Senior Editor
02.03.10 22 Comments

I recently picked up a copy of the Onion as it’s one of my favorite periodicals to read whilst pooping, and found an interview with one of my favorite humans, Nick Nolte.  In it, he discusses the No Exit documentary, and most of his stories are too long to excerpt, so I’ll just put a couple quick quotes after the jump and recommend you read the whole interview.  What’s that?  Oh right, the dumpster thing.  So Nick was apparently hanging out in Venice Beach and misplaced his bag.  In order to find it, he did the most logical thing and walked through the alley looking in trash cans and dumpsters.  A d-bag photographer was there to capture the action. [unembeddable video here]

“I musta just taken my eye off it.  But the thing of it is, you know, if they could hand it back, that’d be really groovy.. (unintelligible)… but somebody’s probably swallowed a bunch a Xanax already, and got themselves a beer or two.”

Nolte later explained the dumpster diving exclusively to my imagination: “See, back when I was younger and we wanted to ennertain areselves, we’d sneak out to the woods ‘n go bear tippin’.  ‘n then when we got tired a that, we might steal an old lady’s purse.  ‘n then, mosta the time, I’d jus’ run off ‘n eat all ‘er pills ‘n pass out in a dumpster.  Ahh, to be 37 again.”

Excerpts from the Onion interview:

AVC: In the documentary, you’re asking yourself a question in order not to answer it.

NN: Yes. In order not to answer it, or to force me into saying something I wanted to say a long time, but wasn’t allowed to or didn’t think it was politically correct to do. Take 48 Hrs. In 48 Hrs., Eddie and I are racially slurring at each other and showing our anger. The only films before 48 Hrs. [to do that], if I’m correct, were Lilies Of The Field and In The Heat Of The Night. After civil rights, there was this long period of very awkward attempts at communication between the whites and the blacks. The whites didn’t know if “brother” was the right thing to say or not. It was just really awkward. I think more than anything, that was the underneath appeal of 48 Hrs.

I tried to get Eddie to call me “banana-skin,” but he just did not understand: “Why banana-skin?” And I said, “Eddie, it’s because when in 1959 I’d go into the black section of Omaha to listen to good music, they’d say, “Hey, banana-skin, what are you doing down here?” I’d say, “I’m gonna listen to music.” He was much, much younger. He was only 18 at the time. He said, “I’ve never heard that. I don’t feel comfortable with that.” So that went by the wayside. But that’s what was behind 48 Hrs. […]

[In the sequel] The breaking of the racial stereotyping would be that we would run into two Chinese twins, beautiful twins. And we would hook up with them and wouldn’t know which one slept with who, which I think would have caused a little bit of a disturbance in the audience, you know? [Laughs.] “I won’t sleep with a Chinese woman that’s been with a black man,” or something like that. That was my idea, but by that time, Eddie had moved on into his own thing. We just did it for the money.

Ha, Banana Skin. Reminds me of how we used to go into the black neighborhoods and lay on the ground and wait for someone to slip on us. Meanwhile Steve would play the saxophone. Of course, those were sillier times.

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