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The Unseen Things Series


Duane L. Martin is the author of the adult contemporary fantasy series, Unseen Things.

You can find out all about the series including where to purchase the books in ebook format on the official website.
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Interviews: An Interview with Larry Holden - By David Stephenson
Posted on Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 23:00:00 Mountain Standard Time by Duane



In what is doubtlessly the most profane and x-rated interview in Rogue Cinema history, our UK correspondent David “a bit tardy” Stephenson talks to Larry Holden about what it is to be a modern film-maker, his thoughts on the industry, the necessary evil of working in television, and what it’s like to work with Hollywood’s finest like Al Pacino and Christopher Nolan on films like Batman Begins, Insomnia and Memento. His stories about getting drunk with Johnny Knoxville alone make this an essential read. (That, and seeing David being verbally torn a new one…)


* * *


 Firstly, why not tell us a little about yourself for our readers who may be unfamiliar with your work?

Wow... not sure how to answer that one... I'm just a filmmaker and a "sometime actor" trying, as always, to raise money for the next film, “All Sun And Little White Flowers,” and emailing you these answers from the lovely yet nasty little floating piece of dirt in the Mediterranean called Gozo, where I’m listening to gunshots right outside my window... at six in the morning on a Sunday. Incredible.

They call themselves “bird hunters,” but I’ve got another name for them. Anyway, sorry, I'm a little grumpy and goofy at the same time because these fuckers woke me up. They tell me, "It's part of our culture." And I always say, "Oh, is this part of America now, too? You guys have small dicks, too, eh? Need a big gun to swing around and impress the ladies... and yourselves? Wow, those borders just keep growing and growing, don’t they?"

Alright, well, in the sole interest of publicizing our fundraiser in London on 10 November... I will carry on, and try and answer your questions, David. But be forewarned, I’m feeling a bit feisty and self-righteous today... But that can be fun, too, so... Alright, next question... next wacky little winding river of an answer...



Could you tell us a little more about the fundraiser taking place in London, which aims at raising funds for All Sun And Little White Flowers?

All the details can be had at our website: http://www.holdenautomotive.com.
Or at Gabrielle's website: http://www.gabrielleamies.com.

This is all her fucking idea. She's my UK producer and one of our actresses. She's a gem, that one. The whole package. She put it all together. I'm just showing up and running my mouth, basically, and meeting a bunch of folks that we hope will both continue to support us, believe in us, and maybe join up with us in some capacity. We’re always looking for good people. And we're also raffling off a role in the next film. As well as dinner with us the following night. And, hey, there's free booze. Ought to be a fucking blast. I hope it is. I want them all to have a good time. Just a bunch of great people all coming out and helping us raise money. It's what it's all about.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared to death to fly into London and do it. Speechify. Stand up there, and speak. Fuck. Probably make an ass out of myself, and have all the cynics throw tomatoes and cucumbers, but... What can I do? I said, yes, and tickets have been sold. I'm really nervous. I'm not too comfortable in public. Especially when I'm the main attraction, and I’m not sure why. I'll talk your ears off, sure, but while we’re sitting around a living room, with a joint and a bottle of wine. Not on a fucking stage. Spotlight and microphone and all that. Fuck.

The question and answer session will be easier, and more fun for us all. You know, some conversations. Not a fucking speech. How I get myself into these things I'll never know. Well, I do.

Obviously, I'll do just about anything to make my films. This all started a few years ago in Hawaii. Probably after one of those aforementioned joint-and-bottle-of-wine conversations. Another one of my producers, Adam Shea, who has now joined a cult in Oregon, I think - working with me will do that, they say – came up with an idea to auction a role away on eBay in 2004, when one of our investors had to pull out at the last minute due to being served divorce papers. He was only joking, though. But I was desperate. And that worked like a charm. Got a great actress and were able to make the film. Though, after that actress eventually saw "My Father's House" and "Tucked In His Knuckles," the film she helped finance through by winning that auction, she's never been back in touch to claim her role. Which I find hysterical. I mean, I think they scared her. Or, God forbid, something’s happened to her.

Either way, after I sent her the movies I haven’t heard back from her. And what in the hell would be scary about my movies? Anyway, I don’t get it if that’s the case. Hell, I'm just getting started. I mean, these films aren't shocking or life-altering or re-inventions of the wheel or whatever. I wish they were, but they’re not. We’ll get there, I hope. Some day. But hell, each film is just a guy trying to sketch and learn, that’s all. I mean, I can’t simply crumble up the film and toss it in the wastebasket. Each sketch has to be shown to the public in the film world. That’s just the way it is.

It’s great, though, because all our reviews are either full of love, or full of hate. And polarized reactions don't bother me in the least. Quite the opposite. That’s success. I love it. I think it's a good sign we're working from our hearts and just making whatever we want to. We’re not caught in some vain popularity contest. And when people only love or hate your stuff, and there's no middle-ground, vanilla reactions to it - well, I think that's the best review you can get.

