Interviews from the LAS PALMAS
FILM FESTIVAL (loosely translated)
La Opinion de Tenerife, March
One of the most striking presences
at the ninth edition of the
Festival of Las Palmas was American actor Peter
What is your assessment
of this Film Festival of Las Palmas?
These initiatives are always very valuable because
you have an opportunity to see films made all over
the world. In the United States, the vast majority
of films that are released are
our own commercial ones. Here
at least you see
facets of unpublished experimental cinema or
minimalism and can feel the freedom with which
artists have expressed their work
and stories. Actually I am very happy for this
As a man who is combative, you
have led demonstrations in Washington
during the Cuban missile crisis
and were an active
the counterculture in the sixties.
I am very leftist. In my recent years I have engaged
in election campaigns because I enjoy working with
people who defend good
ideas that help others. In the sixties the
Diggers published a series of anarchist pamphlets
that are still very
valid. I remember my
conversation with Spielberg in this regard
during the filming of ET
because it was very important to
me that my character not be
the typical villain despite being the leader
of the bad guys who proves threatening. I
was interested in showing a man with
a big heart interested in the same
questions as the child...
What you see on screen is nothing more than what I
Do you have a definite opinion on the current
political situation in the United States?
My view is that we screwed up
after an eight-year reign
of Bush because he has completely divided the
citizenry of this country
and he cannot be respected for that.
These elections are important for the whole
world... I hope to
younger president, intellectual and more
interested in the problems of the people. Personally
I swear by Obama... The control of
communications by corporations and the new banking
laws on mortgages
created an economic nightmare for ordinary citizens.
Are there possibilities of a more
democratic Hollywood since the end of the strike by
So far there has been a small victory. Now, if you
write a script and pass it onto
publish it on the Internet without paying the
screenwriter. Over the next three years things can go
well, but this is far from
the end and will require further discussion and
negotiation in the future.
After working with directors
in the stature of Steven Spielberg, Pedro
Almodovar, Roman Polanski or
Steven Soderbergh, is it difficult to remain outside
When you're part of a system, it's your obligation to
learn to interact. That's what I have learned after
a 35-year career. I am
also a Buddhist Every day
I meditate and when I start a
new day, I'm completely
El Dia, March 9, 2008:
Jury member of the ninth International Film Festival
of Las Palmas, Peter Coyote
began his movie career
late at nearly 40 years old, but in only twenty-five
years he has
had time to work
of the best contemporary directors like Roman
Polanski, Pedro Almodovar, Brian de Palma, Sidney
Pollack and Steven Spielberg. He
also played an important role in
the counter-culture of the sixties in the United
States. His latest
film is "Resurrecting the Champ"
with Samuel L. Jackson with an imminent release in Spain.
He insisted on doing
the interview in Spanish, without
assistance of a translator.
After so many years and so many movies,
have you lost the illusion of the cinema?
Yes. It's a tough life.
am lucky enough to earn a living in this occupation.
But once in a while I am at home, happy with my wife
and my dogs and the phone rings to tell me that they
have a job for me and
I say: "Do you want to
kill me?".... I started my career at the age of 40,
too old to the cinema. I had ten years of starring roles.
Now I am 66 years old and the roles
offered to me are smaller. I cannot retire. I am
like a horse race.
struggling against the system?
day without hope. I see posters of the
candidates here and I think that's the same as in the United States. They are all thieves.
Much of the public will remember, above all,
your role as a scientist
in "ET". Does that bother you?
No. I had a great
opportunity. I have something in common with all the
world's children. In "ET" it was important that the
scientist was not a bad person. Consensue with
Spielberg that my character appeared strong and
threatening, but who possessed a big heart and was
interested in the same questions
as the child. I was
very famous for twenty minutes.
Although occasionally I like to say,
"Dear, I have
done something yesterday."
Coyote Web Site ]