Director John Carroll Lynch spoke to Collider about LUCKY, actor Harry Dean Stanton’s final film. Lynch could imagine no one else in the role and crafts a fitting farewell for the Hollywood legend, ‘If Harry Dean had said, ‘Nah, I’m not interested,’ I think that would have been the end of it. I don’t think we would have thought, ‘Who’s going to play this part, in this movie?’ It was fully invested in his yes. That said, it’s the day-to-day and moment-to-moment process of working with an actor on a role, even if it’s so inspired by him that it has the cross currents of his personal life, his own ideology and his own daily habits. Both he and I had the responsibility of making Lucky, and not making Harry, and we did that.
In all of his performances, he has a sense of just simply being that’s so impressive, so inspiring and so hypnotic. It’s so fascinating to watch him. And as far as pride is concerned, I’m most happy with the fact that his last leading role — and his second leading role in his career — is being fêted and he’s being recognized as the great actor that he was. That’s really part of the reason that it was so attractive to me to do the movie. I wanted to work with him and get to watch over that performance, and then to hand it off to people and see that they respond. That’s great. I’m really happy about that. It’s really amazing to think about how much he poured himself into that at 89, and how much he revealed of himself at 89, and how willing he was to take the risk to do that amount of work with that schedule at 89 years old. It’s impressive. And then, to have it be of such quality, it’s inspiring. It’s great that that’s out there for people to see that the vitality of what they have to say doesn’t end when they retire or when they’re of retirement age. People have plenty to say to us. That particular performance couldn’t come from someone without the mileage that Harry Dean brought with him. It wouldn’t be as poignant and powerful.”