December 6, 2023

jack huston, day of the fight, venice film festival

How important is a little bit of nonsense now and then to you?
A life without nonsense is no life at all. It’s what keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously, one needs a daily dose to keep us sane.

What, if anything, makes you believe in magic?
I think the profundity of our mere existence is magic, so therefore everything in our lives should be considered exactly that.

What was your last act of true cowardice?
Discovering a nest of brown widow spiders under a chair in our garden, and having my wife dispose of them as I ran away shrieking.

What single thing do you miss most when you’re away from home?
My children, without question. It’s one of the hardest things about having to travel so often. Whenever I’m away from them, it feels like a piece of me is missing.

Do you have any odd habits or rituals?
I find it very difficult to function if I can’t submerge myself in water at least once a day. Be it a bath, pool, ocean, lake, anything really, as long as I can hold my head underwater for a moment. There’s something incredibly levelling about being in and under the water.

What is your party trick?
Nowadays, just showing up counts as a party trick. I find it gets harder and harder to leave the house with each passing year.

What is your mantra?
To be grateful. Every day, no matter what, there are countless things in our life to be grateful for. In the same way, I often lean on the old adage “sleep on it”, a mantra in itself.

What is your favourite smell?
The smell of flowering jasmine is pretty extraordinary, but a Christmas tree would be my absolute favourite, not only for its smell but for all the feelings and memories it helps to conjure.

What do you always carry with you?
A healthy dose of scepticism, optimism and gut instinct.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Far too many of them to feel guilty anymore.

Who is the silliest person you know?
My Uncle Danny, and he’d probably say the same for me. Our time spent together is always filled with laughter and silliness. It’s why we are so close.

What would be your least favourite way to die?
Young (if I’m still allowed to call myself that). I want to spend as much time as humanly possible with the ones I love. I want to see my kids grow up, meet my grandkids and even great-grandkids, if I were to be so lucky.

Day of the Fight, which Jack Huston directed, wrote and produced, is a black-and-white feature in part inspired by Kubrick’s first short film of the same name. With a stellar cast – Michael Pitt, Joe Pesci, Steve Buscemi and Ron Perlman – there’s even a small part for Jack’s young son, continuing the family tradition as the fifth generation of Hustons in cinema.

*Arguably one of the most memorable (and quotable) scenes in 1971’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is when Mr Salt mumbles, ‘It’s a lot of nonsense,’ to which Wonka replies, in a sing-song voice, ‘A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.’