Recently, I spoke with Lance Henriksen for one of my writing haunts, FEARnet.com. It was a fascinating conversation — like it always is — mostly centered around his new book, which releases today (his birthday). You can check out the interview here, but since Lance is such a wonderful storyteller, I thought it’d be cool to share a few random/amusing/thought-provoking snippets that didn’t make it into my FEARnet piece. Writer John Kenneth Muir also recently posted some interview outtakes, and they’re well worth a peek.
Happy birthday, friend.
On Getting Comfortable With Being
“I’ve always felt that because we have two lobes in our brain, that they’re always at war … One of the ironic twists to any pursuit that I’ve ever done is I’ve either succeeded or failed, but in the transition — between making the mistakes, and falling on my face, and something happening that’s really good — there’s always that war that seems to keep you off balance. And that’s just in my life, I’m not saying that’s for everybody. I don’t personally know really when I’ve succeeded or failed, and ironically when you write a book it’s there in black and white. You can study it. I mean, it’s literally a tangible thing. I feel like that’s my process, and it’s just slowly revealing itself. I didn’t set out to write a book and suddenly a theme took over. The theme took over because that’s the way I seem to live. I think being a human being is an amazing phenomenon, because we live with so many defects … ”
On Creating Challenges
“I worked with Ed Harris on Appaloosa, and I watched him have to direct a movie. And he’s the kind of actor that has to live the character. So here’s a guy directing, living the character, and directing it through that character, and I went, ‘Holy shit.’ I saw him do a few things and I went, ‘Man, if it was directed at me, I’d be the most grateful guy in the world.’ Because a challenge on an artistic level, is probably one of the sweetest events in the world for an actor … There are a lot of good actors and a lot of bad actors. And the way that they’re bad actors is when they’re shutting off. They’re just manipulating to get what they want, but they’re missing the one primary thing, and that is the relationship you’re having at that moment … ”
” … I’ve had a distinct feeling in my youth that I was going to come and go, and no one was ever going to know I was there. I remember somebody reciting a Dylan Thomas poem to me and it was something like: ‘Wherever I went in those lamb white days, I left my quivering prints.’ And what I got out of that was just … you can come and go and never be heard from again, like the billions or millions that have already inhabited the earth.”
” … I see in pictures. I don’t think in words … ”
Dining With Lance
“I have a real revulsion to white dinner plates. To me it’s like people eating out of their kitchen sink, or off their toilet bowl. A bunch of white porceleine — it’s soulless. Food is the most nurturing thing in the world, so why do we have to connect being sanitary when we have such a beautiful, artistic thing like food?”
“You know I keep talking about this — and it is romantic and it is naïve — but, I keep talking about a neighborhood that I’ve always wanted. A real neighborhood. I had it for a very short time when I was a kid, and I really liked it. That you could walk down the street and go, ‘Hey. Hi.’ Or a store that you always went into, and it was a comfortable place. I remember there was a little soda fountain place in New York, and he was always playing Fats Domino, and these songs on the jukebox that were so comforting. They were part of the era. I even knew it then … I look back on those things and they’re very comforting images. I hope the book will create a neighborhood … ”
” … I’m hoping that the best work that I will do in my life is still ahead of me … ”
Read other author’s entries in the Lance Henriksen Blogathon over here.