The documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction gives an interesting, if somewhat cloaked, view of the famous character actor, musician, and singer. Stanton has appeared in dozens of films – including Paris, Texas; Alien; Cool Hand Luke; The Green Mile; The Avengers – and has a face that most will recognize, even if he isn’t a household name.
It was released in 2012 and is directed by Sophie Huber.
Stanton is a fascinating character, perhaps even more so because of his unwillingness to completely divulge himself to fans.
Here are the best quotes from Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction.
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction Quotes
Harry Dean Stanton: They say when you’re truly at home, there’s no more suffering. No more leaf on the wind. No more crying, crying to get back to where you came from.
Sophie Huber: And do you know where you come from?
Stanton: No, there’s no answer to that.
Stanton: We think we’re in charge of our lives. We’re not.
David Lynch: He’s got this innocence and naturalness that’s really rare. And he says a line and it’s just real. It’s so phenomenal. And what he does in between the lines is incredible. A lot of people, you can sort of see them, they’re not really listening. They’re not within the thing in between the lines, and you can see them start thinking about their next line. Just a subtle little thing. Not Harry. You watch him in between the lines, he is there. Whatever there needs to be, he’s there.
Bartender/Friend: Why don’t you get married and stay home?
Stanton: Can’t I just stay home?
Stanton: Just not saying anything is already a powerful statement…Silence is very powerful.
Huber: How long were you together?
Stanton: About a year and a half.
Huber: And did you live together?
Stanton: Yeah, she lived up here.
Huber: And then what happened?
Stanton: She left with Tom Cruise. (Laughs) I got her in a movie with Tom Cruise, and she ended up with Tom for two years. Risky Business (laughs), an apt title.
Stanton: It’s all a movie, including this conversation. Nobody knows the ending.
Logan Sparks (Stanton’s Assistant): He says do nothing all the time, right? Do nothing. Which is bullshit, because if he did nothing he’d still be on a fucking rocking chair in Kentucky, you know? That’s what doing nothing gets you, is exactly that: Nothing.
He wanted to get out. He never saw himself staying there, never. And he had two brothers that stayed, you know, lived by the Bible, had families and kids and the whole thing, and grandkids. That was never his gig. Not ever did he imagine himself that way.
Sparks: He’s kind of the Forest Gump of Hollywood. Not by any means the lack of intelligence, but in the way he just stumbles through extraordinary circumstances.
Stanton: I’ve avoided success artfully.
Stanton: It’s all gonna go away. You’re gonna go, I’m gonna go, everybody’s gonna go. The sun’s burning out, the earth’s gonna go. It’s all transient, everything is transient. So it’s ultimately not important. It’s all fleeting, passing. And that’s not a negative concept, it’s just what is. It’s liberating.
It’s just everything happens. It’s all one connected whole. It’s happening, no answer to it. That’s Buddhistic, but I’m not a Buddhist.
Huber: What are you?
Stanton: Nothing. It’s a relief. Isn’t that a relief? When you’re nothing there’s no problems.
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