For the smaller films you've been doing, have you found a
movement starting to form?
CG: None of them have been completed yet. I've shown
the first one in a kind of 'before it's finished' cut. Very
close to being done, but not done. No, I do not believe there's
going to be a film movement for quite some time to come, and
I don't think that even when my films come out, that will
spur it on. I believe it's a much larger phenomenon than things
like that that cause a counter-cultural film movement. The
last one that existed was when there was the hippie counter-culture.
And when I'm saying a movement, I mean corporations are able
to see, visibly, with material evidence, that there is a group
of people that will buy this point of view, that's counter
to the popular or the culture at hand. The last time that
happened was the hippie counter-culture. There isn't anything
like that going on, and there doesn't seem like there's going
to be anything like that. On top of which, the specific hippie
counter-culture, what the moral tended toward being, having
to do with love as a cure-all, and that's been consumed in
the pro-cultural film state that exists. So it's no longer
really a valid counter-cultural moral. There are new morals
that need to be delved into, so there can be things that repeat
that moral, but that's no longer a relevant counter-culture.
UGO: Back to Willard…which is scarier to work
with, the rats or R. Lee Ermey?
CG: Neither of them. Both R. Lee and the rats were
great to work with.
UGO: R. Lee comes off as very intimidating.
CG: Of course, and that's his persona. But he's a
gentleman and an excellent actor and I was very glad to work
UGO: Since you obviously don't have a problem with
the rats, is there a creepy crawly that bothers you?
CG: No, I've never been a really phobic person. Yeah,
it's not my nature. I know there's a lot of people that-I
feel that most people aren't afraid of rats, but it's apparent
that quite a few are, but I'm not one of them.
UGO: Can you talk about your work on the "Ben" music
video from the movie?
CG: I directed it. Yeah, I directed that and the
fellows that did the sets, named David Brothers, and I came
up with the concept for it.
UGO: We were trying to figure out what's going on.
Is that supposed to be Hitler sitting in the back?
CG: (Laughs) Well, some things just kind of happen.
It wasn't necessarily written like that. It just kind of comes
off like that. It is supposed to be inspired by a 1926 Berlin
UGO: We were just trying to figure out why Hitler
would hit someone over the head with a bottle in a cabaret.
Well, what did you piece together when you were watching it?
UGO: When you take the first woman on stage, the
guy is applauding, but then he has a sudden change of heart.
We were trying to figure out where that came from.
CG: Well, if you look at it closely, I think it becomes
apparent, but I don't want to explain too much.
UGO: Since your 1989 album, have you planned on getting
back into music at all?
CG: I've recorded a whole other album, other than
that album, and it may be that it's an appropriate time to
put this song on to this other album. I've just been busy,
so it's been hard to get everything figured out.
UGO: How did the process of you recording "Ben" come
about? Was that the studio's idea?
CG: Glenn Morgan, the director, had thought of it.
But it was a coincidence, because I had this other group of
recordings I had done. I had talked with my co-producer about
recording it well before making this movie, because it just
fit in conceptually. Then, when Glenn Morgan mentioned it,
I just thought, "Wow, that would be great." I probably even
thought of it before, because it was something that I had
really thought of before doing the movie. So I'm sure I thought
of it while I was working on the film, but it wasn't something
I mentioned, or anything. Then Glenn said, "Yeah, I would
like to do that." And I double-checked with my co-producer
to make sure that I really had talked with him about recording
the song "Ben" before doing this movie. and he said I had.
UGO: What's the concept behind the new album you
CG: The first one was called The Big Problem Does
Not Equal the Solution, The Solution Equals Let it Be.
The new recordings would be called, The Big Love Recordings.
UGO: Where would you be coming from in terms of style?
CG: Well, some of the style is not too dissimilar.
This particular "Ben" song is very well produced, but some
of it is not dissimilar from this song.
UGO: You've covered Nancy Sinatra and Michael Jackson.
Who else is out there that you might be interested in covering?
CG: I can't remember right now what I've gotten.
Probably I shouldn't reveal some of those things. Part of
that is the fun of what comes out.
UGO: We've been curious about the long list of actresses
you thank in your previous album's liner notes.
CG: Oh, OK. I don't remember who exactly is on the
list, but I think they were probably friends of mine that
I played the record to and had gotten comments from.
You're very well connected.
CG: (Uncomfortable laugh) Hehe, OK.
UGO: For Reuben and Ed, in one interview,
you said that you based your character in that on something
you came up with during an audition for Real Genius.
CG: Yes…that is correct. Before I did Back to
the Future, that was the name of the film, but I didn't
go in on the audition because I got Back to the Future,
but it was something I came up with, a look, for that. There
was a character that was locked up in a basement, but I never
went in on the audition.
UGO: You're back in the sequel to Charlie's Angels,
Full Throttle. What kind of situations are you finding
yourself in? A lot of fighting?
CG: There is some fighting. There are two big fight
sequences in it for me. One of them got cut before we shot
it, while we were doing the film, which I was kind of disappointed
about. But there are other interesting things that happen
for my character, so we shall see.
