the email and then something like this this. This thing that the last photograph which you wrote and directed and acted.
How do you, like you know? How do you decide to commit to that story? The in you know I mean it's sort of like it always baffles me. When I talk to directors were, were they have this thing and it's sort of like there, because it's going to take years, yeah and you gotta walk in, I mean obviously you're acting and doing other things, but what was it that sort of? What was it about that story like? Let's talk about the last the last photograph, the newest movie yeah? I know I know exactly what you're saying by the way it's it's you know again. My father was just spectacular. The way he'd be able to make. You know why
Ice blood in fat city to fat city and on the volcano, but in between all those three right he got a nanny right, so he really knew how to play either giving one to them and write and write and keeping a couple for himself right, keeping himself interested and and and and and and new material yeah beyond a figure out new ways to make films and that the last movie, with the dead. Yes like spectacular, yeah but but a but also able to throw out you know, and he is us escape to victory. The dean of the Lawrence is the Bible. He was also able, so he he was. He was really able to play that right right and so what, with with the last photograph it. It was an idea that a from a friend of mine sinus there
gave me as as as as a gift really is. This is Chris MIA beautifully, written screenplay and, and with that was his screen, yeah well, some Astoria and and and- and I I saw it as an opportunity to to play They'Ll- get back in the saddle, yeah and and play with different mediums, not necessarily for stylistic reasons but for reasons of necessity, and so I I used account still camera to shoot to shoot London and during Christmas I then used they were killed, no digital, so little digital, and then I used a sixty millimeter for the scenes with the kids in the park. I use probably about six or different types of equipment. Are. It was at on film, the sixth yeah yeah yeah. Now, of course, the technology is so advanced. You can make anything look all I can. I think MIA, but I I like the idea of all of actually holding equipment that was that was older and and and it forcing me to see things possibly slightly differently and your character has that yeah well meant to him to that he's stuck in the past a bit, that's right in grief, but also it seems in a shop as well. Yeah, exactly and and and the different the different formats also allowed me just to not to have things like place cards or dates, stuff, I've, gotten and hopefully emotionally. The film is at times a possibly languid. I could keep the emotion stretched emotion without giving you more information on this one thought that was very effective because you know there's a good chunk of the movie. Were you don't really know what happened exactly like it? There's there's pieces given to you kind of, but it's really and it's really about the poetry of grief, right and and the maintaining of of of that didn't moving through it yeah and and this guy he owns a bookshop is a quick commercial. Only come may probably a pleasant kind of guy yeah and
this photograph is stolen. He spirals, he just goes into complete panic and, and then, while he's searching for this photograph yeah you, the film becomes a sort of a tapestry of collage of Memories that lead one to the sort of fateful night which December 22nd, one thousand nine hundred and eighty eight, when flight pan am one hundred and one exploded over Lockerbie right
yeah. And it's like a a cell thing is sort of like if there's a there there. I just had a conversation with somebody else about human beings and about you know how we avoid the the the sort of realities of death. He e l e we do eat. In terms of that conversation was about how, like the old people, don't old elderly people are dying homes anymore, they every everything's, forty geared towards you know not paying attention. So when you see you know a man, this character, he played kind of like not being able to let go and and having death wasted upon him. You know in such a dramatic and and public, and you know shocking way. It was. It was surprising for me, it was just. It was very Sort of emotionally satisfying in its sadness 'cause, you really play it all the way through I mean you know in acting that I mean that must have been somewhat difficult. Was it for you
well, yes, and also direct and at the same time that was a little schizophrenic yeah, the yeah you're talking about death, the more mass shootings that we see you see on the news channels, these photographs that up here and each one representing an individual story right and that's what I found interesting about the concept that Simon is STAR brought to me. I knew
from directing point of view, I knew that me Danny would be available as a as as an actor all right, and then I could shoot the easy cash and that I could soon at different moments, yeah for different times, so I could shoot London and and and and and the one tourniquet should London in the summer- and I could I knew that I had that. I had me yeah. So that's one of the reasons I I I cast myself right. The problem is primary respect. Right, he's your scheduling. I will know enough to get on the phone: hey man. Can you go yeah? I don't have to do that. I was me, and, and but it was, it's he's a hard character to take home, because the state of kind of a look
