The City of Absurdity ERASERHEAD
Lynch on Jack Nance


"He was one of my best friends. Jack had a's hard to put into words, but in my mind, Jack was a real Kafka character, Gregor Samsa, which means to me: He understands trouble. He's trying to do the right thing, but he's also sensing the darkness and confusion of the world. That was pretty much Jack. He really had a pretty rough life, and it was rougher because he was a thinking person. Sometimes when you don't worry so much about stuff, you're actually kinder to yourself."

"I remember our first meeting like it was yesterday. Jack had pretty long hair, it was kind of almost like an Afro. He was kind of bored. He thought the film was, like, a student thing, which it was, and he wasn't too excited about it. I picked up on this, so we had a fairly strange, uneasy meeting.
"I was walking him out to his car, and on the way we passed an old gray Volkswagen that had a wooden roof rack. And Jack said, 'My God, that's a cool roof rack,' and I said, 'Well, thanks.' We started talking about wood and roof racks and I suddenly saw enthusiasm in Jack. That got us talking and before I knew it I'd invited Jack back to the house to meet my wife at the time [Peggy]. She gave me the thumbs-up when Jack wasn't looking. At that point, Jack was part of the family, and it never stopped for 25 years."

Jack Nance is "a zero-motivated actor...content to stay at home, not even watching television, just sitting, thinking in his chair, wearing his little slippers."

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