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Harry Dean Stanton

Harry Dean Stanton

Birthday: 14 July 1926, West Irvine, Kentucky, USA
Height: 173 cm

Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes.Stanton was born ...Show More

Harry Dean Stanton
As a child, I felt rage against adults who didn't treat me as a person, adults that were brutalized Show more As a child, I felt rage against adults who didn't treat me as a person, adults that were brutalized themselves by having an angry, vindictive God watching them all the time. I come from a broken home and I realize it's the rule rather than the exception. Hide
When you're deep asleep and not dreaming, where the fuck are you? There's total blackness, it's noth Show more When you're deep asleep and not dreaming, where the fuck are you? There's total blackness, it's nothing, right? So I'm hoping that's what death is, that it's all gonna go. I don't want to deal with any consciousness afterward. Hide
It's certainly not an ideal situation. I don't want to be whipping myself to the point where I have Show more It's certainly not an ideal situation. I don't want to be whipping myself to the point where I have no joy in doing it, you know? But that has been a problem with too many artists -- too much pain and not enough joy. I want to be able to work and enjoy it more and it takes a lifetime to learn that. I'm enjoying it more and more; I'm learning that. Someone printed on a Thai temple, "How joyous I am now that I've learned there's no such thing as happiness." Pretty good, huh? Hide
I've always been a singer; it's not new to me. I've been singing since I was a child. I've always ha Show more I've always been a singer; it's not new to me. I've been singing since I was a child. I've always had a guitar and a harmonica and I played drums in high school -- in a marching band, anyway. I like different kinds of music and I'm exploring them: ballads, blues, blues-rock, country rock, whatever. I'm just focusing on singing a lot so I can get good at it. But don't say I play "country music." It's just another label, like "character actor." One term simply can't say it all. Hide
I've always felt as an outsider. I've been rebellious against any iconoclastic thing. It's true abou Show more I've always felt as an outsider. I've been rebellious against any iconoclastic thing. It's true about the industry, but also about society as a whole. I don't blame anyone, but I think that society is negative in that people are terrified to be free. I was born on the edge of the mountains in Kentucky and now although I live in Hollywood I still feel more related to nature. It's an attitude. I have a pool, but it's to do laps in, not a status symbol. Hide
Early on the whole point of acting was mostly getting a job and then the experience of doing it. But Show more Early on the whole point of acting was mostly getting a job and then the experience of doing it. But when I did Ride in the Whirlwind (1966) with Jack Nicholson in 1965 I discovered there was more to it than that. It was a key film for me because of that. Jack told me not to do anything, just let the wardrobe do the acting. It was a great revelation that became an acting principle. To be rather than to do. You have to behave on screen as much as you do in real life. You don't kill anyone in life, but you understand the anger that may bring it about. Hide
[asked to describe himself] As nothing. There is no self...I'm big into Eastern concepts. The horror Show more [asked to describe himself] As nothing. There is no self...I'm big into Eastern concepts. The horror of life, the love of children, the whole phantasmagoria--it's all meaningless. Be still and see what happens. All of this unfolds perfectly, You've got to get beyond consciousness. Hide
[on his role in Paris, Texas (1984)] The whole film evolved on a very organic level. It almost had a Show more [on his role in Paris, Texas (1984)] The whole film evolved on a very organic level. It almost had a documentary feel to it. It wasn't odd to be in the lead, I took the same approach as I would to any other part. I play myself as totally as I possibly can. My own Harry Dean Stanton act . . . I don't know whatever happened to Travis. I'd say . . . it's me. Still searching for liberation, or enlightenment, for lack of a better way to put it, and realizing that it might happen, it might not. Hide
I felt very much at home on the stage, more so than off it because I could express everything that I Show more I felt very much at home on the stage, more so than off it because I could express everything that I couldn't express elsewhere -- yes, anger, but also tenderness. It's not always easy to be as gentle as you wish to be. Hide
[on his disdain for labels] When you label something, you dismiss it. [on his disdain for labels] When you label something, you dismiss it.
If I like the role, I'll just do it. I don't care how small it is. There are no small parts. You kno Show more If I like the role, I'll just do it. I don't care how small it is. There are no small parts. You know that old saying, right? There are only small actors. Hide
You get older. In the end, you end up accepting everything in your life -- suffering, horror, love, Show more You get older. In the end, you end up accepting everything in your life -- suffering, horror, love, loss, hate -- all of it. It's all a movie anyway, the whole phantasmagoria -- it's all meaningless. There is no answer to any of it ultimately. It's just what is. There is only the moment. Be still and see what happens. All of this unfolds perfectly. You've got to get beyond consciousness. Hide
I'm a late bloomer. It's just a matter of how you evolve; of what your pace is. Hopefully, the older Show more I'm a late bloomer. It's just a matter of how you evolve; of what your pace is. Hopefully, the older you get the more you grow. So, that has been my speed, the beat of my drum. I march to the beat of a different drum -- you'll pardon me for using this expression. Hide
Hopefully it's a life positive thing that I've been been blessed to be balled into for a lack of a b Show more Hopefully it's a life positive thing that I've been been blessed to be balled into for a lack of a better way to put it. I find younger people less conditioned and therefore more alive. I don't take a paternal or authority position with them; I don't play mentor. I try to relate to them on a peer level. I'm trying to function totally in the moment. Hide
Usually, I just play myself. Whatever psychological traumas or conflicts I'm going through at the ti Show more Usually, I just play myself. Whatever psychological traumas or conflicts I'm going through at the time I try to put into the role. Sometimes it's quite a feat to pull off, but sometimes it works. If it doesn't correspond to the dilemmas of the character, then I don't do the film. Hide
Ultimately the atomic physicists--[Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, [Martin Heisenberg]--all agreed that Show more Ultimately the atomic physicists--[Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, [Martin Heisenberg]--all agreed that science couldn't answer the mystery of the universe. So I was impressed with all that. Once it gets organized--even if it's Buddhism or Taoism or Kabbalah--I'm not a member. Einstein said Buddhism was the only religion that could cope with modern scientific needs. So they arrived at the same place the Buddhists did 2,500 years ago. There's no answer to any of it. That's liberating. It's an enlightening concept. Hide
I've been rather like a cat. I'm finicky and I've done a lot of things, and made career choices, mis Show more I've been rather like a cat. I'm finicky and I've done a lot of things, and made career choices, missed meetings and so forth that would have made me a much bigger actor, I think. But, by the same token, that would have demanded more of my time, too. Hide
Acting is my connection to the community, with the world at large. I hope what I do benefits the com Show more Acting is my connection to the community, with the world at large. I hope what I do benefits the community without being moralizing. Hide
I learn about myself. There is no self. You learn you're not a self. You learn you're nothing. Ultim Show more I learn about myself. There is no self. You learn you're not a self. You learn you're nothing. Ultimately. Hopefully. Hide
Harry Dean Stanton's FILMOGRAPHY
as Actor (272)
123Movies