Vincent Gallo stars in the high-octane chase thriller, Essential Killing (release 1st Apr) that eschews the moral and ideological implications of the “War on Terror”
Vincent Gallo stars in the high-octane chase thriller, Essential Killing (release 1st Apr) that eschews the moral and ideological implications of the “War on Terror” instead paring it down to its bare bones, to the issue of survival. Withholding locations and character names acclaimed director Jerzy Skolimowski (The Shout, Moonlighting) creates a dark fantasy which shows that in war and brute, primal survival situations, every man can be both predator and prey.
Gallo (Brown Bunny, Buffalo 66, Trouble Every Day) is the subject of the chase, producing a daring, enigmatic, entirely wordless performance which won him the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival 2010 where the film was also awarded the Special Jury prize. Here’s a few facts that you might not know about him.
1. Vincent Gallo is widely known for his work as an actor but as a young artist he poured the majority of his creativity and passions into music, working alongside graffiti artist Jean Michel Basquiat in Gray, a 1970’s experimental music project, and in rock band Bunny with Lukas Haas. Mr Gallo has been around the musical block.
2. As a young artist living in New York Gallo became known for impromptu street performances. He would invite a select few guests whilst the rest of the viewing public remained completely unaware of what was taking place. These performances included The One Armed Man, Boy Hit by a Car, and Boy Cries in a Restaurant.
3. As an invited guest, Eric Mitchell watched Gallo perform on the streets of New York. As a result he cast him as the lead in his feature film The Way It Is (1985), landing Gallo his first appearance in a feature length film.
4. Here’s a random one; Mr Gallo proudly claims to own over 5700 video tapes and over 15,000 albums, telling us something about the man’s passion for the artistry of music and film.
5. In the 1980’s Gallo reached the Grand Prix of professional motorcycling but did not win the championship. He is also one of the actual motorcycle riders in his own film The Brown Bunny (2003).
6. As if professional motorcycling was not enough for Gallo in the 1980’s, he was also a break dancer and appeared in the first televised Hip-Hop film Graffiti Rock (1984).
7. Following a less than flattering review of The Brown Bunny, by popular film critic Roger Ebert, in which he labelled it “the worst film in the history of Cannes”, Gallo retorted by calling Ebert a “fat pig with the physique of a slave trader” and proceeded to place a hex on the reviewer, wishing him colon cancer! The Brown Bunny included an unsimulated sex scene featuring Gallo and co-star Chloe Sevigny.
8. Gallo produces art that is a social critique of celebrity, procreation, social agenda, and views of religion, race, and sexuality. Amongst the art he includes his own sperm and sexual fantasies as conceptual works which he advertises as merchandise on his website. On his website, Gallo also sells his services as an escort – $50k for the night or $100k for the weekend – females only.
9. Gallo is a strong supporter of the Republican Party and has been seen at a New York fashion show with George W. Bush’s daughters Barbara and Jenna. Interestingly, and in his own words, Gallo considers himself a “radical, but an extremely conservative radical”.
10. In his latest role in polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Essential Killing, Gallo plays a Taliban soldier who escapes imprisonment and is forced to do anything to survive – including eating bark, ants and live fish – and that’s just the start.
Essential Killing is released in UK cinemas from April 1.