But thank God my father taught me not to wait until the review comes out to have a good time. Meaning, make yourself happy before you let the hound loose and people start kicking it in the ribs or patting it on the back. I’m happy with "My Father's House," the first one. Warts and all. Like all of them. But I love "Tucked In His Knuckles." But you always love them when they're puppies. But "All Sun And Little White Flowers" will get to sleep in our bed soon, and "Tucked" will have to be gently kicked out to instead sleep on the floor. Just the way it works. Meaning, I am already starting to love “All Sun And Little White Flowers” more than “Tucked.”

"My Father's House" was both a pleasure and a joy, and a nauseating, living hell to make. They all are. But we're definitely getting better and better at enjoying it all, my team and I. Hanne and I. We get less and less spooked by curve balls and infidels that have somehow gotten inside our perimeter.

Fuck, where was I? Sorry, David. Wow, this speech is going to be a disaster if it’s anything like this interview. “Come and see the film man unravel onstage!”

Anyway, Gabrielle came with this idea, for this fundraiser, and I said, "No fucking way. Uh uh. I hate performing in front of a live audience. And just standing up there and talking? Fuck that.
About what? And who would pay to hear whatever nonsense I might ramble on about?" Etcetera. This went on for months. But she stuck on me and kept saying she thought it was a good idea, and I was in the neighbourhood still. But she really got me to agree to all this by promising me that I could talk about whatever the hell I wanted to. Before we do the question
and answer stuff. Which is probably to make up for the speech, I guess.

So, my producer Glyn Carragher is gonna talk for about ten minutes about whatever the fuck he's going to talk about. He won't tell me. Asshole. And then I'm going to talk a little while longer than that - surprise, surprise - but not about what anybody really cares to hear. Just what's on my mind, what I think is missing from us all more and more these days – namely passion and joy while we're all creating. Because so little is allowed to come from our hearts. Because it doesn’t pay, they say. How we've clubbed the filmmaking seal to death and how I think we can make it more fun, more worthwhile, the whole so-called process. To us all. Corny absurdities like that from a stuttering twit. Yep, all that, and the detailed directions on how to find both the fountain of youth and where Jimmy Hoffa’s buried (hint: Think “Big White House.”), and a slideshow of Christopher Nolan nude and in compromising positions. Stuff like that. Just kidding.

Sorry, like I said, I’m in a weird mood this morning. Anyway, I’ll bore them to tears with pretentious and corny babblings, then we’ll all get good and drunk and do a long question and answer about whatever they all want to talk about. Then we’ll raffle off the role in the film after “All Sun...,” called “On Kentucky Avenue.”

It’s about a talking toad who meets a really sweet iguana on the way to a dinner party being thrown at Manuel Noriega's old mansion. Love and just plain ol' silliness. A real thrill-a-minute barn burner that's grounded in reality, but takes place in a galaxy far, far away. Sorry. Again, I'm feeling a tad stupid this morning. Blame those fucking bird hunting cavemen out there in the dusty, polluted fields of Gozo.

Anyway, it all ends with that nude slideshow featuring Chris Nolan. Just kidding. Well, kinda. Anyway, just buy the damn film when it comes out, David, and find what you find. And then the hero walked away from that question, and went up river, on to the next question...



Alrighty then. You’re known both for your acting work, and your role as a filmmaker. Which of the two do you prefer and why?

Making my own films. I've never considered myself much of a performer of any sort. Acting or otherwise. Maybe only slightly better than average on my very best days. Even though I think I make up for any shortcomings with a very strong work ethic. I’m not obsessive or anything, but I do pride myself on busting my ass to give every single director what he or she wants. And maybe I get there sometimes, maybe sometimes I don’t. Each gig is different. Different environment. And each with different missions, believe it or not.

Anyway, they know I’m always trying, at least, that I’m not a quitter. Which is why I think directors tend to use me more than once. Nolan’s roughed me up a good bit physically on the three films I’ve done with him. And Marc Chiatt, who directed me on “Every Dog Has Its Day” can testify to that, I think, that I’m a trooper - even though I didn’t like what we were making. I endured a lot for him. And I was honored to.

But I’m not Gary Oldman or Ray Winstone when it comes to acting. Far from those guys, and far from most committed actors out there. And, with Oldman, I can say the same thing about when it comes to filmmaking. I mean, did you see his directing debut, “Nil By Mouth?” Holy shit. Amazing. Anyway, all I can say that I do well is try hard. To give them what they want, and also do something real. Preferably at the same time. But I’m held back by both my limitations as an actor at times, and by what I’m given to work with. Guys like that, though, like Oldman and Winstone, they have enough acting muscle to rise above it, above any situation it seems. I’ve never been that strong.

Shit, I’m rambling again. Fuck. Sorry. I try and write whatever words pop into my mind... comes from trying to write dialogue all the damn time... Every burp or fart makes it into the sentence sometimes... Uh, okay, acting, directing... Directing, because it’s very similar to writing, I guess. Which is my favourite thing to do. I’m a better writer than I am anything else, whatever that means. But that’s because I’ve been doing it longer. All my life in one way or another.

