The City of Absurdity   WILD AT HEART
About the Film

David Lynch | Nicolas Cage | Laura Dern | Willem Dafoe | Barry Gifford | Jack Nance | Frederick Elmes | Harry Dean Stanton | Grace Zabriskie


David Lynch (Writer/Director)

"It's called Wild at Heart and it sort of is wild at heart."

"Its a love story in the middle of a violent, twisted, modern world."

"My next film after Blue Velvet could have been anything, but it turned out to be this. Something about Barry's book thrilled me enough to want to spend a year living in this little world. The book is very different from the film, but it had these two characters, Sailor and Lula, who had this kind of inner strength which carried them through adversity. I realized I could take them through hell and they'd still come out of things OK."

"They're really in love with one another and they treat each other extremely well. Sailor doesn't ever talk down to Lula, but treats her as an equal, and that is a modern relationship. They live in a world that's pretty tough, but they're very tender with each other."
"The sex is such happy sex. You feel good for Sailor and Lula that they're digging it so much – and it's like a healthy thing."

"Sex is central to 'Wild at Heart' in the same way it was in Blue Velvet. Sex is a doorway to something so powerful and mystical, but movies usually depict it in a completely flat way. Being explicit doesn't tap into the mystical aspect of it either in fact, that usually kills it because people don't want to see sex so much as they want to experience the emotions that go along with it. These things are hard to convey in film because sex is such a mystery."

"This is my road picture, except there isn't a role for Bob Hope."

"Wild At Heart is a road as much as the characters bump into these horrible people as you would going down a road in reality. It was a very difficult structure, you know, to have the film move forward, and still be able to go off at tangents. It was a struggle. This kind of structure is something I've never attempted before, so I look on it as some kind of achievement. It allows seemingly unrelated things to happen."

"We'll shoot 60% of the film in L.A. this month on a budget of $9 or $10 million - which seems a bit high to me. As to what it's about, 'Wild at Heart' is about finding love in hell – which might be a theme in all my movies. This particular hell is modern life, and it's set in the South. After we're done shooting in L.A., we'll finish up with some location stuff in New Orleans and El Paso."

"I like darkness and confusion and absurdity, but I like to know that there could be a little door that you could go out into a safe life area of happiness."

"Movies are an incredible thing because it's possible to say very abstract things with this medium and to give people feelings that are really thrilling and, you know, big feelings. It can be so magical. I'm always looking for the right kind of story to allow certain things that I think film can do happen. That's one of the reasons I love Wild at Heart. It's got some kind of strange cinema going on in it. It feels different, it's a different way of telling a story."

"What really grabbed me was the characters of Sailor and Lula. Sailor could be wild and like a rebel and be masculine, and Lula could be wild and like a rebel and feminine. They treated each other with respect, they were in love, they were equals in the relationship...a modern romance."

"Every character is made up of so many little subtleties, strange choices,odd little ways of saying a word. Lula is a hard character to get a handle on, and bubble gum has a lot to do with keeping her on track."

"Some scenes are a game with cliches. Wild at Heart has a lot in common with B-film violence. I love these honest film-films which don't have any purpose other than being a film."

"I can't try to second-guess the critics. The world is changing, and we are changing within it. As soon as you think you've got something figured out, it's different. That is what I try to do. I don't try to do anything new, or weird, or David Lynch. But I'm real happy with the picture. See, I love 47 different genres in one film. I hate one-thing films. And I love B movies. But why not have three or four Bs running together? Like a little hive!"

"At one point while we were shooting, I told Nic he was going to sing opera. The idea was that he woke up in the night from having had this dream about a cotton ball, and then sure enough there was one under his bed, and he leans down to it and starts singing opera to a single lone, moonlit cotton ball in the darkness. Now there are not a lot of people you could talk to about that who would really grab hold of it, but Nic just lit up like a Christmas tree"

"He (Nic Cage) is a jazz actor."

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Nicolas Cage (Sailor Ripley)

"As a director he's a magician, very light on his feet, he's floating. You get the feeling that he's making everything spontanous and trying to keep the actors alive and fresh by mixing it up with new lines, with new ideas."

"When I look at the movie now and there's these moments of pure evil, pure horror in this film I wonder how did something like that, how was that spawned from this party we were having."

" I had a tremendous sense that I cared for Sailor Ripley. I just thought he was a very romantic character."

"Deciding to play him as Elvis was a weird thing to do because at that time it was considered taboo to use imitation. In the book An Actor Prepares, by Stanislavski, it says the worst thing an actor can do is to copy another peformer. I had always believed that, but then with Wild At Heart, I thought, maybe it's time to try something else. I used to call that my Andy Warhol period, because I would take the icon of Elvis the way Warhol would , and try to put something on top of it and filter it in some way."


Laura Dern (Lula Pace Fortune)

"The thing that is so great about Sailor and Lula is that it's sooo sexy because of the love. And that's the thing that's so beautiful about David. Here's this guy who's so weird and does things that are so terrifying to the psyche. And yet there's this purity in him and this belief in love that is almost catoonlike and childlike."

"I think tha David is the Eagle scout from Missoula, Montana who found some tools in his dad's garage. He's the neighbourhood boy who always askes "Hey! Whatchya doing?" He probably started to paint some things, and decided he could paint in front of the camera."


Willem Dafoe (Bobby Peru)

(Bobby Peru is) "...a sort of rotten egg who doesn't ask himself questions. What is exciting in him is how he feels an unshakeable happiness just to be alive."


Barry Gifford (Writer of the novel)

" a big dark musical comedy, kind of like an Indian movie."

"... great big dark musical comedy. What David managed to keep was the focus, the tenderness between Sailor and Lula, the integrity it also inspired him to go of into different directions."

"The faux intelligentsia can jump on or off a bandwagon. André Gide said that writers should expect to lose 50% of their audience with each new work, that the rest never understood it in the first place. Perhaps that has happened to David."


Jack Nance (Bozey Spool)

"I play Bozey Spool. He's a derelict, dog-loving rocket-scientist who has been drinking too much of his own rocket fuel."


Frederick Elmes (Cinematography)

"Details give the film a certain quality. It has to be that brand of beer to please David. He's thought a lot about the kind of car a character would drive."


Harry Dean Stanton (Johnnie Farragut)

"David is plugged into the American psyche. He takes things to the edge, which we're badly in need of now."


Grace Zabriskie (Juana)

"Isabella (Rossellini) and I play the movie's bad girls. I'm a sexy, evil, depraved Cajun woman. Artistically, that was a wonderful switch."

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