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Scott Ian recalls experience in David Lynch movie

Scott Ian

Hard Rock

Scott Ian recalls experience in David Lynch movie

The Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian is a huge movie fan and had the chance to appear in many films and tv shows over the years, including more recently in The Walking Dead. But back in the 90s, he played an inmate in David Lynch’s famous movie “Lost Highway” (1997). However, his characther didn’t make it to the final cut of the film and the musician recalled in a post on his social networks the letter he received from Lynch and the whole experience of working with the legendary director.


That movie had a famous cast, with people like: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Robert Blake, Gary Busey, Robert Loggia, Richard Pryor, Marilyn Manson and Henry Rollins.

Scott Ian recalls experience in David Lynch movie

“From the I Haven’t Seen This In 27 Years file – Here’s the story behind this letter:” I was playing an inmate on death row in David Lynch’s film Lost Highway. My friend Jennifer worked for David and suggested me when she heard David was looking to cast an inmate.”

“David said, ‘Scott has the right look.’ I took that as a compliment. My scene was in the prison that Bill Pullman is in. I’m sitting in my cold, dark cell and the small window in the door slides open and a guard (played by Henry Rollins) slides a food tray in. I get up, walk to the window and stare at Henry until Henry, unnerved by my vicious stare, closes the window.”

“We practiced the scene a few times for camera and then David came over to give me direction – “Scott, I want you to stare Henry down because you hate Henry, you hate Henry and you want to kill Henry, Henry is an alien species that you have never seen before and he’s a threat to you and you need to kill that threat.” This was all said to me in the same loud voice David had as Gordon Cole on Twin Peaks.”

He continued:

“I thanked David for the direction and walked off thinking, David Lynch just directed me for a scene (!) and how the hell am I supposed to be tougher than Henry? It was all too much. David called for a ten minute break and I headed over to Henry – I told him it was nuts that I was supposed to be the hard guy in the scene.”

“We had a laugh and then Henry asked, “Did you see Heat?”
“Of course,” I answered. Then a smirking Henry leaned in and said, “Remember the scene where Al Pacino, who is this tall (Henry held his hand up to denote how not tall Al Pacino is) beat the shit out of me?”“Hahaha, yeah, I remember” I said, starting to understand where he was going with this… and then Henry exclaimed, “ACTING!” We had another laugh, headed back to set and when David said, “Action!” I was ready. Thanks Henry!”

“So in this letter when David refers to my character, it makes me feel that my acting was good enough for David Lynch. And saying I was “an integral part of the creative process” ain’t too bad either! Thanks David! And thanks Jenn for making it all possible,” Scott Ian said.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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