stress yeah this this right away, that India and and and and the the good the grieving is to us. It is such that you that, if they it's hard to shed and one's bombarded with new photographs, all the time right right, so it but just became something that I was. I was very aware of, and now that I talk about it, it's something that's! I
can conjure back, we've all we've all. We all lost friends and family and sat around. We all have we'll have that last photograph, and so it's it's it's it's a hard thing to continue perform performing right. From a directing point of view, it was exhilarating right. I could use these different formats. I could dance around. I could shoot stuff yeah in London. A streets go, go, draw a drive up to Scotland and shoot in Scotland and has been an angel yeah. I know he's just in charge, but I could play from a direct from a from a directing point of view right, and I was it's a little bit of an experiment. The film also I was interested in in it creating a situation, emotional thread that could lead me into live news footage without having to superimpose my character into the in in rising on high that, but actually create create a situation where we didn't feel that we were cutting away right to our news report, but I suppose you mean when that guy came out and made the announcement. Yes, no, I worked really good yeah the nurses arriving the ambulances yeah. That are that's all real footage. You know it's great, because I could even look like the same room that your exact, almost yeah yeah. That's that's by design yeah, yeah yeah. No, it was great yeah. I I I I in also like in the the the sort of relationship with there was a line in there that the actress suitor child yeah yeah, who I hadn't seen in awhile yeah, and you made this- is a couple years old this, yes right, yes, it took awhile to decline its way it did, but that line where where she says, I believe it was her where it was. She says you know he was in love and he wanted more yeah. You know it's really kind of like there's something about the the poetry of the script. That's pretty you know kind of, like you had every at every juncture. You know you, you sort of feel it sort of her outreach to your character to frame. This is something that you know it wasn't your fault number one and number two. You know there's no way to explain it. There's no one to blame. After a certain point yeah. How do you let that go yeah because he's he's guilt ridden because he bought the ticket? Yes, sir, and then the dynamic with the girl with the girlfriend he's only you know, who only knew him for three weeks is very profound as well, because that she's gonna carry that weight on a different level. Yes, yes, I don't have that. I know- and I don't know whether I well I've discussed this with with with the writer Simon a couple of times, but when she returns back,
in the story after you, past meets him at the end, so sure that I'm I'm not sure whether whether he's imagining that or not yeah. Well, that's when those things are because I it's actually in a joke, I'm doing on stage knows I'm a comic where I talk about. You know like about the difference between you know.
These are big huge, marvel movies, but like they're, pushing us all to get, we have to drive twenty five thirty miles to you know to see grown up movies. You know in a in a theater situation where we can all have the experience together and walk out confused by the ending as one group of people in that you know what happened in those well, if you die what happened, I don't know what happened. Why did they tell us? I think the director wants is to have this conversation. It really was so one of those movies. For me, where no is B was a poetic ending, but that, but I was so that was it. Thank you. You know you it's it's time to create some well, it did. He imagine, did you not imagine was a real was yes and and and does he is he looking? I hate the word closure, but is he? Is he looking for some sort of peace within himself by imagining her and releasing her up back to the love affair that she was having with his son? Yes, yeah yeah, and does he because there are, you know that shot to you at the end is not comforting. Now the film is not a complete film, it is not a Friday night, popcorn movie. It is absolutely the antithesis of that, like I'm, really trying to like for myself as assess this kind of stuff in and put it into, because you know I'm like. I think I'm about your age, I'm fifty I'm gonna be fifty six
you know when, and you start to think about like what am I taking and why am I taking it in what is important? What is art? What is an art? You know what, and you know when I'm when I when I saw how that your movie starred as like all right well, this is what we're gonna do here. This is young and a this is something I'm going to have to sit with and I'm going have to allow- and I don't, even because in terms of the narrative, the story, it's really up up a poetry movie, because you know the the story is so are you you don't really it's easy?
