Danny Huston – You talkin’ to me?

The son of Hollywood dynasty talks punks, the devil and words like ‘awesome’…

Are you talkin’ to me?
Yes, I suppose I am talking to you, kid. What I understand was Robert De Niro repeated that line a lot during filming and it turned into this wonderful mantra of potential violence.

Do you feel lucky, punk?
I suppose that’s Eastwood, isn’t it? Yes, I do, I feel terribly lucky to be working on films with punks who I respect. And really that’s what life’s about. If you can be working with the punks that you enjoy and respect in your business, then you’re halfway there, punk.

What if you could go back in time and take all those hours of pain and darkness and replace them with something better?
Well it’s darkness that really makes one quest for light. And for something better. Without darkness, as we all know there is no light, so really that’s what we’re looking for. But what’s better than to sit in a movie theatre and it’s dark, and sense that projector beam going on that really makes you enter into another world, which is hopefully an eye-opener into human nature and the human condition?

Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
There is no better place to dance with the devil /other/ than in the pale moonlight. That reminds me of one of my favourite films of my grandfather’s, /The Devil and Daniel Webster/. When the devil is trying to bargain for a human’s soul, he says: “You can’t touch it, you can’t feel it, you can’t see it. Seems to me like a good bargain.”

What’s the last thing that you do remember?
The thing that I’ve forgotten and cannot recall. There’s a fun song that Burgess and Meredith used to sing, which was “I can’t remember his name, but it was a fun bottle of Bourgelais”.

You either surf or fight…
I was working on X-Men Origins: Wolverine in Australia and I was staying at the beach for a couple of months. So I decided that I’d take up surfing, and I suddenly understood words such as ‘awesome’, words that I was never really that familiar with. Being really a very bad surfer, I had a few moments of joy standing on a very long, soft board. Basically, surfing towards a charming little bay. But I stood up for a few brief seconds and finally the word ‘awesome’ made sense for me. It wasn’t a fight, it was kind of harmonious.

Why so serious?
I agree, why so serious? I think one should really have a healthy appreciation for irony in one’s life. At times, when the greatest of disasters befall us, it’s really time to laugh.

I think my favourite example of that is my grandfather in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, when the wind takes the gold back into the mountains where it came from. And my grandfather’s character laughs at the irony of it all.

He was a big influence on me. He’d always wanted to play Othello on stage, and really was quite thrilled when he’d reached a point in his career when he could do that off Broadway. My father stayed up all night to read the reviews. Of course luck had it that they were awful. So my father went to my grandfather’s home to break the news. But the door opened and my grandfather was laughing, had the reviews in his hands, literally tears streaming down his cheeks. And it was that laughter that they used for the end of Sierra Madre.

When man meets a force he can’t destroy, he destroys himself.
Right. Man really is a destructive force, is he not? We, at times, think that we can save things that are far more powerful than we are. I’m interested in the environment and I’m interested in saving the Earth, but I think at times it’s a little arrogant to think that human beings can save the Earth. It’s more the Earth that will destroy us. We have to be careful because we have a tendency to be a destructive force just by our very own make-up.

Via Total Film

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