“Mommeee? Baby wansta....” So wails Dennis Hopper in
Blue Velvet, playing Frank Booth, the psychopathic killer with a mommy complex. Scary. We can all take comfort that the creepiest phrase in all of Hopperdom is just a role. Right?
EXHIBIT A: Marjorie Hopper née Davis from Dodge City,
Kansas. “My mother had an incredible body and I had a
sexual fascination for her,” said Dennis. “I never had sex with my mother, but I had total sexual fantasies about her.”
EXHIBIT B: Hopper’s first Hollywood film is Rebel
Without A Cause. He’s in awe of James Dean, and asks the brooding star the secret to his acting. “I hate my mother,” replies Dean.
EXHIBIT C: Hopper’s definitely got some mama issues. His marriage to Mamas & Papas singer Michelle Phillips only lasts eight days. “What am I going to do?” Hopper asks. Michelle allegedly replies, “Have you ever thought
EXHIBIT D: A drug-crazed Hopper goes on an amyl
nitrate bender in the real life Hotel California, the Sunset
Marquis in Hollywood. Hopper sniffs gas and tells his teenage companion: “Mommeee . . . ”
EXHIBIT E: A clean and sober Hopper delves deep into his psyche to deliver his career-defining performance of Frank Booth: pure Method acting. “When people ask what I was inhaling in the mask,” says Hopper. “I say it was Lee Strasberg.”