You ever think you're gonna find the photograph read the email and, and then it's just there, it's a series of revelations that deep in the characters, you know grief yeah for the viewer, but I I really thought that your through that and the way the shot it you know and the way that you shot you their romance. The kids romance and and your relationship with with that with the woman who walked, works across from you and even your old friend, that yeah these become very it loaded, and yet there is sort of small bits of relief and and bits of connection that we all can have around the emotional process this guy's going through and that that is what it should be. You know that is what the feeling to be it doesn't have to be about like what? What does the story end? What do you know that? It's? If that is the poetry of of film, if you let it happen, yeah and and it's it's the reflective nature of it. I believe our film yes yeah, the I mean we we were taught were talking earlier about about my Father in Ireland and and you know, he'd he'd get the the print the projector out, there's always a big supply of about about the film ripping or not, and then we project these films on the on the on the wall and my grandfather, who I never met, wasn't treasure the Sierra Madre and he was he was. He was a gold, prospector honey and that's who I thought he was. I thought my father was no as who do Filme, kinda lines and and and but also tells choose at the same time, and what I thought was interesting was: was this drive to the airport driving my son to the airport and it's really quite a banal conversation we're not saying innocent. That carries the great that's where it starts the movie yeah. We have found that in a way it's it's the spine of the phone book right, but then, as we are informed as the audiences informed. We see this conversation in a different way and- and I I find that I find it interesting how how
we find more symbolism- or we are more a concentrated- are intrigued by a conversation when we are informed what will happen, how many features you directly of the three I either yeah- I mean I. I started with that with us with a small one hour film, with fresh out of film school after I'd written, the title sequence call Mr Corbett's ghost and my father was in it any get online, probably and he plays a collector of souls of a type cast and, and I have Paul Scofield in it and and and I Burgess Meredith. I wonder, and then I moved on to Mr North, where one will call Robert Mitchum hurting Staten David Warner, Mary, Stuart, Masterson, Virginia Madsen, a great great cast, and then I made a phone call, the maddening with Burt Reynolds and Angie Dickinson, and then I made another phone call becoming class about collapse with Costner Brandauer, and by that point I lost my. I lost my father, who was by my friend my might collaborate, yeah and, and then
I found myself in a sort of rather Seasonless state in in LOS Angeles, without your many without my own mind. Without I mean here's were going by, I was, I was you know, lots of meetings, phone calls and trying to get stuff going on, but you are acting up. No, I wasn't I was. I was in a and a complete funko sort of flat lining and, and and I couldn't I couldn't get anything off the ground and and but we are waiting for the selected Tornal green light. So the plan was directing I'll direct right and then fellow directors, the operands right, because the client, they're kind, yeah started casting means small parts. Right
parts got bigger and suddenly I realized wow. I should take this. I should take this seriously kiss him act. Yeah I mean my the reason I said yes was because I was interested because most of my most of my film experience was on my father's film sets. So I was interested in experiencing how other people work,
yeah, and I work with MIKE Figgis and with Bernard rose- were more experimental in their approach and committees on which one on Time code yeah. That's where I worry. We we had a quadrant right and and- and we were writing this yeah yeah right in the script and music sheet hours, yeah and I needed to do the deed, but you knew figures to put your leaving LAS Vegas and I love it. Yeah cells waiter, number number two, and that was the first night like that was that that was all he was throwing a lifeline yeah with that. Yes he's right, yeah Dan he's in trouble. Yeah we got to somebody for Catherine yeah, thank you yeah. I keep his health insurance yeah. I love them, you know and then Bernard rose, and I he just I work with them on on on on on a version of Anna Karenina, yeah and and he's, and he said he was having trouble with the color of the cut on the fellow men and we were both in a in a in a very depressed state. Moaning groaning there about the film business right and and his girlfriend at the time said. You know you guys are really boring. Why you just go out and and make a film yeah we're like. Well, you don't understand is far more complicated than that. You can just go out of make a phone which is like what I have and she was a documentary from here, and so we tried this new camera out this Sony Digital camera that Sony at Landis, the Red no earlier and and they and they they use a sort of us as as a some testing,
the trial yeah and we shot this film in our backyard. Basically in is called Ivan's ecstasy based on the death of even Ilitch yeah and, and it was a bit of a slow poison letter to Hollywood, but basically was to stay true to tall store yeah, but as best as best we could is actually quite a faithful adaptation and and it it became a success of it. Yet it's got independent films per to nominations, yeah and- and it's sort of it's sort of propelled me as as as an actor next thing I knew I was working with Scorsese. The call could men focal birth and I was like wow.