Started way back when, like most of us, I imagine - writing my own material as I stood there lying to my parents, trying to get out of an ass-beating, or having to stay in my room for the whole fucking summer. Then it led to writing on the page. Short stories. Poems and songs. Some of the guys in my high school used to pay me to write love letters to their girls. I loved it all. And with filmmaking I get to write all the time, really, just in different kinds of ways. Not literally, sure, not necessarily by way of pounding on the typer. But I’m writing everything from the mood on the set, to what the room should look like, to the damn lunch menu... Some of it I like doing, some of it I don’t, sure.

My first mission, after being a rock star when I was a teenager was getting to write all the time if I wanted to. And I get to do that when I’m making my films. And I haven’t succeeded yet when it comes to the vibe on my set, but I’m trying to get some of the feeling I get when I’m writing into the productions. That feeling of being surprised, engaged in a way that it seems like you’re not making the film, you’re in it. As it happens. I know, sounds crazy the way I just explained it, but... Okay, this is what I mean - I talked with Quentin Tarantino a few times when Hanne and I were still living in Hollywood, and even though I'm not a fan of his films, I thought he nailed it when we he was remembering aloud the time he was writing "Reservoir Dogs" and suddenly realized that Michael Madsen's character had a knife in his boot. As in, “Shit, I didn’t even know he had a knife tucked in his boot...”

That’s why I like to write. And that’s why I’m trying to make things a little more mysterious when it comes to the productions - who knows what, who sees what, that kind of thing. Like being a mad chemist. But one that really wants to be trusted with all those test tubes. And I always trying to convey that, that I should be trusted and not judged more, but you can’t always get there with every actor. I’ve learned that. Learned the hard way.

Anyway, I’m rambling yet once again, I know... Sorry. Blame it on my love of writing. Hell... it’s
just another form of writing to me, filmmaking. Simple as that. And I need an outlet for all that needs to get out, it seems. I was always the kid in his room lost in his own imagination, and I was never ever bored in there. I was a daydreamer in the biggest way you can imagine. That’s what I did, all the time, dream. When I wasn't actually plotting to run away and literally write a new story for myself, that is. Meaning, without getting into it too deep, I think being able to live in that world, in my imagination, saved me, and is the main reason my spirit survived in the house I grew up in. If I had lived in their reality, I probably would have killed myself. Seriously. Don’t ever underestimate to the ability to use your imagination in this world. That’s all I have to say about that.

Anyway, acting and directing... think I answered that, right? Many times over. Sure, okay, with the right people - namely people that really care about what they're doing and me, as both a human and as an artist - I have a blast when I’m acting. I mean, last year I acted in my favourite production ever. "Downtime" by Rob Tiffin. Love that film more than anything I've ever acted in before. Hasn't come out yet, but it's a gem. That kid did a masterful job. He wrote me some kind of fan letter or something when "Batman Begins" came out. Young guy, living at home with his mom, told me he wanted to be a filmmaker. Before you know it, we're talking on the phone. I felt like the big brother there for awhile, it was great. Finally, I said, "Listen, I like you, man, how about I help ya? Really? How much money do you need to raise?" Etcetera. And he said the best way was for me to be in his film, that he could raise what he needed if I signed on the dotted line. And I did, gladly. That kid cares. He really does. Sensitive kid, with a helluva future.

Shit, I did that whole movie for less than I normally make in a day. And it was an honour to do
so, even though I could always use some extra money, just like anybody else. See? It was a very tiny production, and none of that mattered in the end, of course. Look how it turned out - ends up being my favourite film. Lots of heart. Something I'm so proud to be in.

That's something my agents have never understood, of course. Surprise fucking surprise, it's all money, money, money with them. Staying "hot" or at least “lukewarm” or whatever they were saying I was - which I didn’t believe for a second, anyway. "Why in the hell are you leaving Hollywood right now, Lar, when the jobs are just now getting bigger? You just worked with Al Pacino, you fucking maniac. What in the hell do you think you’re doing? Oh, you're afraid of success, aren't you? You hate yourself, don't you?" And I would always be laughing my ass off, saying, "No, I’m just afraid of car salesmen like you, and there’s nothing else you can sell me. I’ll see ya around. There’s a voice a-calling me, and I think it’s saying something about there being more than this. Bye, bye.”

I don’t give a fuck how that comes off to anybody. It’s true. I had more money and everything, maybe, but I wasn’t happy. Far from it. And the end of the day, most of the time I was doing inconsequential roles in a lot of inconsequential films and shows. They know it, and I know it. So I split. Went on a little world tour the past four years, trying to figure some things out. And anyway, to quote one of the people that made me want to at least try acting way back when, Marlon Brando - from "On The Waterfront" - "A couple of extra potatoes. That's all I've ever wanted." And I'm able to do that, to get that. A few extra potatoes. I act just enough to keep at least a few of the wolves from the door, and the rest of the time I'm still sitting on the floor in my room, watching some movie I'm writing. Well, not literally, but you get the point, I hope.

