Clu Gulager

Interview by David Del Valle

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from spending years trying to finish his uncompromised, unfinished feature, Clu said "Those with obsessions never learn. Those with a compulsion to make films are fucked in the beginning, fucked in the middle, and fucked in the end. You can call it madness, you can call it being an artist, or you can call it ruining your life. But we have not learned one God damned thing."

Clu was in two features for director/writer Chris Coppola. Both star Robert Carradine and both also feature Tom Gulager. Clu plays Uncle Buck Peters, owner of the Bar 20 Ranch in (BALLAD OF A) GUNFIGHTER (98), and is the telegraph operator in PALMER'S PICK UP (99), a comedy, also with Grace Jones, Soupy Sales, and the late Morton Downey Jr. He also starred in VIC (99), a short directed, written and edited by Sage Stallone. It features Miriam, son Tom and Carol Lynley. The serious script, about aging and suicide, was written by Will Huston, who had acted in THE OFFSPRING and EDDIE PRESLEY. Meanwhile Clu was busy on a new screenplay for a planned new feature - The Woman Who Would Be Jesus.

Over the years Clu Gulager has worked with many low budgets on rushed productions. "You never get used to it. A little bit of your soul is torn away each time you do it and pretty soon you become something other than whole and this is too bad because we have some great American acting artists. But we are somewhat limited at times by the speed that the financial community has chosen to exhibit our art with and it's


very sad to people like me who teach hundreds of young artists. I know I'm putting them out and about a fourth of their capacity will be used. The great art that I try and help them bring out of themselves generally will never even be half realized, because of the need for more and more profit, and it becomes disheartening and sad and unfit for people who care. Actors are encouraged not to stretch. This city (L.A.) for instance is the pits. The bathroom theater anywhere is the pits. The economists encourage bathroom theater. They don't want anything beyond that. We're all to blame for that. Our leading playwright happens to be Neil Simon. He writes some good material, but for Neil Simon to be our leading playwright really hurts. We deserve a William Shakespeare."

"I don't have fun acting. I don't enjoy acting. I think acting is very painful. There may be those joy boys and joy girls who claim that acting is the stuff of life but I think most artists find that their art is very painful and very laborsome and very difficult under the best of circumstances, almost a killing kind of process. You can have fun during a picture but there's also a great deal of creative pain involved in something like this for me. There's not much happiness in the creative process."

The site for Gulagers' Film Actors Workshop is: