A familiar figure to Hollywood Foreign Press members, Radioman is the star of a documentary movie which will be screened at the London Film Festival in October. It is the story of an extraordinary eccentric, a homeless man whose unparalleled obsession with the movies has taken him from sleeping on the streets to becoming a New York movie legend with over 100 small film roles to his name.
Radioman (so called because of the trademark boombox radio he hangs around his neck) spends his day and nights cycling around the city from one movie set to another, hanging out with the cast and crew between takes and then moving on to wait until the early hours of the morning outside premieres and after-parties for the same people he has just spent the day with. The stars, filmmakers and crew are the closest thing he has to a family and he cherishes he time he can spend with them even if it often means waiting for seven hours in the freezing cold.
Featuring interviews with celebrities who know him the Radioman documentary gives the audience a look behind the scenes of showbusiness—paparazzi, autograph hunters, premieres and film shoots, all seen through the eyes of a self-confessed New York street bum.
On a recent trip to New York we caught up with Radioman where he was waiting for Jessica Alba outside the Trump Soho Hotel and planning his trip to London. “I’ll be there for the premiere of the movie but I won’t stay more than a couple of days,” he told us. “I’ve got things to do in New York.”
For forty years the HFPA has audio- taped famous actors and actresses. The world’s largest collection of its kind — over 10,000 Star Speaks — is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. To veteran stars, our HFPA journalists are family, they banter with them and they speak openly and frankly about them-selves and their artistry.
I have a Beverly Hills mentality. I can’t help it. Not only did I grow up in Beverly Hills, but I knew every single famous person who lived here. That’s really saying something. Until I left Hollywood, it didn’t seem extraordinary. Then I thought, “My God, look what happened to me. I met all those terrific people.”
But when I was growing up it was just normal. They were the people who worked with my mom ( Judy Garland) and dad (Vincent Minelli ). Everybody’s parents were famous, everybody’s friends were famous. When I got to New York, it killed me I hadn’t appreciated that.
My mother was a very strict disciplinarian, but fair. It was a matter of talking. You had to learn to use your brain fast in her household. She wouldn’t say, “You can’t do that.” She would not do it directly like a parent. It was always like a friend. “Why did you do that? What were you thinking about at the time? How could you do something so stupid?”
When you’r five years old, this hurts, but it teaches you to use your head. She was always fair. She never overpunished us. I think I was a quiet kid and kept a lot to myself.
When I hit twenty-two, that all changed and I became very noisy. But when i was growing up I was quiet. There’s a part of me that still remains, that says, “Well I won’t worry, I’m not gonna let it bother me today. I’ll think about it later.” So I think I do have a reserve of emotion.
I would never write a book about my mother, ever, I would never play my mother. That’s something I hold very dear and I want to leave it alone. I don’t want to rewrite it for other people. That’s mine. I hold it sacred, it took me a long time to realize my mother was dead. That’s very important for me to know. Otherwise, you’re carrying around a whole bunch of luggage that you don’t need, that’s too heavy.”
—– Edited by Jack Tewkesbury
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For forty years the HFPA has audio- taped celebrated actors and actresses. The world’s largest collection of its kind is now in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences Library. The audios are fascinating. To stars, our HFPA journalists are family; they banter with them and speak openly and frankly about themselves and their artistry
I played football in high school, but I became a football player after I did North Dallas 40, and it was mainly a journalistic creation. Around this time I was arrested for selling counterfeit government documents. I was given a $75,000 fine and forty-five years in jail, which meant I could not be drafted because I was a felon and that was great.
But what happens is that changes came about. Later, they turned around and said, “Sure you can vote now, we were just kidding.”
Well, I didn’t kid with it. I won’t vote. I’m a felon. So that’s why I remain disillusioned with any kind of bureau-cratic structure. I have a healthy disrespect for institutions. Personally, I believe in myself.
When I was drinking, during my years of addiction , I was happy, but it finally caught up with me. But I was great drunk. As far as acting goes, I’ve been happy with it from the very first day I decided to get into acting. When I saw my first Arthur Miller play, I said, this talks about human life. You can read it, you can watch it, you can participate in it.
I was very happy the first time I got on stage. But I was also horrified. To go on stage is a horrific experience. Opening night is pure terror. There is nobody who can say isn’t but I knew immediately that this was home. I really belonged. This is what I needed to do, so that journey has
always been that way.
There hasn’t been a time in my film experience when I said, “Oh, now I’m doing what I want to do.” I was always doing what I wanted to do. I wasn’t always happy with myself when I was an alcoholic, but that is a different situation than the work. Through all the addiction and everything, I didn’t stop working. I made films like Who’ll Stop The Rain, Heartbeat, and 48 Hours, and was quite pleased with all of those.
—Edited by Jack TewksburyRead More »