A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Lance Henriksen - Very Good At Being Very Bad
Friday, June 29, 2007

In November 1997 Globe & Mail writer Chris Dafoe and I spent some time in actor Lance Henriksen's movie trailer. He was in town filming a TV series called Millenium. When we left, after the end of the interview and the photo session, Dafoe commented to me, "What a likeable guy." I could not disagree as I, too, was astounded by Henriksen's hospitality and gentlemanly demeanor. The November piece in the Globe by Dafoe had the charming title you see above for this blog. And it was accompanied by a photo of mine where Henriksen smiled.

Thinking back on that day and from my perspective of 2007 I realize it all started sometime in 1985 when Vancouver Magazine associate editor Don Stanley told me to photograph a science fiction writer called William Gibson.

It seems that his 1984 novel Neuromancer had won a science fiction hat trick. It had won the Hugo, the Nebula and the Philip K Dick awards for best novel of that year. I immediately looked for some high technology looking place to photograph the author. I picked Gibson at his Kitsilano home. Getting into my Fiat X-19 presented a problem.My tiny two seater sports car was not able to accomodate his 6ft 5in frame. Gibson ended up with his knees bent to his chin. I took the photo you see here at a new nightclub called Systems that was at the foot of Richards Street. At the time I believed that when one lacked a good photographic idea one resorted (and I did here) to the Dutch Tilt.

Gibson liked his photograph and for many years I was his official photographer. I received calls from Stern, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, etc for pictures. But his influence over me (it certainly helped my finances) went beyond. It was from Gibson that I learned to appreciate Raymond Chandler. I remember fondly going to see Terry Gilliam's Brazil with Gibson and John Lekich at the Park on Cambie Street. We discussed the film over coffee across the street.

But it was also Gibson who first told me of American director Kathryn Bigelow and her 1987 vampire western, Near Dark. It was in this scary but wonderful film that I discovered Lance Henriksen.

While this favourite film of mine is one I have only seen once, I do believe I will see it again soon. I will enjoy Henriksen being very good at being very bad.


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