Fuck, what a long-winded answer, eh? What did I tell you? Writing, talking... I love it. My poor wife, eh? Had to listen to all this babbling all the time. And my actors. Poor things. But the doctors are actually advising me to now take a long break from typing because I've got this carpal tunnel syndrome shit now, bad. Hurts like hell. And most of my friends are getting sweeter with the way they tell me to shut the hell up. So, we’re working on a cure. Sorry for rambling... I can’t stop myself sometimes. Sorry. On to the next question...



 There’s a lot of publicity surrounding your up-and-coming film “All Sun And Little White Flowers” – could you tell us more about that? What can we expect to see from this film?

What? No, I can't sorry. I know this will sound pretentious as hell, but, fuck it. We stopped saying much about them at all, a long time ago; other than maybe sharing the title and when and where we're in-production, when we’re actually shooting them. I know, I know, who the fuck do we think we are? I get it. I get it. But it's not that. It's just that we're doing what we wished more people would do. Let us take our own trip with the art. I mean, give us some room in there, too, Bubba.

We don’t want to know everything you seem bent on telling us, Mister Artist, sir. Meaning, keeping it all a secret has less to do with inflated egos or whatever, and marketing, and more to do with our tastes, really. How we like to watch films, Hanne and I. And make them. We don't read reviews or the backs of the DVD covers. We take chances and try and discover new artists.

And that's why we've also recently decided to stop putting reviews on the dvd insert card, for that same reason. It says too much. They say too much. They limit what the viewer might feel or think or respond to. And we're so damn lucky now. Somehow, some way, we've really developed some kind of minor cult following over at Holden Automotive, and they've spoiled us completely. They've shown us so much support and faith... Meaning, our goal was never to conquer the world. Hanne and I like it just where we've got it. If it grows, it grows. Cool. But we have enough supporters already to at least keep the lights on without me having to act.

Still need some more to get through the productions, but we’re well on our way. And not even six months after hanging out our shingles. Me at Holden Automotive, and Hanne at her online clothing store. She’s a killer fashion designer; though she can’t seem to save me from myself when I get dressed.

Anyway, we’ve got support from people out there that don't need to know a fucking thing about our projects, other than when they’re available on DVD. It’s incredible. That’s what happened when “Tucked In His Knuckles” came out. We didn’t even bother to send it to festivals, really. No real press. And it has sold like crazy, in my opinion. My accountant is far from impressed, but he’s like those agents of mine, just another fear-based, financial gnat at the Lord’s picnic.

Different people from all over the world stopping buy and picking up one or both of the available films. No sales to chains, or to conglomerates. Just to the kind of people I wish I could meet sometimes. Most of the people we meet on our travels don’t feel our pain, as they say. They don’t get what we might be on about, perched far up on our high horses, complaining there’s not enough art out there, not enough artists to inspire us, or the world, help us all grow. I mean, how many times can you watch the same movies. And I’m not talking about Hollywood shit. I’m talking about the killers. The soul food. No matter how great Herzog and Korine and Cassavetes and Gallo and Bresson and Ozu and... Bela Tarr and Tarkovsky are... Or Alan Clarke, or... who else do I fucking love? Paul Thomas Anderson. Wes Anderson. Those guys are least coming from some part of their hearts. They’d be making those films of theirs whether they were getting paid or not, I think.

Anyway, no matter how fucking great they all are, these people, sometimes you want something fresh, something new. Some new kid on the block with a swagger because he knows he’s talking true, not because he’s at the top of the charts. Because he’s got his own map. Like Rob Tiffin now. That kid I was telling you about, the one who directed “Downtime.” He’s starting to get a little swagger now. Hey, got to love yourself first to be able to love anybody else, right? Meaning, that swagger comes from the inside, not from what anybody else says or thinks. I don’t get this whole waiting to be discovered or rich and famous before I’m proud of who I am and what I do thing. Own yourself. Know what I mean? Don’t be a slave.

I’d like to maybe be that someday, one of those big knots on that big string they’re always on about, that whole lineage trip. Who wouldn’t want to matter? To be of some worth? Hell yeah, I’d like to be as good as the guys I just mentioned, but I need help getting there. I need people to rub up against sometimes, just like anybody else. To be inspired by. And that’s kind of hard when usually you meet people who think things are just oh so well in the art world, and that for some odd reason art and entertainment can’t be the same exact thing. I mean, at what meeting was that decided? I must have been sick and stayed home that fateful night.

Since when is growth and reflection and feeling and being challenged not entertaining? And art can be all that and more. But they like to lock it up in a cage and keep scolding it for pissing on the rug in the entertainment room. Nonsense. All of it. For those drunk on fear, maybe.

