To some he was ‘whey-faced Warhola‘ or ‘the only genius I’ve known with an IQ of 60‘ (Gore Vidal), monosyllabic Pop-Art superstar Andy Warhol had an interesting flirtation with the film world.
As an art-house director he made a number of largely static lengthy films where very little happened (Yoko Ono must have taken note) such as Blow Job, Eat and Empire.
After the less narcoleptic Chelsea Girls and Blue Movie he relinquished directing (with the exception of a 1987 video for the song Misfit by Brit boyband Curiousity Killed the Cat), instead presenting a number of movies helmed by his myrmidon Paul Morrissey, some of which you may have seen – Flesh, Trash, Heat, Andy Warhol’s Dracula/Flesh for Frankenstein, the last two with fan favourite Udo Kier (Brawl in Cell Block 99/Blade/Shadow of the Vampire):
Oddly, Morrissey would go on to direct a comedic version of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1978), with Peter Cook and Dudley (Arthur) Moore:
Returning to the point of this piece, I think that Warhol has himself been depicted on film and TV, to varying degrees of success. Here’s just a few. Tell me your favorites:
The Doors (1991) – Crispin Glover
I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) – Jared Harris:
Basquiat (1996) – David Bowie (inevitable, really):
Factory Girl (2007) – Guy Pearce:
Men in Black III (2012) – Bill Hader:
Billionaire Boys Club (2017) – Cary Elwes:
And Evan Peters in American Horror Story: Cult (2017):
So, let’s see; white wig, dark glasses, corpse-like makeup, vacant expression and a mumbling whiny voice and you’re all set I suppose. So who wore it best?
Also noteworthy, Andy Warhol played himself in Cocaine Cowboys (1979) and Tootsie (1982), oozing charisma as usual.
Now comes the news that creepy Jared Leto was/is due to play Andy in the biopic Warhol, but hopefully we’ve been spared the experience, cos that guy can suck the fun out any movie he’s in.
Warhol regrettably died at the early age of 58 in Manhattan February 22, 1987. According to news reports, he had been making a good recovery from gallbladder surgery at New York Hospital before dying in his sleep from a sudden post-operative irregular heartbeat.
Rest in Peace you strange, beautiful artist.