I don't think this. I don't think the seriously right, not that I wasn't, but I mean I was like this is a this is actually actually happening, but it was eight had you had any training at all, none whatsoever, life life is my train and story, a story, that's what it's all about. I consider myself a storyteller sure chorus, yeah. No, no! I know like a I. I talked to more actors and I used to you know and because I've been doing it a bit myself, but he you know it either. Many of them come down to the story that they they're honoring a store, yeah and and other people get caught up in the new wants of acting. You know, in terms of you know, tools they use or whatever yeah, but you just show up as Serbs tried. But yes, yes, it's it's it'll, and so basically, from that point on, I was I what I was an actor and what I love about it is. You know my credo basically is trying to with people that I respect and so
he phone acting point of view. You mentioned earlier yeah how much time it takes to direct from an acting point of view. I can be like a like a like a bee or something right. I can go on. I can taste the nectar from different flowers. I can make three or four films per year. If I'm lucky acting acting, I can. I can maybe to do a couple. Tv shows our guest appearances, but I can keep. I can keep active. I can be working on many many stores at the same time now this grinds to a halt when one is directing right, because
you're turning your turning other other stuff down, possibly, and you are just single mindedly directing this I mean the the the last photograph. Like you mentioned this two to two and a half years ago I stand I just I started. He started MMA, making it and finished it and write in a rather unconventional way, but it's taken the it's taken, a long a long time and and and you need you need at that location and that gumption to just to just keep right, keep keep riding it right into into a good scene right, that's from the point of conception of upon release. So a lot of time on some level,
there there there's some element of rationalization in you know when you're taking your four five acting roles a year and you're sort of framing. It is like why get to experience, how other directors work and stuff that when you actually have to direct and focus your own energy, I'm not doing any of that just for two years, there's got to be moments where it's sort of like that. I just can't get a job. Justin not finish this one of the yes and and and about point the ideas possibly become a little tired for you yeah, but you become utterly obsessed right. Let's get you have to yeah yeah yeah, you can't let it go so when opening your also like a what you're doing you're in succession this season, I noticed you. I had no idea- and I just started watching it whatever a couple weeks ago. That must be great to work with those guys. It's it's it's fantastic and you know Brian. I met him because we both played general striker yeah and the x men, so it was. It was a very funny meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I was like I'm playing, you know, I'm playing you, we look completely different. Yeah was so it was. It was great to see him again and I love working with Brian, he is, is where she from Missy British is a Scottish. A scottish yeah comes from it out hard scottish background, yeah yeah our like most of them. I guess I guess I mean he was he we were in Dundee and he showed me the apartment or the house where he, where he grew up. That was seven families and one block
one maybe two three floors and air and and out house that they all use where I feel it too. So when you do, I collect at over this process of doing were were E. I have obviously growing up a bit on your father stats and then working a bit with Scorsese with the biggest within who were who were some of the other people that yeah? How do you know? What do you integrate into your directing crap from these experiences? Well, the Explique spirits of of making about four or five adaptations with with Bernard rose closed at up to issues with it. I was ecstasy which is neck at that was your big break. I I like. I don't know that I remember seeing that movie. Well, that's that's the death of you in a lurch right. Then then, then we made boxing day, which is mastering man that we did the crisis. In ASA we did the two jacks, which is, which is the two stars. I did that with my nephew, but what I, what I really took from from Bernard is his sort of unapologetic manner. He doesn't wait for anybody to talent whether you can make a film or not. He just starts here and then he's tries to raise some money here and there, but he's kind of like a like a punk rock sense. He's he's he's like you starting his interviews in your garage right, yeah, yeah yeah. It doesn't do it. Yes, do it, you, don't you stop you stop! You stop the with the concern about who's who's, going to release it, and and where are you how the backing is? It is a range financially, but you know that makes it difficult, because you then need to get it
