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Ron Gilbert

I am now living in the heart of the film industry and have been involved in the film and theates industry for almost 50 years.I started out in New York City which was where the acting scene at the Actors Studio (I am a lifetime member) included Robert DeNiro,Dustin Hoffman ,Al Pacino,Robert Duval and other name actors like Martin Landau ,Rod Steiger,Shelley Winters,Paul Newman,Ben Gazzara and the list goes on. That was then and the picture has changed. A stage play in New York names a name Hollywood actor to make a profit. The independent film scene has also changed. Steven Soderbergh commented on that recently at the San Francisco International Film Festival and major companies have taken over the studios.

I still work as an actor in commercials,TV and mostly independent films. I ahve worked with the major directors like Francis Ford Coppola,Sydney Lumet, and  Bryan Singer whom I met on his first feature and the relationship is same even now.

Currently I can be seen on reruns,commercials,short films and indie films.

We are currently shooting this web series

I have 2 award winning  films on the festival circuit American Bred and Courier X

In addition as a member of the Actors Studio I have taught at Strasberg Institute and Theatre of Arts and created 2 acting academies in Italy and have done workshops in London and other cities.the I have been a judge on many film festivals and worked with Independent Film Projects West as a producer on the feature film program and the Spirit Awards.


Harry Dean Stanton:Partly Fiction

Harry Dean Stanton : Partly Fiction, a documentary

By Ron Gilbert

One of the additional joys after viewing this film was having Harry Dean in person performing a few musical sets which could have gone on for hours because no one wanted him to stop. He always says, “It is what it is. Everything just is.” Just put that in your mind and it will help you into the insight to this fascinating documentary. Swiss director Sophie Huber, who met Harry 20 years ago, discussed with us how it took her a few years to convince him to do the documentary and it took over a year to put it all together and it is what it is and more.  Huber does manage to crack his defensive wall on occasion. At one point she has Harry opening up to a lost love - stolen away from him (by his account anyway) by Tom Cruise - and just then we see the mask slip and the hurt when we discover that is was Rebecca De Mornay. Debbie Harry also was more than pals but the affairs are not the focus of this documentary. Harry has a real passion for music, folksy blues in particular. So he  sings to  Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’ - made famous in Midnight Cowboy - and Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain with the vulnerability he  brings to his acting is there too in his singing - that sadness of the eyes, the quiet warbling in his voice reveals more about Harry than his answering of questions ever could. Now 86, Stanton has appeared in dozens of high-profile productions over the past 5 decades and has earned a rock-solid cult status. This documentary shows the distance he keeps between his work and himself and Harry discusses his lack of confidence in, finally, being a leading man. Particularly in a role which requires him to be mute for much of it. Harry uses mistakes and lessons from his own life .The best example is his performance as Travis' in Paris, Texas .Wim Wenders discusses this and subsequently the vulnerability he shows when acting  which  results in Harry being a man of few words, preferring to insulate himself from his painful past when not on screen. Director David Lynch touches on the fine line HDS treads between a natural innocence and a painful hurt that makes him such a captivating screen presence. Lynch also provides a terrific insight into the nature of acting and directing, when he discusses Harry’s genius “in-between the lines”. Lynch says many actors aren’t really listening to the other characters, merely waiting for their own lines - yet Harry is always in the moment, always reacting to the scene and the actors in it.


Excerpts from Alien, The Missouri Breaks. The Straight Story, Cool Hand Luke andParis, Texas provide us glimpses of a career that has never received a major solo acting-award nomination but colossal respect from his peers and co-workers. For fans of Harry Dean Stanton, surely one of American cinema’s most consistently engaging performers; there is much to love in this documentary to find out what makes him tick. Ultimately, however, that remains an enigma, and as captivating as ever, but most importantly, the film does demand a revisit to the films of Harry Dean Stanton, and for that we must be grateful.

HDS With David Lynch


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Harry Dean Stanton Poster.jpg32.96 KB


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