Anyway, we meet lot of people like that in the little art clique’s in different countries and cities, and I’m always tugging on Hanne’s dress fifteen minutes after we arrive, whispering, “When can we go home, baby? I’ll love you up if we leave early... Come on, let’s get the fuck out of here.” I’m sorry, I know that sounds snobby, but it’s not meant to convey that. Rather... it’s just honest. I mean, how long am I supposed to want to talk to an actor that dreams of going to Hollywood and being on a sitcom? Or, better stated, has most likely let somebody else, like the media, convince him or her that that is their dream.

How long am I supposed to listen to all that before I either wish them well and walk off, or go ballistic and scream, “They’re lying to you. You won’t be happy doing that. That’s all vanity. People searching for love. Fuck that. Go your own way, not the way they’ve conned you into thinking actually leads somewhere.”

Again, sorry, I’m just being honest. They have their goals, and I have mine, but I don’t have to fake that I’m interested, that I think they’re doing right by themselves. I can share my opinions, and they can choose to not agree. Cool. It could be as simple as that. No hard feelings. See ya down the trail maybe. But I’m not on the clock. They’re not paying me. And even if they were, I don’t owe them that, my soul. And, strangely enough, all that gets me right back to what I was rambling about before... Hanne and I have made it so that we’re not on the clock. We’ve been blessed with a little army of a fan base, and they don’t mind us being the bosses, the parents to these kids of ours. We get to do exactly what we want to do, and we get paid to do it. Not huge sums, sure. But amazingly encouraging numbers.

Hell, I haven't even listed our four new films that we have coming out at the website yet, and people are already sending in money - and we’re not really set up for pre-order’s. It’s been amazing. But, then again, like I already said, we only just officially opened in May, so we’ll see...

But how could I not be beside myself right now? I mean, I'm just starting out, really. I'm a 104 million miles away from making my best film. What anybody has said about them doesn’t matter. “Good” or “Bad.” I know what I know about them, too. They were hard to raise, and sometimes hard to love. But, I mean, hell, I was almost forty when I started directing. And that was only five years ago. I’m just getting started, and have a long, long way to go. But I think I at least show promise. Fuck... The more I think about it, the more amazing it feels. We get to have our cake and choke on it, too. We get to make the films we want to make and not have to sell them out by saying what they're "about" or what people can expect to "see from them."

I always thought the point was to have a new experience, and if you know too much in advance it can't really be that new, right? Okay, well, I’ll play along for the fun of it... You want to know something about it? Okay... Uh, the title came from one of my favourite movies when I was a kid. How's that? Sorry, I'm only teasing. Uh, okay, okay, it's a... film about a cross-dressing serial killer who's saved, spiritually, by a Woody Guthrie impersonator with a both a bad knee and a bad hip. How's that?

It has all the biggies, all the blockbuster necessities: lots of scantily-clad teenage girls, pimps all blinged-out, as the kids say, wild car chases, bank heists in slow motion, dancing chickens, chariot races, lawyers, guns and money, and the sound of Isabella Rossellini laughing from beginning to end at its very core. How's that?

Sorry, like I was saying at the start, I'm feeling a bit spunky today. And, plus, if you can’t tell, I like having a good laugh. And my wife Hanne is still sleeping, and I’ve nobody else to play with. She'd be over the computer right now, laughing, saying, "You're gonna say that?" We have a good time, me and the missus. Laughing and creating. Love that woman. But, alas, she’s in the land of nod, and I’m left to my own vices... Anyway, sorry. But it’s your fault, David, for asking a question like that. Buy the DVD when it comes out. Just teasing, of course, but... Next question...



Public speaking functions are an unusual way of generating cash for financing films. Is this an approach you often undertake?

Well, I couldn't agree with you more on that. At least, according to my last answer. Guess I should have read all of these questions first, eh? Could have paced myself. See, this is an email interview, ladies and gents, and, again, I'm just making things up as I go along. But, yeah, David, unusual is the word.

Probably the very last time I will do this. If I survive it, and don't have a stroke up there. I'm sure we'll come up with something even crazier next time, but this whole public speaking thing...? I'm a nervous wreck right now. Be kind, folks. I'm just trying to raise money for the film, and hang out and have a few drinks and some great conversations, meet some new people that we can maybe work with down the road, and then fly back to America and start location scouting.

Haven't see my twin brother Hank in four years, even though he was just cast as the male lead in "All Sun And Little White Flowers," and right now he's hanging out there right where we'll be shooting. We'll work on rewriting the script together a little, and ready his latest book for publication next year. It's called "Happy As Hank." Stunning piece of work. But I told him he could go further. Because I know that will push me, if he does cross a few lines. Free us both.

Anyway, that's all we're really doing at this fundraiser. Stocking up the pond, and trying to find a few new fishermen and women. And if they don’t drink us dry, maybe we’ll walk away with a few pounds. And Hanne loves London, so she’s excited. Whatever happens, it’s the fault of those two who coerced me into this: Hanne and Gabrielle.