out there in your hand, and but it's but it's it's it's it's a great unapologetic approach. A MIKE Figgis was the same. You know, and so that's that's what I got from the my father had to play this play the studio system. We like. I was good. It was like his legacy yeah, but we don't have to do anymore if you've got if you've got a guitar and you got a good melody, a gash on the garage and send it out. Yes, good it'll probably hit me yet maybe maybe yeah yeah yeah, but when you got out of you know, you've done it. I I do think that on that day I mean it's a good question received on it. That's true, you've, you've completed it and you've done that you've done the the work of your heart yeah, but it is an interesting question about the way the the fragmented media works out in this sort of this, of ability to self generating. Put things out in the world is at the the idea that like well. If it's great it will, it will find its place. I would but I wonder how I necessarily not you're right. I wonder how many geniuses are out there submerged in not necessary, yeah, absolutely right and you the stars, do need to align, and sometimes they don't the workers still possibly regret marketable. I mean how how many, how many great painters are out there, that we don't know how many events of on costs are out there, that we don't know why all right? Yes, it would, but there is a lack of gate keepers now so yeah and they were the ones that determine things, but that, but also there's the other side of that. Unfortunately, is not unlike some painters that you, you know. If something exists out there in the world yeah we
at the time it was released, your created, it may not get any recognition, but you never know fifteen twenty years down the line, someone finds it like this guy was a g died destitute, yes, but what a gift? Yes, also also true right, absolutely true, yeah up, but you know when, when you have, when you have them the the machinery in place, I here I have a film out this this this this these past couple weeks, I'll call angel has fallen and that's that's just that's what Jerry Butler and that's that's a franchise and and the just it's it's like a freight train. You know it's really it's it's! It's coming you cats, to stop it, which is you know, it's wonderful to be part of. That is great to be a number and the number one film for a couple weeks. What is it? Is it a marvel movie or some? No, it's it's a. He plays a of a security security for the president, and this is the third installment. The Olympus of fall in London has fallen out, angels fall no and yeah I mean I don't even look at this cast, don't even know what this movie is, where my living the huge movie it's a huge movie, is a huge success, but my point in movie, theaters and home and and and practically every that that is actually my point. It's in practically every movie theater and my film. The last photograph is playing in one theater nationwide, the Santa Monica, to allow only theater at your strategy, that's Abdul for one week to get a flight for one week and and- and you know then it'll go on the on the video demand and all all all all of the digital platforms at its center, which I I'm I'm perfectly happy with this phone, because it's there's something quite private about the expo, the
parents of that movie, and I thought that might be true yeah and I I I'm not yeah. I didn't kind of goes against my sensitive. What with the it should be, but it is it and I'm here I'm delighted that it's going to be up on the big screen for a week for a for a week or so no yeah, and I'm just in a movie like that. Were you like you just to be in a theater at all? I guess is yeah it's an exciting thing, so there's no chance that it will pick up more theaters or you don't. I don't think so. I think it's all. It's all geared towards the one week, theatrical release, yeah and then and then into your home, so that what was the journey, this movie, the white it takes so long, it's it. What did you do? The festivals have? What was the process of the last photograph? It would? We did the festival yeah we, we did a number phone festival, which were very very poignant evening with a Alistair Stewart who was one of the few newscasters who announced the Lockerbie, and I want one. I guess it is really sort of relevant in how like there are these tragedies that happen through acts of terrorism that that that seem to require of the victims, the survivors. You know
live in a sort of blame. You know to to find some sort of justice like a a like it's relevant, because the shootings like you said because there's so many things like this that create these type of the the families of victims I want to fight was complicated. We don't really know where the blame lies. I know what I am very well very many conspiracy theories. It was attached to Libya initially out right. Well, you know finally, I've. I believe it was Cheney who negotiated the deal with Qaddafi, where Gaddafi gave money to the families of the victims right as a means to lift sanctions, yeah of and and then Blair and and and and Bush were able to have. Business would be again right. So you know he. He good office
accepted the blame by paying by paying the families, but never actually said it was him. So we don't. We don't really know there was a man who was prosecuted in schottland who was released, brought back home to Libya because he was dying of cancer. We don't really know we don't really know but it's. What we do know is this was one of the first terrorist hits of that.
