The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Lukas Haas Day


‘On a midwinter Friday at Guero’s restaurant in South Austin, Lukas Haas is about to muse on his life as an actor when he turns his attention to a harried waiter. The place is packed with a hyper, bustling lunch crowd ordering heaping plates of Tex-Mex, but the nineteen-year-old calmly fixes his enormous, bottomless brown eyes on the guy and orders only two corn tortillas and a glass of orange juice. “That’s it?” the puzzled waiter asks. “Really, that’s all I want,” he replies decisively.

‘It would be easy to read too much into the exchange—maybe Haas wasn’t hungry—but it serves well as a metaphor for his career to date. Eleven years ago, in his first major role, he shook the seats of moviegoers everywhere as the frightened title character in Witness, director Peter Weir’s thriller about an Amish boy who sees a murder at a train station and helps a detective (played by Harrison Ford) bring the perpetrators to justice. It was the kind of high-impact role that catapults a child performer to stardom, yet in the months and years that followed, Haas turned down big-budget projects in favor of smaller ones that touched his head and heart. Such pickiness meant taking parts in films that did not exactly qualify as box office hits, such as the thirties-era drama Rambling Rose and Leap of Faith, a satire about a traveling evangelist. Factor in the Haas family’s move from California to Texas three years after Witness and you can see how he slipped from the limelight and, despite working steadily, never again gained the recognition he earned as an eight-year-old.

‘That transition, from famous child to somewhat anonymous young adult, has not bothered Haas. In fact, he professes to be publicity shy—so it will be interesting to see how he greets the onslaught of accolades that await him this year, when he’ll be all over the big screen in four highly visible films. First comes Boys, a coming-of-age tale starring icon-of-her-generation Winona Ryder; it hits theaters at the end of April. Then there’s Johns, an independent flick about young male hustlers in Hollywood, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was picked up by a major distributor. Haas also has a role in Woody Allen’s latest, Everyone Says I Love You, a musical comedy that stars Alan Alda and Julia Roberts. And he has joined the cast of Tim Burton’s forthcoming sci-fi farce, Mars Attacks!, which features campy turns by Glenn Close, Pierce Brosnan, and Jack Nicholson as the president of the United States.

‘Haas would prefer not to fathom the possibilities of a return to full-throttled fame, though he knows enough to be thankful for whatever comes. It’s a wise stance, considering how many of his contemporaries crashed after their first star turns. Take Justin Henry, who broke into the business in a big way in Kramer vs. Kramer; after becoming the youngest actor ever nominated for an Oscar, he all but disappeared. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, take Macaulay Culkin, whose relentless precociousness has turned the country against him. Or take River Phoenix, who crafted his career as carefully as Haas has but eventually succumbed to Hollywood’s pitfalls and ended up overdosing at an L.A. nightclub. Perhaps the best model Haas can hope to emulate is Henry Thomas, who got the ultimate career kickoff in E.T. but has managed to stay centered ever since by carefully choosing the roles that best suit him (his last marquee performance was in Legends of the Fall) and splitting his time between Los Angeles and his native San Antonio, where he lives near his family and plays in a band.

‘“After Witness, I was really famous, but I don’t remember much—I think I was very protected,” Haas says. “I don’t know how I’ll react this time. I can’t predetermine that. I’m going to try to keep living the same way I’ve been living.”

‘How he’s been living depends on which day of the week or week of the month it is. He mainly divides his time between Austin, where he owns a condominium in one of the city’s older neighborhoods, and L.A., where he shares an apartment with his mother, screenwriter Emily Tracy (who shuttles back and forth to see her husband, painter Berthold Haas, and their eleven-year-old twins, Simon and Niki). There is no set breakdown on how much time Haas spends in each place, but there’s a big difference in what gets done there. “In Austin, I mainly stay in my house and record my keyboard music, read, or write,” he says. “L.A. is a party scene. I hang out with a lot of famous people out there. But not because they’re famous—that’s just the community.” Indeed, Haas insists his life is essentially the same wherever he is. “It’s not like, ‘Now I’m in Austin, so I’m changed.’ Austin provides a balance for me. I have old friends here who are non-industry and who are just as creative as a lot of my industry friends. I go off to New York or L.A. for a month and I’m with these stars. Then I come back and it’s a completely different world. It’s like real life.”

‘Not that Haas loathes the Fantasyland aspect of being a Hollywood actor. His celebrity comes with privileges, from star treatment on the sets of his films to fast friendships with show business gadabouts like rock star—auteur Michael Stipe and model-actress Liv Tyler. But it’s clear that Haas would rather the spotlight fall on someone other than him. Unlike, say, Culkin, Haas neither seeks reporters nor finds himself having to run from them. And when the spotlight does fall on him, his mother insists, he can handle it. “He’s seen many examples across the board—all the dead ends,” she says. “He’s watched what happens to people who get full of themselves and who buy their own press. Those things are just not interesting to him.”

