Part 5 of 5: Harry Dean Stanton month
“Harry Dean exudes a spiritual awareness that’s steeped in deep sadness, and it’s so compelling to watch on film,” says Nicolas Cage, who starred with him in Wild at Heart and later directed him in 2003’s Sonny. ”He’s a compelling man to be around as well because he defies a lot of laws. It’s remarkable to me that he’s into his 70s and is still up all night. He came over to my house once and we had some drinks. I had a motorcycle in my living room, and he got on and straddled it like he was all of 18 years old. I remember just thinking, ‘How is he doing this? Why is he doing this? How is it possible?”
He sang at his friend Hunter S. Thompson‘s funeral, and he was memorialized in Blondie‘s 1989 hit “I Want That Man” (“I wanna dance with Harry Dean / Drive through Texas in a black limousine†…”). Stanton says he met Debbie Harry after the song came out, “and oh, we danced”. Now in his 80s, he still works frequently in movies, and he plays a stern church elder on HBO’s polygamy drama Big Love with Bill Paxton.