Hopping Mad

Dennis Hopper had a reputation for causing turbulence on the set. Was it deserved? Read on...

Trouble began early during the filming of From Hell to Texas, whose director (Henry Hathaway) finally broke Hopper's improvisational spirit by making him do 80 takes in one 15 hour span.

Hopper, in tears, finally gave in and delivered the lines as directed. "See what a better actor I am now?" he cried. "You're not better," Hathaway growled back. "You're just smarter!"

[Hopper's behavior was often erratic: In 1983, a delusional Hopper crouched under a folding chair rigged with dynamite at a Houston racetrack and tried to blow himself up to promote his one-man art show. He was unhurt. Months later, during the shooting of a small film called Jungle Fever, the actor was found crazed, naked and babbling, hiding in a Mexican jungle. (He was sent back to Los Angeles and put in a hospital.) He later cleaned up his life -- to such an extent that producer Mark Canton called him "the most steady, the rock" among his friends.]

[During the filming of Easy Rider, Hopper, a method actor from hell, didn't change his clothes for six months.]

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