‘One resonant example Haas has seen up close is his pal Leonardo DiCaprio, a heartthrob actor whose performances in This Boy’s Life and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (for which he earned an Oscar nomination) have made him a hot commodity. As public personas go, Haas and DiCaprio couldn’t be more dissimilar. DiCaprio’s handlers blitz the major magazines whenever he has a movie coming out; by contrast, even if all of Haas’s films this year are hits, it is impossible to imagine that he will pose seductively for the cover of Details. “Leo is in this amazing place right now,” Haas says. “People want to be like him. He’s idolized. But no one is as big as he’s projected to be. Leo is just a guy—he’s my friend.” Like all friends, though, these two have had their moments of rivalry: Each auditioned for This Boy’s Life and Gilbert Grape. Haas maintains he doesn’t care that DiCaprio got both roles. “We’re both very lucky because we make money doing art,” he says. “Why should I want to be him?”

‘As far back as anyone can remember, Lukas Haas has always known just what he wanted. When he was still preschool age and his family was still living in L.A., he saw a live taping of a TV show his mother had written and was immediately taken with acting. “Afterward, he put his arm around me and said, ‘Mommy, this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to be a star for a little while,’” Emily remembers with a laugh. Initially, she and Berthold were reluctant to allow their son to do what could be cruel and demeaning work, but Lukas was insistent. Eventually they let him audition, and he got a role alongside Jane Alexander in the no-nukes drama Testament. He was five and a half.

‘With that first experience, the Haases began a tradition of discussing roles with Lukas in great depth. “We paid attention very, very carefully to whatever project he wanted to do,” Berthold says. “We wanted to make sure it was something he liked and that we felt good about, so that when he saw it, he would feel it was worth it.” Choosing scripts and roles carefully was one thing, however; guaranteeing that a finished movie would meet the family’s expectations was quite another. “There are so many variables, so many different people affecting a movie,” Lukas says. “You could give the most beautiful performance in the world and if they wanted to make it crap, they could. Somebody else could ruin it.”

‘This sober realization taught Lukas early on to speak his mind on a set, a trait that risked getting him pegged as an enfant terrible. “I’d say the director-actor relationship is very strange,” he observes. “You can be friends with a director, but there is a fine line where one person has control and the other doesn’t. There have been times I’ve jumped into the director’s territory. It’s the director’s movie, of course, but it’s my movie too—it’s on my record.” Many directors seem to at least consider, if not agree with, Lukas’ suggestions. “He clearly has his own opinion about things,” says Stacy Cochran, who directed Boys. “But he’s not opposed to figuring out someone else’s idea.”’ — Texas Monthly





Lukas Haas @ IMDb
Widows Proves Lukas Haas Is the King
Lukas Haas @ Apple Music
Lukas Haas @ Facebook
I Wonder What It’s Like to be Lukas Haas
Lukas Haas: Vigilante
LUKAS HAAS: Going Ape for YouTube Vids
L’authentique fusil de Jones (Lukas Haas) dans The Revenant
Lukas Haas @ Vogue



Lukas Haas as 60’s Dennis Hopper departing Halloween Party

Lucas/Lukas: Made for You

Lukas Haas in ‘T Takes’ Episode 7

Lukas Haas: Have You Ever Heard Of ‘The David Blaine’?




Collider: As an actor, in an industry that can and often is very unpredictable, what does that feel like to be in two films in Oscar contention, in the same year?

LUKAS HAAS: It’s been a great feeling this year. It’s pretty amazing because it’s hard, these days, to find a single film that you’re gonna be proud of, let alone to get cast in it. It’s hard to search out those really beautiful movies. And so, I’m just incredibly blessed. I feel so lucky. I don’t even really know what to think. I just got really lucky, and I was there at the right time.

It’s also very cool that they’re such different movies.

HAAS: I know. I actually did Widows first. I think somebody else was cast for that role and had to drop out, for whatever reason, and they were scrambling to find somebody quickly. My manager hit my up and asked me to self-tape, really quickly, that day. They were like, “You have to send it in now, or it’s gonna be too late.” So, I called my friend over and they helped me record it with my iPhone. I just read off of the page and sent them a little audition, and I got a call later that day from (director) Steve [McQueen] saying that I got the role. And then, I was in Chicago, two weeks later, for filming. It really just happened out of nowhere, and I was there for maybe a week, if that. Everything that I shot was packed into three days.

