Alex CoxDirector Alex Cox

Part of my plan for this page was to have run some interviews with some of the People of Spaghetti, needless to say, I feel like I’ve probably set the bar a little high right from the outset.

I give you Screenwriter, Actor, Author and of course Director Alex Cox who’s works include: Sid & Nancy, Repo Man, Three Businessmen and of course Straight to Hell…….

First off, can I get a few favourites please? 
I assume you’re referring to Italian Westerns…
For A Few Dollars More, Django Kill, Requiescant, Il Grande     Silenzio, Quien Sabe?, Once Upon a Time in The West, $1,000 on the Black, The Big Gundown

Favourite Director: Sergio Leone

Favourite Actor: Gian Maria Volonte

Favourite Actress: in an Italian Western?

Score/Soundtrack Composer: For A Few Dollars More: Ennio Morricone

Who and where was the first Music Gig you attended?
Cockney Rebel at a boxing stadium in Liverpool.

What was the first movie that really grabbed you?
King Kong.

Who or what are your main movie influences?
That’s not for me to say. I like Kurosawa and Buñuel a lot, and many other directors. 

Do you have a Film related Project that makes you thing, damn I wish I’d done that? and if so what is it ?
Bud Shrake’s script, Ambrose Bierce meets Pancho Villa.

Extra points available here for outdoing what you already achieved with Straight to Hell…..You’re creating a Super Movie Cast, who’s in it and what are they doing?  
Same cast as Straight to Hell, doing what they did best then.

On that theme if you could collaborate with any one at all dead or living who would you choose? and why?
Gian Maria Volonte, Klaus Kinski, Gianni Garko, Rose McGowan, Victor Mature, Lee Van Cleef, Jack Elam, Paul Robeson, Claudia Cardinale, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Charles Laughton, Warren Oates, Katy Jurado, Pedro Armendariz Sr, Ralph Richardson, Jimmy Cliff, Stephane Audran, and Jeanne Moreau. Because they all were/are great actors.

I visited the set of Straight to Hell a couple of years ago and even with absolutely nothing to do the sun was relentless and all we had was a bottle of white wine to keep us company (not advised). But as a huge Clash, Pogues, Costello, Tudorpole, and of course Kathy Burke fan. I’m really interested to know how hard it was to get everyone doing what they were supposed to in what I imagine was about 40 degree heat with I’m guessing a steady stream of Mahou combined with the added celebrity of Dennis Hopper, Grace Jones & Courtney Love. 
It was 110 degrees fahrenheit, 43 degrees celsius, in the shade. There were so many good actors – you mention Kathy Burke, for one – that even those who weren’t actors got inspired and did better. Also, of course, the desert, the costumes, and the mysterious attraction of the place all helped. The Spanish caterer was extremely fine, serving red wine with lunch and a carajillo before returning to the set. Courtney wasn’t yet a celebrity. Dennis, Grace and Joe were. But they all acted very graciously and quickly became part of our dust-encrusted reality.

Joe Strummer, Sy Richardson & Dick Rude (Straight to Hell 1987)

It’s quite obvious that you are a movie / music fan but do you ever get starstruck? and if so then by whom?  
I was amazed to be able to screen Repo Man to Iggy Pop, and that he would write us a song… Even more astonished to be working with someone from the Clash (the only band that ever mattered) and the director of Easy Rider. How could I have been so fortunate? And how nice they were.

Having worked all over the place and occasionally spanning several countries in one hit (Three Businessmen 1998) do you have a favourite location or country for making films?  
Anywhere in Mexico, and the Tabernas Desert in Almería.

We know you for directing, acting & writing but do you have any other interesting interests?
Dogs, gardening, my wife, camping in the desert.

Before movies did you have “normal” jobs? and if so what was the worst?  
I had a couple of summer jobs in an oil refinery which paid for my living expenses while at film school. I haven’t had much else in the way of “normal” jobs. Did lots of interesting things and usually didn’t get paid for them.

On that note, who or what made you think
fuck day jobs…. I’m gonna do this’? 
I was very lucky because I grew up in the 1970s and was able to go to three universities essentially for free. In those days the costs were minimal, and the environment was less stressed and business-focused, so you could actually take the time to make mistakes, course correct, and figure out what you were good at and what you wanted to do. 

Sara Sugarman, Alex Cox & Courtney Love (behind the scenes Straight to Hell 1987)

Who do you think might be a FUN person to go to the pub with?
Edward Tudor Pole.

and of course, who do think might be a total pain in the arse to go to the pub with?
Why would I bother myself with that question? 

What is the stupidest question you have ever been asked? 
Would you like to donate some money to the Labour Party/the Democrats/the war effort against Russia?

Briefly, your thoughts on: 

The Future of the European Western:

The Punk Scene (these days):

Tudor Pole and the Circle Jerks are still touring, so I assume the spirit still exists.

Brexit & UK Politics:  
United Ireland just around the corner.

It’s been a while.

Lastly do you have any new projects in the pipeline (particularly secret ones) that we should be looking out for? 
Just my last movie…

Alex, Thank you for your time, much appreciated, Cheers Iccy

Keep up to speed on what Alex gets up to on his personal blog page [HERE]

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By Iccy