UGO: Did you do a lot of training for that character?
CG: Oh yeah, definitely. And I enjoyed it, too. Working
with the Chinese team that does that stuff is really…I really
UGO: You seem pretty comfortable in the video working
with the wires when you're decending. It looks very natural.
CG: Good, good.
UGO: Was that really Lucy Liu's hair that you got
to play around with in Charlie's Angels?
CG: I don't think so. No, it was not.
UGO: 'Cause we were going to ask, what does it smell
CG: (Laughs) No. I think it was real human hair,
UGO: As a movie-goer, is there anything big coming
out this Summer that you're really excited for?
CG: I don't really concentrate a lot on the popular
media, so I don't really know what's going on. I do hope people
will go see Willard, which I'm trying to get across
If the movie's a success, is there any talk of a sequel? Would
you be interested?
CG: Yeah, if the film does well and New Line would
be interested in remaking the movie, I'll bet anything Glenn
Morgan, the director/writer, and Jim, the producer, would
come up with something interesting.
UGO: And you'd be interested in doing it?
CG: Oh yeah, definitely. I liked those guys. I liked
working with them a lot.
UGO: You've mentioned that you've shown What Is
It? in an incomplete form.
CG: Well, incomplete is really the wrong word. It
was a full cut of the film, but there were things still being
done to it when people saw it. But it's very close to being
absolutely done. I've kind of not have wanted to show it until
it's absolutely finalized. It's frustrating on a lot of levels,
because I want very much to be done and out with it. But I've
been away and working and stuff like that to help finance
that. And I also directed the sequel to it, or co-directed
the sequel to it, which is called, Everything Is Fine,
and that was written by a fellow who had cerebral palsy that
was in the first film.
UGO: Did you find, in directing and producing, that
you have a problem cutting the cord at all?
CG: No, I haven't had that difficulty. What I've
had difficulty with, in terms of the length of time it's taken,
is just technical stuff. If the film basically was going straight
to video, it would have been done a number of years ago. I've
had technical difficulty having to do with film stuff. Normally,
when you have a film project, you have a crew of at least
8 people doing various jobs full time, and I've been doing
it on my own. I've recently had some interns coming in to
help things sometimes. It is very close to being done. If
this were a normal film, that was corporately financed, the
amount of work I would have to do would be less than 2 weeks
UGO: Was it shot on film or video?
CG: Film, yeah. Like I say, if it was video, it would
have been done a long time ago.
UGO: How hard was it to find a full cast of actors
with Down's Syndrome who were actually able to act and do
CG: Oh, that wasn't hard. They were great. There
was some difficulty with finding people. The people that wanted
to do it were so into it that there really weren't any problems
at all. They were great.
UGO: If the studio came to you with a bunch of money
and an offer, but they would need to dull the edge of what
you were doing, would you do it?
It depends on the project. I am interested in becoming corporately
financed. I'm certain there are projects that I can do. I'd
want to talk with the company beforehand and find out about
that stuff. Get the climate of what really is going on. You
want everybody to genuinely be on the same page. There probably
are certain projects that I know would be going beyond limits
of what would be a corporately finance-able film. I've written
screenplays that I believe could be corporately financed vehicles
and I'm not against corporate financing. I'm very much interested,
in fact, in having a counter-cultural film movement so that
they can be corporately financed with full gusto. But it really
is difficult to say. On one hand, I want that because it's
so much faster and so much easier on your own personal being
on a lot of levels, when it's produced by another entity.
But I also know, even just from the little experience I've
had when other people are in control of money, there can be
difficulties with that, as well. I'm used to controlling the
money myself and knowing exactly what I want and doing it
and being very satisfied and comfortable with that. So it's
a hard question to answer, but ultimately I would like to
be corporately financed, without a doubt.
UGO: Has there been discussion about this film getting
CG: Well, What Is It? is not a film that would
necessarily…well, it would be a film, when it's done, that
would be shown to corporate financiers on the level of just
being that I've completed the film. I don't think it will
be shown to inspire corporate people to say, "Hey, this guy
is going to make a film for us that we're going to be able
to sell really easily." But I'm not concerned about that level
as much as I am about how I know that with the film, and the
counter-cultural state that it is in, that I have a market
that I can personally go out and sell to. And there are genuinely
people that are interested in that. These films are strictly
art house films, and that's because if they were rated, they'd
be rated NC-17, and those films you can't show in cineplexes.
So, this is something that is a benefit for me, because I'm
planning on going around and touring with my films, and go
to these various art house theaters personally. And I know
I can do well with them that way.
UGO: Which of your interests, acting, music and directing,
do you enjoy most?
CG: Yeah, directing, probably so. The complete making
of the film, really, especially when you get in the editing
room, and it's completing. It really is a tremendous sense
of creating something beautiful from nothing.
UGO: If you could have superpowers, what would they
be and why?
CG: Uh…all of them! Because, of course, it would
UGO: Great. Thanks a lot, Crispin.
CG: Thank you, too.
more stills of Crispin Glover in Willard
you understand the "Ben" video? Tell us!