And then, First Man was the opposite. I was there for four months, or something like that, and there was a whole process. I got to go to NASA, see everything and ask every question, and we had astronauts escorting us through it. We went to not just Florida, but Houston, traveling from NASA to NASA and checking everything out. It was very, very cool. That whole part of the experience was the coolest film field trip that I’ve ever been on, for sure. That was the coolest preparation period that I’ve ever had. It was so cool. It’s just interesting how it took a few days to film one, and months to film the other. I love working and I love acting, so I like being on the set for a long time. I would have been happy to be in Chicago for a few months (for Widows), if it took that. And First Man was just the coolest film that I’ve ever seen being made. It’s hard to explain just how cool it was. I went to set every day, and it was just so rad working with Damien [Chazelle]. I’m a major fan of his, so I was especially excited about it. Everybody was excited about it. I’m not a fan kind of a guy, so when there’s someone that I really am a fan of, I’m extra excited to work with them.

I think Steven McQueen and Damien Chazelle are two of the most exciting filmmakers working today, and as exciting as their movies are now, I’m even more excited to see what they do, in the future. How was the experience of working with each of them? Were there any ways in which they approached filmmaking from a similar point of view, or are they very different filmmakers?

HAAS: They actually do have some similarities. They’re different personality types. Some directors are gregarious and loud and commanding, and some are more thoughtful. I’d definitely put Damien and Steve in that category. For my taste, of the people that I’ve worked with, Peter Weir (who directed Witness), Rian Johnson, who directed this movie Brick that I did, and Steve and Damien, all have this really lovely, warm, calm disposition. And Steve and Damien are incredibly generous directors. They listen. They’re engaged in the moment. They both want to know what you have to say, and they want to know what everyone has to say. They are so well-prepared. They’re living and breathing what they do, so there’s never any disconnect. Sometimes on a film, especially when you’ve been in a lot of them, you know the rhythm and what would be the right direction, going in. But with guys like them, you can see how they move through the day and through their scenes, and how they choose to shoot things. They’re both true artists. That’s what it boils down to. They’re trying to create something visceral, and they’re trying to connect, in a real way that’s special. I hope that there’s more of that in the world.

You’ve worked with some pretty great filmmakers, throughout your career. How would you compare working with Steven Spielberg to working with Christopher Nolan? Are there any similarities among those two?

HAAS: That’s interesting. So, I had a very particular experience with Steven Spielberg. I was really young when I first really worked with him. When I was in Amazing Stories, it was literally the most fun that I’d ever had on anything. The set was like a playground. We were shooting at Universal, too, which is almost like a ride. Steven would ask me, if I wanted to do it again, just because it was that fun. They would reset all of the spots, and a train would come through the house. There were all of these special effects that were in camera. I was a little kid, working with him, but he was so fun. He’s just awesome. He’s a special guy. Both Steven Spielberg and Chris Nolan are guys who are not aggressive, but are commanding type. Chris Nolan is definitely like that. He just has a vision, and he’s the commander-in-chief, for sure. He delegates. He has a very clear vision of the scene, and he sets up that scenario while the actors fit into it. Whereas with Damien [Chazelle], and people like that, at least in my experience, it’s way more about connecting to each other and working with each other. Chris is a little more of a guy who has this grand vision and he wants to execute it, and you’re a part of his palette. Really, that’s the case with any director, but some directors are more engaging, in the moment. They want to mine the actor to get what they’re looking to get.

I loved your performance in Widows because it’s such an interesting character. He’s this guy that seems like he’s saying all of the right things, but he’s also just very transactional and matter-of-fact. Having jumped into that role as quickly as you did, did you have time to find that balance and how you wanted to play him?

HAAS: A lot of those dynamics were just built into the role, so all you had to do, as an actor, in that case, was get out of the way. What was really important for him is to be charming, so that you believe that she would want to go with him, even though the scenario is maybe not something she would normally do. I recognized that, and I went into it with the very simple goal of trying to charm her. The transactional thing was funny because he’s not a bad guy. He’s in the middle somewhere. When you see the film, you’re not sure about him, but the truth is that he’s actually, at least from my perspective, being honest with her. He was not just trying to sleep with her and never talk to her again. He explained himself to her and told her where he’s coming from, and he was pretty clear and honest about it, from the beginning. That’s what’s cool about Steve [McQueen] and (writer) Gillian [Flynn].

