Harmony Korine got banned from Letterman for rifling through Meryl Streep’s purse

I’ve posted some of the videos here before (and they’re all below the cut if you want to check them out on your lunch break), but Spring Breakers director Harmony Korine used to be something of a regular on Dave Letterman’s show. Korine’s appearances were a perfect example of what made Letterman so relevant back then – that he’d interview cult personalities like Harmony Korine, and just revel in their weirdness. You rarely got Cameron Diaz holding forth on how she is or isn’t like her character in Knight and Day, for instance. Korine appeared three times between 1997-1998, but never since. Last night, James Franco was Letterman’s guest, and Franco pressed Letterman on why Korine had been banned from the show. Presumably just to get Dave to stop asking what Selena Gomez’s panties smell like.

Letterman played coy, pretending not to remember the three interviews, but then asked Franco to tell him what he had heard about the mysterious incident. Franco responded that Korine told him he was banned for pushing Meryl Streep backstage, but “he said he was a little out of it…Harmony is a very sane guy now, a great artist and great person to work with, but I think he had a period where he was going a little off the rails, so maybe he was on something that night.”

Now seems like as good a time as any to revisit the “unreleased projects” section of Harmony Korine’s Wikipedia page:

Fight Harm: Korine originally intended to follow up Gummo with a short-lived project known as Fight Harm, filmed by illusionist David Blaine. It comprised footage of Korine engaging random people in actual street fights. In these he followed rules of always provoking the fight and continuing until threat of death. Korine, who often said he would die for the cinema, hoped to make a cross between a Buster Keaton vehicle and a snuff film, but after only six fights, he was hospitalized and forced to abandon the project.

Jokes: Jokes is an unfinished three-part film written by Harmony Korine. The three chapters – Easter, Herpes and Slippers – were to be each directed by different directors, one of which was Gus Van Sant.

What Makes Pistachio Nuts? Prior to Mister Lonely Korine had written a story about a pig named Pistachio. The film was to take place during a race war in Florida and have a boy who would saddle the pig, put adhesive on its feet, climb up walls and throw molotov-cocktails. “It was going to be my masterpiece,” Korine comments. The script burnt in a fire and Korine spent $11,000 trying to recover it from his computer. He reportedly retrieved one sentence: “The speech is pointless; the finger is speechless.”

Point being, if Harmony Korine was entirely sane, he wouldn’t have a career.

Letterman then spilled the beans. “I went upstairs to greet Meryl Streep and welcome her to the show, and I knock on the door…and she was not in there. And I looked around, and she was not in there, and I found Harmony going through her purse,” he said. “True story. And so I said, ‘That’s it, put her things back in her bag and then get out.'”

With Franco’s assurances, the host then said he would be “more than happy” to have Korine back on the show. [HollywoodReporter]

Poor Harmony. What Letterman didn’t know was that at the time, Meryl Streep was sitting on the bathroom sink with her skirt and underwear around her ankles yelling, “Forget the condom, I’m ready to go NOW!”

What? Actresses dig directors. You think a couple Oscars changes that?


[hat tip to ThePlaylist on the videos]