As scary as it is to ask you this… perhaps your most famous work as a filmmaker is “My Father’s House”, which won several awards and international acclaim. Could you tell us more about this piece? Go on, you know you want to…

“Nope,” said the hero, who then walked into the blinding sun that is the next question... after saying one last thing: “My Father’s House” is only more well known because it’s been out there in the world longer, not because it’s bread being sliced a new way, or better or worse than “Tucked In His Knuckles.” Though, like I said, I love my newest children most. I’m a bad parent. “But I learned how to do that,” he said, before doing finally what he started out to do, answer the next question...



How do the two films compare? Did you find yourself making any changes to your style or approach?

Every film is different, from start to finish. Well, that’s how they have felt to me. From how the initial idea is conceived, and how it grows up. Either I’m running out of steam now, after all those longwinded answers, or I’m getting bored like your readers... Anyway, that’s all I want to say about that.



As well as being a noted filmmaker, you’re also very well known as an actor - as you mentioned earlier – especially your work with director Christopher Nolan. What’s he like to work with? How do you find you respond to his style?

I love it. He doesn’t get in the way at all. He’s gives plenty of room to work, and that’s all you can ask. Meaning, he’s very confident in himself, and feels very secure with his decisions. He casts you because he wants you, and believes in you. Or, in my case, because he likes fucking with you. Hurting you. And I have a blast breaking his balls, too. He has a great sense of humour. I’ll tell the wonderboy, right in front of all his worshippers, all his disciples, that I’m not impressed in the least. That he’s a nothing more than a studio bitch boy now. That Hitchcock bored me and wasn’t an artist, but, rather, a magician. And he’ll tell me I suck, and that I should park cars for a living. We have a great time laughing at each other. Same with his director photography, Wally Phister.

But I haven’t seen them since I wrapped on “Batman Begins,” so, as always lately, I’m worried they’ve been reading too much of their own press. Punks, both of them. But I felt bad the last time around, on “Batman Begins,” though I didn't tell him or Emma this when I was in London. My best friend had recently died, and I was in bad shape. Real bad shape. I mean, I almost cut my wrists in my hotel room one night. Seriously. Literally. So, during that shoot... Well, I looked like shit, and I just didn't feel like I gave him much to work with. And I was flying in and out. Five different times I think, from Ireland, Norway, and Hawaii, where I was getting ready to direct my last film, “Tucked In His Knuckles.”

So, I felt guilty and insecure, though I put on my best face and played along as best I could. But man, thank God for my buddy Richard Brake, who plays “Joe Chill” in that film. He kept a close tab on me there in London. But I didn't tell Chris or Emma. Or Wally or Nathan (Crowley, Nolan’s production designer). I didn't want to freak them out. Simple as that.

Making films is hard enough. Hey, go ahead and print this, too - that I’m so lazy with answering questions sometimes that I just copied and pasted that answer, pretty much, from another interview I did that was online. Sorry, I think I’m boring the hell out of me. And I’m getting hungry for some breakfast. And, shit, I think I hear Hanne waking up. Meaning, that’s a good thing. For me. But I need to go. So, maybe I’ll copy and paste the rest, too... Only kidding. Maybe.



You first collaboration with Nolan was the acclaimed Memento – how did you guys end up working together, and what are your thoughts on the success that movie has enjoyed?

We hooked up back in 1999 when I auditioned for that, for “Memento, and got the gig somehow. That’s how it happened, long and short. My agent begged me not to even read for it, because the part was too small or whatever, but hell, it was the first script I had managed to even finish in a very long time...

So I showed up with my usual moustache, the one my wife loves me to have all the time, and I think that landed me the job. Right now I’m paying homage to Charles Bronson with this snappy little thing I’m wearing these days under my big nose. Anyway, the moustache got me the gig, along with help from my old friend, John Papsidera, who cast that film. He pushed for me hard, I think. He's a prince. So is Nolan.

Thank God I know enough to tell my agents what to do, and not vice versa. But I still remember that day very, very well. In came Chris and Emma, his wife - they were late - and I read and they smiled. And John gave me a little thumbs up sign on the sly. That’s it. Then I left. A month later, after C. Thomas Howell turned down the role, I guess, and I got the gig.

But I seriously never thought it would ever get released. Not theatrically. But Thank God for Aaron Ryder and his team over at Newmarket. As everybody already knows, they did an amazing job getting that film out there. Fucking amazing. Which reminds me... Aaron, give me a call if you see this, you bastard. You told me at Sundance that year you owed me a gig for working so cheap on “Memento!” So... well, here we are seven years later... and I'm still waiting. What the fuck, man?

See, you can’t trust those Hollywood types.



What drew you to your role as Jimmy Grantz in that film? Did you (or any of the cast for that matter) find any difficulty in acting under such a twisted narrative?