He’s an interesting character that has these different sides. From the way that I looked at it, he’s a guy who was scared of the commitment part of it and was nervous about the closer connection. At least, that’s how I played it. It could’ve been that he was lying and he had a family, but I didn’t think of it that way. I thought of him as a guy who just had trouble with intimacy and didn’t know how to really let himself go that way, so the transactional thing was good for him. He used that to be able to get to a woman, and to protect himself, emotionally. It was a really interesting role. You have to think of the character’s motives, and all he really is trying to do is impress her and make her like him, so that’s all I was doing. I kept it pretty simple like that. And Steve was just so generous and warm. I think he could tell that I was on the nervous side. I hadn’t really been in a situation like that in a bit, with a big role in a big movie, and he was just so encouraging and warm and helpful and attentive. He was just there, supporting me and rooting for me. He’s a cool guy, and it was just a cool experience.

When you do such great work, especially like these last couple of films, does it make it harder for you to find things that you get excited about?

HAAS: No, it doesn’t, only because it opens some doors. You go through phases, as an actor. It changes, all the time. The whole business has changed so much, too. You never know if you’re gonna find something that you’re gonna like. That’s why it’s so exciting to get two of them in one year, like that. But, that’s rare for me. I just try to do the movies that I really connect to and that I really love, but there aren’t that many of them out there. You can’t always just do what you love, unfortunately but you try to get as close as you can. But I’m getting some scripts now, that I wouldn’t have gotten before these movies, so it opens up that side of things. It’s great. It’s such a nice way to establish yourself again, for the movies that are contender types, which are the kind of movies that I love to make and are consistent with my early career. Honestly, I’ve gotten super lucky. I’ve worked hard for it, but it still takes a lot of good fortune and good timing.

Do you know what you’re going to do next, as an actor, or are you in the process of trying to figure that out?

HAAS: My next film is called The Violent Heart, by this guy named Kerem Sanga. His last movie (First Girl I Loved) won an award at Sundance, two years ago, and that was a beautiful movie. The script is really cool and it’s a really cool role, so I’m excited. I start filming that in February.


17 of Lukas Haas’s 93 roles

Peter Weir Witness (1985)
‘While his first screen role was as the youngest of the doomed children in the 1983 nuclear Holocaust film Testament (1983), it was his second appearance, in Witness (1985) opposite Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis, that earned attention and acclaim. In Peter Weir’s 1985 film, Lukas portrayed Samuel, an Amish child who was the sole witness to an undercover cop’s murder, and his work earned him starring roles in such films as Lady in White (1988), The Wizard of Loneliness (1988), and Alan & Naomi (1992) – the latter film co-written by his mother.’ — IMDb




Frank LaLoggia Lady in White (1988)
‘It’s kind of tricky reviewing a movie like this. Almost nothing I can say will accurately reflect the tone of the film. I can write about ghosts and killers and strange old ladies, and I could be describing a much different film. But “Lady in White,” like most good films, depends more on style and tone than it does on story, and after awhile it’s the whole insidious atmosphere of the film that begins to envelop us. Like the best ghost stories of M. R. James and Oliver Onions, who were the best in their classic field, “Lady in White” is finally not really about being frightened by ghosts, but about feeling pity for them.’ — Roger Ebert



Martha Coolidge Rambling Rose (1991)
‘Nineteen-year-old Rose (Laura Dern) arrives at the Hillyer house to take care of 13-year-old Buddy (Lukas Haas) and his younger brother and sister. “You are as graceful as the capital letter S,” Mr. Hillyer (Robert Duvall) tells her. “You will adorn our house. You will give a glow and a shine to these old walls.” After she’s there a while, Rose discovers her best ally is Mrs. Hillyer (Diane Ladd). The older woman is, like Rose, an orphan. She seems to intuitively understand Rose’s need for attention and her yearning to find “Mr. Right.” Only trouble is, Rose doesn’t know how to express her emotions appropriately. She shocks Mr. Hillyer one day by declaring her love for him. He resists her advances, but Buddy and his young sister see it all. They are fascinated. Later, the distraught Rose turns to the teenager for consolation. He provides it freely in exchange for the chance to satisfy his curiosity about female anatomy.’ — S&P



Richard Pearce Leap of Faith (1992)
‘Steve Martin stars as Jack Newton a.k.a. Jonas Nightengale as a Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show huckster born in the Bronx and abandoned to a hardscrabble life of con games and crime. Debra Winger plays Jane, his front person behind the scenes who sets up “miracles” and other well known mentalist con artist tricks that let them roam the Deep South making a comfortable living on gullible believers along with his sizable church posse which includes Meat Loaf as bus driver. He packs revival meetings with an impressive array of charismatic black choirs, stunning stage effects and other gimmicks that, as he says to Liam Neeson, the skeptical sheriff of fictional Rustwater, Kansas, “sells hope to his victims more than an expensive Broadway show”. Because of a truck breakdown in drought stricken and struggling, farm town Rustwater, Martin takes the opportunity to turn a quick dollar even though the population is nearly broke and praying desperately for rain soon for their corn crops which they pin their last economic hopes on. But he ends up getting more than the usual push back and reaction when a boy named Boyd, played by Lukas Haas, looks to Martin for healing after being crippled in a deadly auto accident which also orphaned him.’ — writersalive



