I met Dennis for the first time in London in the early 80’s. I was gigging and he was showing his film, “The Last Movie”. It had been mothballed for years. He was a big hero of mine and I was agog. The man who introduced us said, “You guys should go have a drink.” Dennis’s eyes were twinkling and I thought, if I go get a drink with Dennis Hopper I will not be back here tonight for this show. I will be in a bar making history, getting drunk with Dennis Hopper. So I did not go get a drink with Dennis. Fate would have it that we would work together a dozen years later on an HBO movie entitled “Witchhunt” directed by Paul Schrader and produced by Gail Anne Hurd. We were both sober by that time. I was touched that he was so complimentary to me when he sensed I was nervous on set. It meant a lot. Most stars don’t do that sort of thing. One morning he came barrelling into the make-up trailer very excited because he had been cast in “Waterworld” – I said, “You’re Dennis Hopper how big a deal can it be?” He said, “Since the old days, the studios won’t work with me. This is my first studio picture in a long while.” He was so happy to be brought back into the fold. I also remember than he got a huge kick out of his death scene in “True Romance” and at the time would watch it repeatedly in his trailer, laughing his ass off. I have met many of my heroes, most are let-downs. Dennis was a good guy and a power of example for many of us.
A JOE GAGE MOVIE
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