Of that size of that with slight many Americans MIA. I think the the biggest terrorist act over english soil right and it was the the the beginning of of of what we of of of what has happened, sure so, okay, she do the event without stir in yes, I was magical and there and then the other other event was well a screen at Mill Valley, which was during the fires yeah. So so that was that was that was that was that was tough, but everybody was where would he was very well? I don't know about willing. They were open right to a film about loss, yeah, interesting and then like so then, where it is. Is that what it? What what is the process of?
But I don't know- I have talked to Sophie humor about her recent documentary that the blue note documentary. Then I I sort of talk to her about that to help her in it, because I love the movie, get it out there in the world. I work with that Lynn, Shelton, independent film directors great, and we did a small movie but like so it goes to festivals and you try to sell it or get a distributor or how yes exactly it. You you got. You got goes to festivals, you hope you'll, who financed it original private finance unit that came through Simon's there, okay, a medical hounds rousing, yeah and- Yes, investor yeah, I'm Vester rather charitable. I think they all are white, because the independent film yeah yeah, I we had with the field in cost than cost a lot of money. But still you know you need the money yeah. You hope that you gonna good good
reviews that the audience is is is something our supportive yeah and that there was a baby a few, a few people there that might want decide to pick up the phone right and we were. We were lucky enough to to to find freestyle yeah who are really should force wow. And that was a two year process, if not longer, yeah, probably longer right. So let's talk about these. Let's talk about these now the Marvel movies from certainly so the You were in x men origins of Wolverine all right. So you know when you get one of these roles like a role like that in an or and and what the I think, the other ones at all. By the way I loved I loved, Stan and Ollie. I I'm so.
I think at anybody involved in film should see that movie yeah and you were great- is how Roache yet was not it's not a huge Barbara's, a good part yeah, I know of so so I I again as far as like you know, tasting the nectar off of different. That was that was a perfect example of me being able to go. There work for two three days, yeah and and see these two guys who just were remarkable crazy and you know from the per statics to their movements. It was, I was gobsmacked, I I I I forgot my dialogue because they were just. They looked so come believe that flow, unbelievable and the beat the mannerisms yes hi yeah, I mean both of Macugen was like the detail to Stan was like this twitchy. I mean it was tricky business yeah,
if it's heart was heartwarming, isn't it I loved it. I love that movie. So when you get these like as an actor 'cause I mean- maybe I'm wrestling with my own trip here, but whatever you may think, of movies or what their, what their place in culture is, or, if they're doing actual damage to the form you as an after you make a choice, is an actor right. I mean there's money involved, but I mean we're not talking a fortune, but you want to work and you know when I guess not, unlike your father directing you know, movies that he may not have wanted to direct in order to stay in the game and do the stuff he wants to do you know each somehow. I guess show but with as much as you as possible and an engaging it as you know, as an artist that you are with- judging it,
but ok as the the, the number of people I've met, who's, who said oh Annie was when I was a kid I loved your movie or you know, the entertainment value that film house to lift you out of your daily right possibly or or or, or or or life, where your your suffering in the you need a little lightness. You need something to lift you up a little bit and- and I think I think, to judge these films too harshly is possibly unfair. What I try to do from an acting point of view, as I just try to find the key into the character MIA with wonder woman, for example, general Ludendorff, yes,
in story terms. He basically wants to exterminate mankind right right, ok, yeah, but in truth he was a real. He was a real man. He existed Ludendorff, he was humiliated in battle. He lost his son on the german front, and it's all about you know. Which we are seeing a lot of today that nationalistic pride an once you and I spoke to Patty Jenkins about this, and once we started to get her head around this guy and uh Stand him understood is the MAC and nation right. Then I was able to portray the vote. The harder in and in in in a more entertaining way
