Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky. His films include Alien, Repo Man, Pretty in Pink, Red Dawn, Cool Hand Luke, Wild at Heart, and Escape from New York.He stars in HBO’s Big Love.
That doormat? That doormat? It was a gift. Got that years and years ago. “Welcome UFOs and crews.”
Churches. Catholics. Jews. Christians. Protestants. Mormons. Muslims. Scientologists. They’re all macrocosms of the ego. When man began to think he was a separate person with a separate soul, it created a violent situation.
Everyone wants an answer. I think it was Gertrude Stein who wrote, “There is no answer, there never was an answer, there’ll never be an answer. That’s the answer.” It’s a hard sell, but that’s the ultimate truth.
For Ride in the Whirlwind, Jack came to me and said, “Harry I’ve got this part for you. His name is Blind Dick Reilly and he’s the head of the gang. He’s got a patch over one eye and a derby hat.” Then he says, “But I don’t want you to do anything. Let the wardrobe play the character.” Which meant, just play yourself. That became my whole approach.
Awareness is its own action.
We had a scene in One from the Heart. Francis Ford Coppola comes up to me and he says, “Harry Dean, why don’t you direct this scene?” Can you imagine that?
Ten seconds from now you don’t know what you’re gonna say or think. So who’s in charge?
I make my living asking questions, too. Acting, you ask questions.
There’s no answer to what made Paul Newman a great actor.
A friend is somebody who doesn’t lie. My friend Logan, great guy, said to me once, “Lie to me once, it’s strike one. Like to me twice, it’s strike three.”
Jack Nicholson could be president, easy.
Marilyn Monroe was used and tossed away. I told Madonna, “You’re not like that. Don’t be.”
I don’t know why I’ve never married. Again, I had nothing to do with it. I just evolved, you know.
No, I’m not curious about anything. I’m just letting it all happen.
There’s no answer to the state of Kentucky. Again, you’re looking for an answer and there is none.
I only eat so I can smoke and stay alive.
The Ten Commandments. What is that? That’s what they do in the army. Give you orders. “Thou shalt not kill?” And we immediately set on killing each other — in spades.
Most people as they get older don’t talk about it. But the sex drive lessens. You’re not driven by it.
I’d love to meet Gandhi. And Christ. I’m sure he’d be interesting. And a lot different than a lot of people would think.
The void, the concept of nothingness, is terrifying to most people on the planet. And I get anxiety attacks myself. I know the fear of that void. You have to learn to die before you die. You give up, surrender to the void, to nothingness.
Oh, yeah, Marlon and I talked about this stuff all the time. On the phone once, he said, “What do you think of me?” And I said, “I think you’re nothing.” And he goes, “Bahahaha!”
Is there an interesting way to go? Who gives a fuck? You’re already gone.
The only fear I have is how long consciousness is gonna hang on after my body goes. I just hope there’s nothing. Like there was before I was born.
Anybody else you’ve interviewed bring these things up?
Hang on, I gotta take this call. “Hey, brother. That’s great, man. Yeah, I’m being interviewed by this Esquire guy. We’re talking about nothing. I’ve got him well-steeped in nothing right now. He’s stopped asking questions.”