Moviestar, Nr. 211, April 1997

Lost Highway

"I`m on a Lost Highway myself"
Interview with "Mr. Eddy" Robert Loggia


Robert Loggia Everyone knows his face, but few know his name. Robert Loggia is the typical supporting actor, impressive despite few appearances. Born in 1930, Robert Loggia studied journalism and took lessons in acting. His first role was in Robert Wise`s "Die Hölle ist in mir" (1956) ['Hell inside"?]. But it wasn`t until the early eighties that he became popular playing Richard Gere`s father in "An officer and a gentleman" (1983), for which he received an academy nomination. Roles in 'Pink  Panther' (1982), The Knife (1985), The Ritual (1987) and Big (1988) were to follow. Recently, he starred in "Ludmilla`s sense of snow" as Julia Ormond`s old father and in 'Independence Day' as a general beside "US-president" Bill Pullman. 

Once more, the latter reappear in the same movie. In David Lynchs LOST HIGHWAY the star is cast as the violent gangsterboss Mr. Eddy.

Moviestar met Robert Loggia in Berlin.

Moviestar: Your ancestors are from Sicily...

Robert Loggia: Yes, that`s why I like to visit Europe. And my parents passed these old Italian traditions on to me.

MS: Is that the reason why you`re often cast as a  mafia boss?

RL: Possibly, but I don`t have any contact to the mafia business. Even though it is part of the American business life. But it´s true: I`ve been offered these kinds of role ever since the beginning of my career. No matter what you look like or what education you have, you`re always typecast. That`s just how it goes: Everone typecasts everyone.

MS: Does it make a difference to play in a mystery-thriller like Lost Highway in comparison to a science fiction film like Independence Day?

RL: It`s like chalk and cheese. Roland Emmerich did a brilliant special-effects movie, but  Lost Highway is a completely different matter. After reading the script, I couldn`t await to play the 'over-the-top' Mr Eddy. That`s a kind of role you`re only offered once in a couple of years.

MS: You`re said to having fought for this role ...

RL: Well, when David Lynch did Blue Velvet (1985), I wanted the role that Dennis Hopper eventually got. And I were to play a minor part instead. But I had to wait for three hours on a hot day. I beca,e furious like an old dog. When he [David Lynch] finally appeared, I almost attacked him. That`s a long time ago, and I didn`t expect to meet David again. When we were shooting Indepence Day, Pullman introduced us once more. He thought the role of Mr. Eddy would suit me. Finally David Lynch invited me [for an audition]. Who knows, maybe I was cast because of my outburst then.

MS: Do you get furiuos easily?

RL: Possibly! It`s not that I provoke these situations, but I just can`t stand being  embarrassed. I treat everone with respect and that`s how I expect to be treated. Nevertheless, I tend to get offensive easily. I remember an incidence from my days at High School. I was only 14 years old, and there was a new sports instructor, who yelled at us like a soldier. I couldn`t help a smile, so he came over to me, grabbed me by my t-shirt and shouted why I was laughing. I got so angry that I started to defend myself and finally beat him up. It`s a furiuos temper, that Mr. Eddy is driven by as well.

MS: Did you understand the plot of Lost Highway at once?

RL: To me, the story is kind of abstract. But in every abstract thing, there`s some realism too. Life is presented as a lost highway. And that`s how I experience it sometimes as well. If you`re getting older, life in fact becomes a  Lost Highway. I had the idea that when I die I`m out of touch with my two daughters. That would be terribly sad and it always reminds me that I`m aready on a Lost Highway.


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