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John Carroll Lynch: “Harry Dean Stanton was the inspiration for my film”

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Lucky is the film testament from the deceased actor Harry Dean Stanton (1926-2017), who is being honoured at the 55FICX. Its debuting director, John Carroll Lynch, also from the acting world, presented the film before the media.
Working with the veteran actor, whom he cited as the “inspiration” for this existential trip for a 90 years old man, was a “great challenge” for Carroll Lynch. “He had been offered some star roles recently, but he was semi-retired”. Here he accepted to give life to the protagonist because there were “things he wanted to transmit” and thus he “felt as his many dialogues and moments”. On top of Dean Stanton’s work, Lucky has a role for David Lynch (Mulholland Drive), with whom the director shares a surname but not a blood relation. “He never started giving directing tips, he arrived at the end of the shooting and just acted”.

A supporting character in works as emblematic as Fargo (1996) or Zodiac (2007), up until now John Carroll Lynch didn’t have more experience directing other than a “short film for a friend”. His first experience behind the cameras took place almost by chance. “I got this opportunity because 16 years ago I shot that short film with one of the writers”, the same way that at the moment he filmed “because my wife was travelling and I had that weekend free”. The two writers, Logan Sparks and Dago Sumonja, are also new when it comes to feature films.

As an actor debuting in direction, Carroll Lynch pointed out some similarities between both tasks: “The narrative aspect is present in both works”. Nevertheless, he considers that when acting “you join the creative process quite late” because “others have conceived the world you are going to live in”, while directing for the first time he had the chance to “take all those decision from the beginning”. In Lucky he found a project “reasonable, logical for a debut and linked to terrific actor”, which “solved all the production problems”.

Moreover from serving as a 55FICX tribute for Harry Dean Stanton, the seed for Lucky already had death as the main theme. “My mother died four years ago”, to which his own diagnosis of a “prostate cancer, from which I’m already cured”. The illness served Carroll Lynch to realize “time is golden” and “had to exploit all the opportunities to express myself, both personal and professional”.

Since he believes “things just happen”, he rather not think too much in the future. What he does know is that he’s interested in continue directing, maybe something “more visually and written complex”, and the next one will be a television show from Trailer Park Boys’ creator about “cereals, cannabis and racoons”.

Sergio de Benito
Palabras clave Festival de Cine, 2017