When the actor and director came to London to promote his film The Last Movie,
Philip French spoke to him and Jane Bown caught the moment on camera.
Photograph: Jane Bown/The Observer
This article, entitled At long last – the Last Movie by Philip French, was published in the Observer on 24 October 1982.
Dennis Hopper has been in London to introduce The Last Movie, the picture he directed and starred in.
It won the first prize at the 1971 Venice Festival and was then withdrawn from distribution by Universal Studios after being panned by American critics.
After a legal battle lasting several years, Hopper gained possession of his film, and can now show what is perhaps the best-known unseen picture of the past 20 years wherever he wishes. It opens at the ICA on Thursday.
Hopper’s appearance belies his reputation as the Hollywood outsider who carried on rebelling both with and without a cause after the death of his friend James Dean. “Maybe I once did try living up to people’s preconceptions of Dennis Hopper after a few drinks,” he remarks, taking another sip of Perrier, the strongest thing he touches now.
The young of present day America, as conformist as the Eisenhower years against which he first rebelled, tend to see him “as something BC – you know, before computers.
”He’s a lean, clean-shaven man in a green rugby shirt, with neatly trimmed greying hair peeping from under the beige fedora he wears indoors and out.
A pair of large sad grey eyes look very directly at you as he talks of a career that goes back 30 years.