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Udo Kier: Film By Film
The cult star on David Lynch, Rob Zombie and Madonna

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Guest of honour at last November’s Night Visions festival in Helsinki was the legendary Udo Kier, presenting Flesh For Frankenstein, Blood For Dracula, House On Straw Hill and Doctor Jekyll & The Women. Springing forth with Dictaphone in hand, Empire grabbed several fascinating, wide-ranging chats that covered the directors and actors Kier has worked with, as well as the roles he’s played. It’s an entirely random sampling of his life and work, from conversations and Q&As that took place across the entire weekend. And the first rogue in the gallery, appropriately enough, is Udo himself...

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Udo Kier

"I tried all my life to be a normal person. Stars are in the sky. I like cooking and gardening. I like to smell the earth. I don’t wear gardening gloves, even though my hands bleed. I have a lot of palm trees, because they say to me holidays and ocean. I grew up very poor and I had an aunt who would go on holiday and send me postcards of palm trees and I would pin them to the wall, so I’ve gone from that fantasy to reality.

I rescue dogs. I have a beautiful ranch in Los Angeles, but I have no time for horses, so I bought plastic horses in life size. My favourite horse is called Max, after Max von Sydow. He’s an old horse but a good horse. He’s brown and gold and makes twice a day a sound: "'Houyhnhnm!' At midday he goes 'houyhnhnm!', so I know it’s time for lunch, and at 8pm he goes 'houyhnhnm!', so I know it’s time for the news. That’s how I live, with plastic horses on a ranch. I have my own well, so my own water supply, and I’m very green: I have solar and everything. I don’t mind taking the bus or the Metro. People ask me what I’m doing there. I say, 'Am I not allowed to take the Metro? It’s faster!'

When I was young I wanted to play Arthur Rimbaud, but now Leonardo DiCaprio has played him. So I don’t know who I want play now. Ernest Hemingway? It changes. I’m sure somebody will offer me something.

When I’m depressed and the weather is bad I look up my page on IMDb and I have my coffee and feel better. There are even films on there I don’t know about! I phone up my friends and say, 'Fuck you! I made 200 movies!' 100 are bad, 50 you could watch, and 50 are good. I think as an actor if you can say you made 50 good films, amen."

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1 Breaking The Waves
I don't think anyone else could have played that role in Breaking The Waves. I once wrote a script and all the way through it, I was thinking that Udo Keir was the ideal leading man. More

Posted by jdfxxx on Wednesday January 15, 2014, 10:46

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