During the Savannah Film Festival, EV was able to sit down and talk with actor Norman Reedus (Boondock Saints, The Walking Dead) about things he enjoys off camera, like his many art projects. Check out the interview below!
EV: Norman, What inspired you to create a book of fan artwork?
NR: Well, I had a book of my own photos that went out called “The Suns Coming Up Like A Big Bald Head and it sold really well, we didn’t do Amazon we just did our own thing and it did really well and people were really interested in it. Then my publisher asked me, “You ready to do another book?” I was so busy with the show and I wanted it to organically happen, I don’t want to just make a book you know. So, I have so much fan art sent to me on a daily basis and I was just like, “Lets do that.” As a thank you to them, let’s publish their artwork in a proper art book and put it in stores all over the place. So that’s what we’re doing and all the money go to a charity for Dystonia.
EV: So you have a production company? Are you releasing anything anytime soon?
NR: I actually have two companies, they do different things…mostly for charity but eventually we’ll start stuff again. I don’t know maybe, I’m too busy right now to make something on a grassroots level.
EV: Yea, I get that…a lot of the stuff we do here at the collective is very involved and time consuming to get everyone and all the pieces working at the same time in the same space.
NR: Cool. Yeah, I started an Art Gallery on Bowery and Kenmare in New York called Collective Hardware. We had the whole building, in the basement was a monster effects shop and on the ground level there was a gallery. Above that we have everything from people that blew glass, editors, painters…Ronnie Cutrone before he passed away was in there, Eric Foss, Paul Sevigny. We had a ton of different artists doing different things and I made three short films like that. I’d say, “Grab your camera, grab this, grab that, I need this, let’s go do this.” It was all there and it allowed us come up with things and make things for fun in an organic way and not be ya know worried about budget or permission. We all shot guerrilla stuff and ran around doing it and it was awesome!
EV: Awesome, that sounds like a dream!
Tell me more about your book, The Suns Coming Up…Like A Big Bald Head.
NR: A lot of the pictures are traveling because of work pictures. There’s pictures in Berlin, St. Petersburg, maybe I’ll wander off. We were shooting in a maximum security prison in Moscow and while we weren’t shooting, there’s these two soldiers that are in front of this wall of green and it’s in the sub sub basement of a maximum security prison and there’s a little kitchen in there and they would peak around to see what we were doing down the hall and then a guard would come and just scream at them to get back. So one time when the guard left, I whistled and I was waiting for them to peak around the corner and as I whistled, a little kitten ran around the corner and there were cigarette butts everywhere in the kitchen with the little cat and two guards that look like supermodels around the corner and it’s one of my favorite photos that’s in that book.
And the title comes from when my mom took me to a Laurie Anderson concert when I was kid. She’s a singer, writer, musician, performer in New York who was married to Lou Reed. So, first this lady comes out in a glow in the dark out fit with a glow in the dark violin. Her face pops up on the screen and she says, “The Sun’s Coming Up….Like A Big Bald Head”, and I just remembered it as a kid. I had to get permission from her to use the title and Debbie Harry introduced me to them. Then, I took Scott Wilson who plays Hershel to Harlem to go to Lou Reed’s memorial.
Get your copy of Norman Reedus' books at http://bigbaldbook.com/