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the new life issue 2003
danny huston
by gregg rosenzweig, photo: jean renard

As son of John and brother of actress Anjelica, Danny Huston grew up on film sets watching his legendary father, director of film classics such as The Treasure of Sierra Madre and The Maltese Falcon, brand film with a distinctiveness as stoutly individual as his personality.

Now, it’s “sonny-boy’s” turn. Huston, born in Rome and raised Ireland, shone earlier this year in the little-seen Ivans xtc as a Hollywood agent consumed by drugs and alcohol. Exuding the throaty charm and old-soul mentality of a man navigating his way through the choppy waters of modern day Hollywood, the casually dressed Huston and I conversed pool-side at the Viceroy hotel in Santa Monica.

The Book: So what were the family dinners like? Danny Huston: Wonderful guests. Arthur Miller. Buckminster Fuller. Robert Mitchum. Lauren Bacall.

Book: What’s it like to grow up with the Huston name? DH: In business terms, I’m not bashful. I use the name to get into any door I think I can get into by using it.

Book: Is there any pressure involved for you? DH: I do feel I have a sort of responsibility. I don’t want to let the Huston name down. I don’t want to do a piece of crap, feel terrible about it and have my sister tell me, “It’s shit.”

Book: Do you still consult with your father on occasion? DH: If I’m really troubled or if I really don’t know what I want to do or if I have a crisis, I think, “What would he say?” And he usually gets me through it.

Book: How well did you know him? DH: As far as I can remember him, he was dying. Once a journalist asked him, “What do you attribute your longevity towards?” and he said “Surgery.”

Book: Do you feel things have changed since 2001? How did it affect you? DH: Yearly and daily. That is the drama of life. Every second can bring a whole new set of circumstances...like a fine game of backgammon.

Book:You once stated in an interview that peace in the Middle East could never be achieved. What are your thoughts today about world peace? DH: Yes, it is highly unlikely for there to be peace in the Middle East in my lifetime. As long as there is economic injustice in the world there will be no peace; greed is a prominent characteristic of man.

Book: The New York Times stated “Danny has the bluff, intelligent charm of a young Orson Welles.” How do you feel about that? DH: I won’t try to bluff my way out of that kind of flattery. I agree with Marlene Dietrich who once said, “One should cross oneself before talking about Orson Welles.”

Book: How about if you were nominated for an Oscar? DH: Hey! Let’s get one! No, that would just be too much of an ambition. And ultimately it means nothing. Two of my father’s Oscars went missing and he was really concerned. Later, we discovered that one of his friends, a corrupt jockey, had sold one, and one of his ex-girlfriends or wives sold another. So the Oscars aren’t important, it’s the work that lives on.

Book: So what’s next on your agenda? DH: A baby girl.

UPDATE: Danny will be co-starring with Nicole Kidman and Lauren Bacall in Jonathan Glazer's upcoming feature "Birth".

see also imdb°

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