and and go a little bit more arch right with with him when you understood his own heart break. Yes, yes, however, sinister yeah that that that may that may let's one way to go yeah and- and you know- and I have a line on a film that I did call the constant gardener when my character says well, the patients would have died anyway, he's talking about app, cooking Kenyans who are dying of aids in their experimenting drugs on them, and and I found that line so horrific, but if I could say it and mean yeah, then maybe I have the character down. So that's what I'm looking for I'm looking for, I'm I'm. We can ask a scalpel out, dissecting and prodding and seeing what the how these guys aren't, how they feel and and and and and not necessarily
honoring their evil right doings, but but but understanding where, where where where it comes from and- and I think that is great novels, paintings, poetry, it is able to do, is able to do. That is a is a you're able to understand other than you right or or break down this, this thing of them and us right and and and that's that's the I find that of of fastening from from from from a psychological point of view as well right. So you just rise to the challenge and and figure out like when you get offered these roles that are broad. You know what the you know, what the guts of it is yeah, but I mean I kind of have to to to to do justice via a for the film. Primarily, I have to figure out a way in doubt. If I can't find it, then I can't really too right. I shouldn't be doing, and I think you sent out because it comes down to sometimes just a script, reading of a line in the script like if I can wrap my brain around this. Yes, yes, I'm a story. My father's, with with with Katharine Hepburn when he was making african queen a calf happen, was
couldn't figure out. The character really could see if she was having trouble with it. So she goes up to my father's John I don't know. I don't know how this woman is also my father, paused a moment said, looked at her and said: Eleanor Roosevelt okay and sometimes that's all activities, it's just a little key and and and and and and and and and to walk with a contract. That's why it's so now! Okay, so now I get it that that I I I I now I I we're. I think I got a just go out watch some of these movies. I I've been pushing back on them. Now angel is fallen like that's a whole franchise, no idea it even existed right you're in all of 'em know only only only only this last last one did you see it.
I thought, yeah you like it. Yes, I like it. It is, as I said, the antithesis of of the last photograph is not fun a shoot. Em up position about movie, but what I liked about a my key into that, actually and and and but what a lot of the other actors are are are are portraying our men that are damaged from war man that that cannot, part of what we consider. A civilized environment. They've been trained to to be lions and they do not understand a peaceful state, the the they need the adrenaline to to feel alive right. We took grass moving in the feels for them, as as as as a as a potential enemy. That's lurking below right right there on another level and- and that was what was interesting to me because
cool alright well, that ok, so that I seem to be moving towards us engaging in this in these movies and in just being, I think, when I'm afraid of it I'll just I'll just love them, well, that's right, and then I'm going to be that guy that guy who rails against them these are so fun. I don't want to be the fungi. Well, I tell you it's been great. Talking to Danny was great talking to you thanks for coming, and I you know I will
I will I share the love of that movie. Have your movie thanks great hearing the stories and we'll see where it and we don't know where it's going to end up after the after the phone they'll be on, I tunes and it'll be on all all the all the digital. Yes, exactly it'll be a pay per view and direct tv and then we'll go to the streaming, as does the a and all the on all on all the usual street streaming tremendous! Well thanks for coming over. Thank you very much for having me okay again, the last photograph now in theaters and on demand. Don't forget, there are a lot of things to celebrate these days in pop culture and Pepsi can take all of your celebration to the next level whether your favorite show returns for new season. Your favorite director releases a new movie. Your favorite band drops a new album or, if you're like me, when you're about to go on stage whatever it's time to celebrate, stand crack open a Pepsi diet, Pepsi Pepsi, the official sponsor the NFL, reminds you to always be celebrating, and now I will play my Stratocaster for you for those you asking me about settings on this thing. I'm really just going straight into the old fifty eight fender Deluxe, with an echo Plex, paddle and different levels of body the net, but no Echoplex that'll only get one about to you. Now, just a crybaby straight up: Crybaby WA, a no frills Wa Wa.
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Transcript generated on 2019-10-18.