Stacy Cochran Boys (1996)
‘“Boys,” the film that wants to make a man of Lukas Haas, is beset by growing pains, and not all of them belong to the gawky young actor. Stretched from a short story called “Twenty Minutes,” this flat, oddly paced mystery/coming-of-age drama might have been better served sticking to that time length. As it is, “Boys,” pairing Haas with “older woman” Winona Ryder, is as vague and unfocused as its title, and Stacy Cochran’s direction promises far more than her script delivers.’ — Variety

the entire film


Woody Allen Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
Everyone Says I Love You is Woody at his most fun and freewheeling, tossing gags and digressions around virtually at random; he’s perfectly happy to put the flimsy narrative (an extended family’s romantic foibles) on hold for several minutes to stage a routine involving a dozen Groucho Marx impersonators. It’s essentially a companion piece to Radio Days, but in this case the nostalgia is present-tense, with Allen replaced as narrator by Natasha Lyonne’s still-evolving teen. You can see the beginning of Woody’s latter-day laziness as a writer here—a recurring bit with Lukas Haas as a Young Republican in a family of liberals is beyond feeble (though it has a great punchline)—but his comic timing was still comparatively razor-sharp, and this was pretty much the last gasp of his career as an improbable romantic lead.’ — AV Club



Scott Silver Johns (1996)
‘“Johns,” a movie about male prostitutes in Los Angeles, has a moment that offers a key to the film: Tourists offer a hustler $20 to pose in a snapshot with them. They want to show the folks back home that they’ve not only seen the sights, they’ve met the locals. The movie stars Lukas Haas and David Arquette as Donner and John, who work Santa Monica Boulevard, nurtured by their dreams: John wants to spend his 21st birthday in a luxury hotel room, and Donner wants them both to take the bus to Branson, Mo. Donner is gay and loves John; John says he’s straight and working only for the money, and he does have a girlfriend, although the relationship is fleeting and chancy.’ — Roger Ebert



Tim Burton Mars Attacks! (1996)
Mars Attacks! started out the way so many films do: as a pricey, feature-length adaptation of a series of scandalous Topps trading cards from the early 1960s. Basically, the kind of movie you make when you know that nobody will tell you “no.” An early version of the project would’ve carried a budget of over $200 million, which would be expensive today and would have been patently absurd 20 years ago. Yet these were the ‘90s, a time when studios would still throw unreasonable amounts of money at speculative projects by noted auteur filmmakers. (It’s the sad genesis of today’s bloated, brand-minded filmmaking: Hollywood kept the overpriced franchise starters and sequels, but pared down on all the volatile, excessively paid filmmakers that made so many of them worth watching.) All this for a movie about hideous, green aliens destroying Earth with laser beams. Burton dug deep into his bag of aesthetic tricks in order to make what really is essentially a stunt-cast Wood film with $70 million at its disposal instead of a few grand at a time. The Topps series imagined the colonization of Earth by the brain-exposed Martians, who wreak havoc until Earth fights back by detonating nukes on Mars, ensuring our continued intergalactic sovereignty. (The postwar ‘60s, everyone.) At the time, some were upset by the surprisingly graphic violence of some of the cards; even today, there’s something a little horrifying beneath the garish, cartoonish designs about the ugliness of its version of the end of the world.’ — Consequence of Sound



Alan Rudolph Breakfast of Champions (1999)
‘Getting Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical novel on film was a challenge both Rudolph and Bruce Willis were eager to meet, and the resultant movie shows them both taking creative risks. Midwestern auto dealership proprietor Willis keeps smiling even as things become unmoored with wife Barbara Hershey and son Lukas Haas, mistress Glenne Headly, colleague Nick Nolte, et al. Vonnegut’s recurring Kilgore Trout character is played by the great Albert Finney.’ — Quad Cinema



Rian Johnson Brick (2005)
‘With its peculiar metabolism, “Brick” has digested the detective novel, drawn its nutrients from Dashiell Hammett’s potent prose. It’s not the champagne of the “Thin Man.” Or Spade’s scotch and soda. It’s “Red Harvest” rotgut. This won’t be to everyone’s taste. Some will gag on it. But there’s something undeniably bracing in what Johnson serves up. Something strong and promising.’ — Denver Post



