Tuesday, October 6, 2009


"I'm on Roman's side. Period."
Dennis Hopper interviewed by savagenyc

Talking to Dennis Hopper proves to be a strange but entirely welcome trip down memory lane.
1974 Sunset Boulevard, it seems. In the age of eager young Hollywood whippersnappers providing politically neutral soundbites on every topic from 'who they're wearing' to 'whose shoes they're wearing', Hopper's long, drawn-out and circuitous logic refreshes with its candor, conviction, and lack of glibness. He almost seems to enter a reverie when getting started on a particular topic, and the listener is more than happy to go along for the ride. Hopper, a celebrated photographer and artist in his own right, was in NY to attend an awards ceremony honoring his friend and neighbor, Ed Ruscha.

SAVAGENYC: Congratulations on the new photography book from Taschen. Are you still doing a lot of photography?

DENNIS HOPPER: Uh, yeah. I'm doing digital now.

SAVAGENYC: How do you find the time?

DENNIS HOPPER: I just carry a camera around with me.

SAVAGENYC: Where do you stand on the whole Roman Polanski issue?

DENNIS HOPPER: I'm on Roman's side. Period. I love Roman Polanski. He's one of our great directors. He's certainly a wonderful friend to me. I find the whole thing really 'after the fact'.
He was badly treated when (the original indictment) happened. This is ridiculous. He's lived in Switzerland for years; back and forth from Paris.

SAVAGENYC: Why do you think there's this sudden rush to extradite Roman Polanski from Europe after 30 years?

DENNIS HOPPER: Why is it happening now? Because we're going through an ultra conservative period of time. I think it all started with Janice. Janice, uh.... (Janet Jackson). Janice showing her nipple. By accident. The accident that happened at the Super Bowl. I mean suddenly we reverted back, as if the Sixties never happened. And yet, if television hadn't pushed in on that nipple nobody would have ever seen it. We have 24 hour news now that goes on, and you have to have stories, and it just goes on. They judge people on television. I thought it was great when 24 hour news came out, because I'm a news buff. Now I think it's ridiculous. You just have the same stories over and over. Then they bring in other sides, other opinions. And suddenly this is a big rape thing and everybody—the mother, the child, I mean everybody it happened to—everybody wanted to get out of this case in the first place. The judge mistreated Roman and that's the end of it as far as I'm concerned.