I wasn’t necessarily drawn to him in any big way. The script was at least different, and I wanted to work. But, remember, I didn’t know any of those people yet. So, to me, it was a low budget independent film that was at least going to be different. That was enough. Simple as that, really. But then I went on to have such a good time making that film. It was just the right size. This big family eating at a picnic table, that’s how I think of that experience. And I was only there for a week and a half, off and on.

I’m sure the rest of them had an even more amazing time. Hell, listening to Joey Pants read his own press clippings would have been worth working on that film for free. That guy cracks me up. And he has a real sweet side, too. And Guy was completely committed and busting his ass. They all were. It’s fun to be sets like that. Where nobody’s looking at their watch too much, and are completely dialed in. Everybody trying to make something special.

I felt that working with those guys. They’re a good group. I’m very happy for them, if I haven’t said that. It’s more fun teasing them. The whole world is blowing them now, they don’t need me doing it. Again, I’m not on the clock.



After Memento came Insomnia, starring Al Pacino – did you get much time together? What’s he like to work with? Any stories to tell?

Al and I got along great. One of the producers would walk over to me and whisper in my ear on the set sometimes, “Al wants to know if you want to go out tonight.” He liked to keep it small, intimate. Just a few guys. He likes to just sit and talk, watch people. But he’s just too much of an icon to be able to do that. He’d always get bugged by people when we were just trying to hang out and shoot the shit. He loves to talk, too. Just like me. We played poker one night, and both won the biggest hand of the night. The game was called Texas High Low or something. I didn’t have a clue how to play, so I just kept bluffing and fucking around. My wife took a picture of Al and I celebrating that hand. That’s how I remember it.

Working with a guy, as the late, great Bruno Kirby once told me, who, if he wasn’t "Al Pacino," would be putting on plays in his basement for people in the neighbourhood. That guy loves to act. He has to. Can’t get enough. Sweet guy, too. And funny. Has an addiction to Snickers bars. And, man, if you aren’t plugged in during a scene with him, big or small, he will zap you like a lightning bolt, with very little flare or drama. With his performance. With a line.

We were shooting my first scene with him on his birthday. The one where he comes and sees me in the hospital. And he was in a good mood, and so was I. I mean, I’m working with a guy who inspired me when I was a young boy. But I wasn’t plugged in, really, because I was reciting his resume to myself while the scene was going on. And he caught me and busted me, but in a very cool way. By simply saying, “What?” Now, just picture “What?” would sound like with his great, gravelly voice.

Then, months later, he really made my day one time. He invites me to see this movie he directed, but that he was still tweaking with. “Chinese Coffee.” With the late Jerry Orbach. And then, afterwards, he really wanted to know what I thought would make it better. And then he truly listened when I was arrogant enough to tell him. Like I know something, right? And that meant a lot to me. I like Al. Hope he’s well.



Your third Nolan collaboration was in “Batman Begins” – did you find any differences in Nolan’s style between the three movies? Did the higher budget effect his way of working, or yours for that matter?

He hasn’t changes a bit as far as I can tell. He was exactly the same. Just even more sure of himself. An even bigger head. And he has more people around him now, a bigger audience to listen to him break my balls about something. He doesn’t like the fact that the crews always love me. He gets jealous.

Seriously? Nah, he seems exactly the same. He’s fun to work with. And I’m grateful for him employing me three times. “The Prestige” would have been four, sure, but I guess my phone line was down. There’s been lots of big storms wherever I’ve hung my hat the last several years. So, who knows? Maybe the line leading to the Holden Automotive compound was down. Nah, fuck that. And fuck those guys. They rode on my coat-tails until they made a big splash in Hollywood, and then they threw me on the scrap heap.

I’m kidding, of course. Alright, next question, undoubtedly another Chris Nolan related question...



It sure is. Many actors are commonly linked with certain directors (e.g. Tim Burton’s links with Johnny Depp etc.) How did you end up with such strong ties to Nolan? What made you two guys pick each other in this way?

He hired me for a few jobs, and, like I’ve already said, we like each other, and have fun working together and talking about stuff... and breaking each other’s balls. Nothing more or less than that, really. But he seems to have a great connection with Bale now. The kind of connection you seen to be graciously implying that Chris and I might have. But, truth be told, it’s not like that with us. I’ve only really had minor roles in Chris’s stuff, so I’m not there long enough for us to truly achieve the kind of bond you’re talking about. We’re friends, though, sure. Well, we were until I wasn’t cast in “The Prestige.”



Who would you say is the best actor you’ve worked with to date? Is there anyone out there you wish you could have spent more time with, or learned more from?

Sorry, but I really don’t think in those terms, really. I think in terms of the whole gig. But, okay... I’ll go ahead and say that I had my “best” time overall making “Every Dog Has Its Day.” It was my first lead role, and I was there thirty out of thirty-one shooting days. And I got real close to a lot of those people. It was the kind of shoot that needed a lot of love on the set. And it was there. A great time. Johnny Knoxville had a bit part in it. Good people. And funny as hell.