Gus Van Sant Last Days (2005)
‘Gus Van Sant does a remarkable job with this film – “Last Days.” Nothing much happens, there is not a lot of dialogue but what we see, experience, is the slow demise of an individual into oblivion. We are observers, albeit at a distance. The urge maybe there to intervene; deliberately evoked by the structure of Van Sant’s film. We want to say: ‘You do not have to go on like this. We can help.’ The structure is like a memory recalled. We keep going over it, adding bits as we do to try to make more sense, but never arriving at a definitive version. We especially hope that when the advertising salesman calls to the house and Blake lets him in,that he will engage with the man and forget his morose preoccupations. But the gulf between the two is unbridgeable. The nadir of the film is when Blake, left alone by his friends in the rehearsal room, starts to play on his guitar. His voice echoes his inner anguish, rising from a low to a high and then back to a low. He even manages to break a string on the guitar, but dexterously pulls the string while continuing the song. How could such music come out of such gloom? This is the paradox of creativity — of trying to give form to ideas, not yet realized. We wait in anticipation, incapable of giving directions. Blake is constantly trying to evade the intrusion of others but cannot transcend his own self, of being in the world. The final intrusion finds him not there; he is dead.’ — dliathain


Lukas Haas interviewed about ‘Last Days’


Derek Sieg Swedish Auto (2006)
‘“Swedish Auto” marks the debut of a singular talent in Derek Sieg, writer-helmer of this charming, poignant drama about marginalized people. Carter (sad-eyed Lukas Haas), a character who seems like a combination of Holden Caulfield and Boo Radley, was orphaned long ago by a car crash. Carter now is the go-to mechanic in a Charlottesville, Va., auto garage run by Leroy (Lee Weaver) and staffed by Carter and Leroy’s ill-tempered son, Bobby (Chris Williams). Haas covers the waterfront of emotions, never missing a beat; he and Jones are adorable as the oddly matched couple who are treated badly, mostly because their abusers can get away with it. There’s a well-calibrated naivete at the heart of “Swedish Auto,” which together with Richard Lopez’s expert cinematography and Sieg’s creative use of a limited budget, make the movie a study in state-of-the-art-indie filmmaking.’ — Variety




Christopher Nolan Inception (2010)
‘Not that anyone doubts it at this point (or at least shouldn’t), but we were one of the first sites (if not the first), to call out Lukas Haas’ participation, via the original trailer, in Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and an all-star supporting cast (Haas is also a longtime pal of DiCaprio’s who hung out with him in their early bratpack days after he became huge with “Titanic”).’ — The Playlist


Lukas Haas at the “Inception” premiere


Steven Spielberg Lincoln (2012)
‘Lincoln lacked social polish but he had great intelligence and knowledge of human nature. The hallmark of the man, performed so powerfully by Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” is calm self-confidence, patience and a willingness to play politics in a realistic way. The film focuses on the final months of Lincoln’s life, including the passage of the 13th Amendment ending slavery, the surrender of the Confederacy and his assassination. Rarely has a film attended more carefully to the details of politics.’ — Roger Ebert



Jane Clark Meth Head (2013)
‘The haunted little boy in Lady in White (1988), the alien-fighting teen in Mars Attacks! (1996), and the imperious drug kingpin known as The Pin in Brick (2005) are just a few of his memorable roles. But now he’s taking the lead in the new indie drama Meth Head, as a young man who falls into a Shame-like spiral after getting hooked on the stuff that makes even the most clean-cut souls break bad.’ — EW


Cruz Haas+Interview


Alejandro G. Iñárritu The Revenant (2015)
The Revenant is a 2015 American semi-biographical epic western film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The screenplay by Mark L. Smith and Iñárritu is based in part on Michael Punke’s 2002 novel of the same name, describing frontiersman Hugh Glass’s experiences in 1823. That novel is in turn based on the 1915 poem The Song of Hugh Glass. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and Lucas Haas.’ — collegedome


