Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kevin Corrigan on working with Gallo

Kevin Corrigan, who acted in Buffalo '66, gave an interview talking basically about several of the roles he's played so far. It's quite interesting and can be found Here (Yes, I learned how to do hyperlinks ;-)

This however is the excerpt on Buffalo '66 and on Vincent (even though he mentiones him and his style of filming in several other parts of the interview)


Buffalo ’66 (1998)—“Rocky the Goon”

KC: I met Vincent Gallo through a friend of mine, an actress named Bianca. We were both visiting her. She was in the hospital. She got sick. By the time I went to see her, she had bounced back, made a complete recovery. I walked in the room and Vincent Gallo was already there, visiting with her and telling stories. And I went, “Oh. This is the guy Bianca’s always told me about.” He’s a very entertaining, very interesting guy. And that’s where I met him. Then, three years later, I met him again at the Sundance festival, and he had seen me in something, and he liked me as an actor, and he said, “We could be brothers.” He put his face next to my face and got someone’s attention and said “Don’t you think we could be brothers?” And I reminded him that we had met before, and then he remembered me, remembered the clothes I had been wearing. Then he said, “I want us to work together, so I’m going to send you this script. We’ll play brothers.”

A year later, I got a script from him and there was no brother in the movie. He had offered me the part of Goon. Not his brother, but his friend. I thought maybe I had gotten it wrong. Maybe he’d said “I want you to play my friend in a movie.” But he confirmed it. He said, “That thing where I wanted you to play my brother, that’s a different movie. I’m not going to make that movie. I’m going to make this movie. And I want you to play Goon.” I didn’t want to play Goon. I didn’t feel comfortable playing that part. I don’t know why. I was kind of afraid to play it. I saw the character as being really, really vulnerable, and I guess I was just a coward at the time. I didn’t see the opportunity to play a great part. It just looked like a dangerous job that I was too chicken to accept. I turned it down. The story of how I got the part back…

I got nominated for an Independent Spirit Award [for Kicked In The Head] and didn’t win. I went to the awards ceremony, and I thought “It’s great just to be nominated. If I don’t win, I don’t care.” But I did care. First of all, I got drunk. Then, when I didn’t win, something happened to me. I felt very disappointed. I started to feel self-loathing. I started to have a really bad time. I left feeling really horrible. I had a lot of other things going on at the time that probably contributed to that. I went back to my hotel, and I really needed some company. I really needed some kind of validation. I was having a breakdown. I was mad at myself for being disappointed about not winning. I thought I could handle that. I couldn’t. I just felt like a piece of shit. I thought “I’ve got to get out of feeling this way. I’m going to call someone who really believes in me.” I called Vincent Gallo, because I still had his number. And I said, “Vincent, I really want to play that part now. I would be honored to play that.” And he said, “You want to play that part now?” “Yeah, I don’t know, I’m sorry I passed on it. I’d really like to do it now.” He said, “Well, I’ve already offered it to someone else.” “Oh shit. All right, I’m sorry.” “Listen, I’ll get it back. I really want you to be in it.”

So apparently he had given the part to someone else, and then fired that person and gave the part back to me. This did nothing to help me. Now I felt guilty that I’d taken the food out of somebody’s mouth. Working on that movie was as trepidatious as I thought it was going to be when I passed on it, because I internalized all of these things about it. But you know what? Vincent once said to me “You are this character.” I said, “I know. I know I’m this character. I don’t want anybody to know that I’m this character. If I play this part, everybody’s going to know that that’s really me.” But then once I was onboard, that was it. I had to go there. I had to expose myself or whatever. That’s where acting can get really weird.

I can watch that movie now, and that’s not me at all. And yet on another level, it is. I was very close to it. Once we shot it and it was over with, it wasn’t something that I looked forward to seeing. That was a new experience for me, because every time you’re in a movie, you can’t wait to see it. But not with that movie. I wanted to bury it. I felt like it was an act of penance. Like the way Harvey Keitel makes up for his sins in the streets in Mean Streets. I make up for my sins in my work sometimes. So I wasn’t even curious to see how that movie was going to come out. Well, my parts of it, anyway. I remember having this conversation with my agent at the time who was telling me, “I can get you out of this. You don’t have to do this movie.” But I said, “No, I have to, because I gave Vincent my word. I have to do it. I want to do it.” “Well, you don’t have to have your name on the credits.” So, if you notice, I’m not credited. My name isn’t on the movie. That’s because my agent at the time was able to have my name removed from the credits. Now I did sign off on that, thinking that if my name wasn’t on the credits, then no one would know I was in the movie. That’s kind of like a baby putting its hands over its eyes thinking that no one will see him.

When Vincent heard about… He didn’t know this until he was going to lock picture, then he found I didn’t want my name on the credits, and he called me, too. He was really hurt by that. I didn’t talk to him at that time. I got the message and was, “God, I don’t know what to say about that.” I justified it later on. “Well, that’s part of my performance. The conceptual performance. It’s just going to be me as this character, uncredited. I’m there, but I’m not there.” I don’t know. I finally went to see the movie, because Vincent called me again when it was going to play at the New Directors festival at the Museum Of Modern Art. He told me that I was really good in it, and he hoped that I would want to see it someday. Then I started to feel bad, because I really respect him as an artist. I think the first time I saw it, some of those ghosts came back and prevented me from seeing it objectively. But then the second time I watched it… I watched it on videotape a few years after it came out, and I laughed like crazy. I thought it was really funny. In the years after that, I got recognized from that movie a lot. Just like Vincent Gallo said I would. “People are going to remember you from this.” “No! I don’t want anybody to know I was in that.” “It’s going to be the thing people remember you for.” “Oh, great.” I’m proud of it now.

7 comments:

  1. Quite a story. I had always wondered why he's not creditied. Sort of a sneaky move, and I can see why VG was hurt.

    In other news, anyone in Europe know this magazine?

    http://www.lodownmagazine.com/index.php?page=27&modaction=showItem&id=1376

    There's supposed to be a big interview with pictures with Vincent in the current issue. I can't find it in the USA, and they're charging $50 to mail it overseas, which is stupid. If anyone gets it or can get it, they should scan it, or sell it to me.

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  2. Thanks for the hint - I'll buy it today (after all, living in Germany at the moment pays just this one time ;o) And if you want to I can get one for you as well. It's 6 Euro + Shipping (no idea how much that would be but it shouldn't be THAT much. Maybe about 10-15 Euro?)

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  3. love these pictures, thank you

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  4. holy shit, the "salt flats" picture from The Brown Bunny is from the Cannes cut of the film. After Cannes, In that scene he had cut it so that when he rides his motorcycle away from the camera it doesn't show him coming back. Amazing.

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  5. God, Gallo was so right about people remembering the dude from this part. He'll always be Goon for me :) Seems like a nice guy though.

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