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, its sonny-boys 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.
it like to grow up with the Huston name? DH:
In business terms, Im 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 dont want to
let the Huston name down. I dont want to do a piece of crap,
feel terrible about it and have my sister tell me, Its
Book: Do you still
consult with your father on occasion? DH:
If Im really troubled or if I really dont
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 wont 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! Lets get one! No, that would just be too much of an ambition.
And ultimately it means nothing. Two of my fathers 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 arent
important, its the work that lives on.
Book: So whats
next on your agenda? DH: A
UPDATE: Danny will be co-starring with Nicole
Kidman and Lauren Bacall in Jonathan Glazer's upcoming feature "Birth".