Monica Bellucci, Lukas Haas and more at The Revenant Premiere in Paris


Steve McQueen Widows (2018)
‘Lukas Haas is now starring in the second of two consecutive films by Academy Award-winning directors: Damien Chazelle and Steve McQueen. While the roles couldn’t be more different – he portrays astronaut Michael Collins in First Man and a real estate executive/sugar daddy in Widows – he explained to The Hollywood Reporter In Studio the similarities he encountered between the two directors. “One thing that was common between them is their gentleness. They’re both very warm and giving. They’re very generous in the way that they direct,” he said. Haas added, “One thing that Steve was really lovely with, he would tell me, ‘Lukas you’re great. Just keep doing it.’ He would really build me up, my confidence. He flattered me quite a lot, which in that situation was really nice because it made me feel very comfortable, and I think he felt that maybe I was nervous. But he was incredibly giving, and same with Damien.”’ — LH





p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Merry Xmas Eve morning! And thank you for the link to the new R. Newman. I’ll go glory in it. ** Misanthrope, So glad you liked it. Interesting re: CBD. Don’t know why that’s news to me. Well, like I said, the bud doesn’t seem to travel around very much these days, so I guess that’s it. I don’t really see people smoking pot on the streets of Paris so much, but I’m constantly getting whiffs of pot when strolling about, so it’s being smoked hereabouts a lot. Okay, well, that’s good about you vs. the shutdown, especially since I just read it’s probably gonna last quite a while due to stubborn, moronic you-know-who. Thank you, I did my ultra-best to have a nice weekend, and it wasn’t too bad all in all. Today’s mostly about remembering to buy cigs and food because everything will be shut tomorrow. And a buche. Sweet about your novel, and whoa, so close! ** Keatonstrar, She was, I forgot that too. I mostly know her from the Woody Allen thing. The name Diane is eternally locked down with ‘Twin Peaks’ for me. We’re chilly but not too here. Scarf, but no buttoned upper button yet. No malls for me, no presents, received our given, I don’t think. Haven’t seen a single Santa here, weird. No, wait, I did see one a week ago wearing a beret. Rock the Eve. ** Steve Erickson, Yeah, well, sort of yeah. Before … what’s his name joined the Doobie Brothers, and they did that ‘What A Fool Believes’ type stuff, they were … not quite a jam band, but a kind of boogieing feel good band. One of that era’s songs of theirs, ‘Listen to the Music’ still gets played a lot in the periphery of places where I sometimes am at least. Gruesome. Enjoy the parents, the Killian, the being away. I don’t what ‘Barry’ is. I think I’ll skip it based on the title alone. ** _Black_Acrylic, That gif was weirdly disturbing, no? I had to stick it in there. Congrats on your team’s win. Have the most festive today you can possibly have! ** Nik, Hey, man. Thank you. No, I don’t know what a Kringle is, but it sounds crazy delicious. I love donuts. The French don’t know how to do a good donut. They don’t even seem to know how to import a good donut. The buche I’m picking up today and eating tomorrow is this one. Your Xmas sounds nice. When you don’t have one anymore, all that trad. stuff starts to sound melancholy and sweet. All that needs to be done on the script is final formatting and typo fixing, so, as soon as that’s done, it’ll be sent, either tonight or on Xmas. Can not wait. I feel pretty good about it, really. And Gisele basically liked everything Zac and I did. I think what we’re turning in should be pretty close. I’m sure ARTE will want changes, and two of the episodes are way too long for the 50-59 minute slots we have, so there’ll be editing down, but, yeah, I’m pretty happy with it, as are all three of us. Tick, tick. Have a great, great, great Xmas! ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, Corey, nice to see you. Oh, yeah, interesting. I mean that Xmas’s outlay must barely crease your world down there. Huh. I don’t remember if there’s a pay-4-play Vimeo option for ‘Asia One’ or not. It might be, yeah, gallery- and museum-only fare. Ha ha, thank for the add. I actually heard about that vid somewhere, but I hadn’t seen it. Suave. It sounds like, all in all, things are fairly damned good in your world really. The big 3-0. Turning it is overrated and way overly ominous in reputation. It’s a blip soon after the fact. That’s the first time I’ve ever heard ‘Mr. Vain’, which I guess is weird since that video has 31 million views. I personally like really rote, shitty, retro 90s, cheap techno, so I’m on board with it. It’s definitely not Satan or anything. It’s funner than probably 85% of other current songs, I would guess. ** Okay. I invite you to spend Xmas Eve with the wonderful Lukas Haas. Do that, why don’t you? Because Xmas means squat to me this year, I will be posting on Xmas day tomorrow as if it were any other Tuesday, so drop by if you feel lonely or bored or whatever. See you (maybe) then.


  1. _Black_Acrylic

    @ Corey and DC re really rote, shitty, retro 90s, cheap techno, I’m in 100% agreement there. A fave of mine is the 1990 This Beat Is Technotronic with a killer rap by someone called MC Eric. Also as far as credibility goes, it’s an effective pastiche that could be dropped into a Detroit techno DJ set and not sound out of place.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Lukas Haas has a face that seems to devour the screen. Love him best in the sublime “Mats Attacks!’

  3. Bill

    Great Lukas Haas day, Dennis! I haven’t seen the two new films, but will try to soon.

