Film Icon Harry Dean Stanton Shares the Secret to Life: Plus, an A Cappella Performance!

Talking with the enigmatic actor about the songs his mother taught him and his famous musician friends

David Marchese WRITTEN BY
David Marchese

For more than 50 years, Harry Dean Stanton has been haunting Hollywood's edges. Best known for his roles as enigmatic misfits in Repo Man, Wild at Heart, and Paris, Texas, the Kentucky-born actor (and World War Two veteran) is gifted with one of those on-screen faces so full of life and mystery that its mere presence elevates a film, no matter how good or bad. 

The recently released documentary Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction, directed by Sophie Huber, paints a necessarily impressionistic portrait of the 87-year-old actor, prone as he is to gnomic aphorisms and for whom silence is often the best form of explanation.

Stanton visited SPIN during a promotional trip in support of the film, and spoke with us on camera about his lifelong love of music, his famous musician friends, and why he gets up in the morning. 

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  • 1 DJ Center — 2AM inna London Dub " 05:10
  • 2 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart — Eurydice " 04:19
  • 3 Twin Shadow — To The Top " 03:20
  • 4 Fantasmes — Bare Bones " 04:58
  • 5 The Black Angels — An Occurrence at 4507 South Third Street " 03:20
  • 6 Soundgarden — Black Hole Sun (Demo) " 05:54
  • 7 J Dilla — Give Em What They Want " 02:45

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