When I was off shooting “My Father’s House,” I walked into store early one more to get some coffee or something, and there he was, smack dab on the cover of Rolling Stone, with a title calling him a “Jackass,” I thought. I looked at Hanne, and we both kind of said, “What the fuck did he do now?” Last time I’d seen him, we were getting drunk on Boone’s Farm in Marc Chiatt’s house, because that’s all Johnny could afford to pick up. Or else he just thought that would be funny. But I think he was broke as hell. He was married, and Madison was just a little girl.

Anyway, “Every Dog Has Its Day” was already sitting where it still is, on a shelf. And Johnny, or P.J., as he’s really called, makes the cover of Rolling Stone. Strange business. But I’m really happy for Johnny. He’s good people. Really is. And he’s seen many really lean times. I know that for a fact. But, sure, I don’t get his show, but I don’t think it’s meant for me to “get it.” Maybe he can explain it all to me one day over a bottle of Strawberry Hill.



 Other than the many name’s mentioned up to this point, are there any actors out there who have particularly inspired you to be an actor / filmmaker? Who would you say the best in the industry are right now?

I guess Cassavetes influenced me that way, the way he acted to finance the films. Okay, if I was forced to pick somebody, I’d say him. But I’ve never thought about that whole actor / director thing, really. So I wouldn’t have a clue as to who does that the best. I mean, compared to who? Or what? On what grounds? And the whole “best” thing is just plain silly. Let’s leave all that shit to all those great little award shows. But knowing that he acted in films that weren't of his liking in order to make his own films has definetly helped me do some of the things I've done. Like "Charmed."



As well as work in film you have an extensive background in TV work, including CSI and ER. And yes, Charmed. What do you think of working in television? What’s it like working to such tight deadlines? Does TV work deserve the bad reputation it seems to have received?

You know, David, you seem like a good guy in your emails. A bit tardy with these questions, sure, but an alright guy. But I’m still going to have to be lazy with this question. And short. I told ya, I’m hungry and my wife is up and bounding around. And it’s Sunday.

Uh, television... it sucks. All aspects of it.

But, having said that, I would have loved to be on the British series, “The Office.” Or worked with Larry David and his gang during the first three seasons of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” But every TV gig I have ever done has been like watching a pony die slowly, to quote Mike Binder. He said that one night when him and I and my good buddy Josh Charles were getting drunk and making fun of Stephen Baldwin for something, and I almost pissed myself laughing.

That’s a brilliant way to describe how something feels - like watching a pony dying slowly. Brilliant. Anyway, working in TV is like that to me. But I have done it, and will probably have to do it again at some point to pay for a film I want to make, so... don’t be offended all your folks out there in TV land... I’ll be on time, and I’ll say all of my lines with “some degree of feeling.” Sorry, I should wrap this up. I’m really losing it, and fast.



What’s next for Larry Holden? Other than “All Sun And Little White Flowers” what else is on the horizon?

Four more films coming out in the next few months. Shooting “All Sun...,” and prepping to shoot “On Kentucky Avenue” somewhere and somehow. And releasing my brother Hank’s book, “Happy As Hank.” And loving up my wife. And not necessarily in that order. Matter of fact, the last will be first if I have anything to say about it!



What are your ambitions as an actor / filmmaker? Where can we expect to see you in 10 years?

Oh, fuck that, David. Okay? Sorry, but that feels like something you’d have to answer in a job interview. “Uh, well... In ten years, eh?” (looking around at his potential boss’s office) “Well, sir, I think your office would suit me just fine right about then.” That shit always works with bosses. I used that in a million job interviews when I was young, and it always worked. Ambition. All the boys at the top fucking love it.



Is there any advice you could give to any budding stars or filmmakers out there? Anything from your vast and varied experiences you could pass on?

I’ll do that at the fundraiser - share all my worldly wisdom, pretending that I have the answers for all the unanswerable questions. Shit, we all know everything we need to do it all already, in my opinion. Some of us have just forgotten what the answers are, or that part of our job is to ask the right questions, not answer a damn thing. Enough said. If you could see how my wife is dressed right now you wouldn’t even ask me this last fucking question... Well, obviously, you couldn’t have known what my environment would be like, you sent these damn things in advance...



Anything else you’d like to add before we wrap things up?

Uh, we’re having a big fundraiser in London, England on 10 November 2006, and “Teddy, The Wonder Lizard” will be there, completely out of his skin. Go to www.holdenautomotive.com for all the juicy details. Time to chew on something. Sorry about that... I told ya when I started answering these things that I was in a rather feisty or spunky mood or whatever... and Hanne's making it worse running around like that...

Larry would also like you kind readers to check out www.hannekristiansen.com – a website run by his wife. Go on. You know you want to. She’s the creative mastermind behind Larry’s costumes, and her work is definitely worth a look.




Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 23:00:00 Mountain Standard Time Interviews |
 
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