    Ha, I was hoping that was the buche you picked.

    Have to pack and run to the airport. Have a good holiday thingie.


  4. Misanthrope

    Big D! Of course I’m a Lukas Haas fan. Loved him in My Chemical Romance’s music video for “The Black Parade,” off of their very underrated, imo, album. Plus, of course, his actual film work.

    I found out something interesting that you maybe already know. The movie Beautiful Boy was based on two memoirs about a boy/son’s addiction, one by the father, the other by the son. The son, Nic Sheff, come to find out, is a huge Dennis Cooper fan. I came across an article he wrote about prostituting himself in San Francisco and New York and he mentioned that you’re one of his literary heroes. Here, I’ll find the article, in case you want to look at it (it’s not very long).

    To wit (and he even links to the blog here):

    “The writer Dennis Cooper—whom I totally idolize—has a blog called The Weaklings where he recently posted a bunch of profiles of these boys advertising themselves as sex slaves on the Internet. Cooper’s books have long been a study in exactly what I’m talking about, which is how we, as human beings, have such fucked up ways of trying to come to terms with who we are. Like, some people take a shit load of drugs. Some people sell their bodies. Some people cut themselves or cut other people or let themselves get beat to shit or beat other people to shit. Hell, some people go to football games and get drunk with their friends and watch TV and never talk about any of this stuff at all. Some people can’t stop talking about it.”

    I don’t know, I found it interesting.

    Seems you-know-who is offering a compromise. Who knows how long this shutdown will last? I assume it might go into the new year but not much beyond that.

    We went to VA Saturday and got our cigs. And food on Saturday, as well. Hahaha. Worlds away and doing the same shit. 😛

    I didn’t get a buche like I wanted to. LPS will be getting a birthday cake next Sunday when he turns 18. And then we’re kicking him out. I’m kidding, we’re not. Hehe. But he is getting that cake. He wants a pea coat from my mom for his birthday.

    We’ve nothing else planned, except to go to my brother’s grave today. My mom wants to put a little Christmas tree on it. Otherwise, we’re just chilling.

    Oh, and I started Pynchon’s V. I like it. Duh. And frankly, I did end up liking Holleran’s The Beauty of Men. It got funny for a bit, but all in all, it was all right. A meditation on loneliness, sadness, grief, and old age that told way too much instead of showing such, but yeah, it was aight.

  5. Dominik

    Merry Christmas, Dennis!!!!

  6. Corey Heiferman

    Wow somebody really likes to read into exchanges between big brown eyed 19 year old male semi movie stars and waiters…

    “‘Mommy, this is what I’m going to do, I’m going to be a star for a little while.” Who could have written that line?

    I didn’t know who Haas was until seeing this post but now I can say I appreciated him in “Widows” for breathing some just along for the ride vibes into an otherwise stiff movie. I’d like to test the depth of Tel Aviv’s hip video store by searching for some of his other performances.

    _Black_Acrylic thank you for adding to the shitty techno thread. Ace of Base’s “Beautiful Life” has also been stuck in my head lately. I guess it’s in the Xmas spirit.

    If we’re ever in the same place and you’re having a similarly un-festive Xmas the Chinese food is on me.

    Btw, do you subscribe to some sort of strict definition of GIF that limits it to a certain length, only a loop rather than a repeating or randomly generated pattern, no sound, etc.?

  7. Keatonur

    Want Some Fucking Christmas?

  8. Keaton

    My Christmas is a mess. Hopefully things calm down before the beginning of the year. I am unlaid unhigh and thin, well, for me. I seem pretty determined about things this year. Got some cool books Im getting into, so things are ok. Ew a Santa in a beret. Funny thing, I dont see the Christmas lights, maybe its just Florida. Rock on big D. may your heart be pumping clean and your back massaged by doughy handed angels.

  9. Steve Erickson

    I saw JEANETTE THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC yesterday on DVD and liked it a lot. It has a really unique quality, even among Dumont’s films: the use of open spaces doesn’t contain anything sinister, for once. The musical aspects are pulled off quite well.

    I’m sure you’ve heard about Kevin Spacey’s “Let Me Be Frank” video, where he seems to defend himself from the sexual assault allegations that have been filed against him in character from HOUSE OF CARDS. I wanted to make a documentary about disturbing videos one can find on YouTube and deliberately sought them out. This is up there with the weirdest things I found – at least guys convincingly pretending to play Russian roulette on webcam chat sites while 8-year-olds are watching aren’t claiming “the public” is getting off vicariously on their sexual abuse of boys and men.

    On that note, happy holidays everyone!

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