Vincent Vito Gallo, Jr. (born April 11, 1961) is an American actor, director, model, musician and painter. Though he has had minor roles in mainstream films such as Goodfellas, Arizona Dream, The Funeral and Palookaville, he is most associated with independent movies, includingBuffalo '66, which he wrote, directed, scored and starred in and The Brown Bunny, which he also wrote, directed, produced, starred in and photographed. In the early 2000s, he released several solo recordings on WARP records.
Vincent Gallo was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Janet, a hair-dresser, and Vincenzo Vito Gallo, also a hairdresser and professional gambler. Both of his parents emigrated fromSicily, Italy.
During Gallo's artistic period in the 1980s, when he worked as a musician and painter in New York City, he also began experimenting with film. He made the short film "If You Feel Froggy, Jump" and appeared in the 1981 film Downtown 81 with painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 1984, Gallo acted in The Way It Is (1985) by Eric Mitchell, which included actors Steve Buscemiand Rockets Redglare. After starring in the obscure 1989 film Doc's Kingdom, he began acting in small parts in more well-known films such as Goodfellas, The House of the Spirits, and The Perez Family. French director Claire Denis hired Gallo to act in several films such as the "short film Keep It for Yourself, the made-for-TV U.S. Go Home, and its follow-up feature Nénette et Boni (1996)."
In 1998, his debut film Buffalo '66 was nominated for, but did not win, an award for "Best First Feature" at the Independent Spirit Awards. Gallo made this drama for $1.5 M, serving as writer, director, lead actor, and composer/performer of the soundtrack. The release of Buffalo '66 "gained him a solid fan base."
In 2003, Gallo starred in and directed the film The Brown Bunny, which chronicles a motorcycle racer's cross-country road trip, and co-starred Chloë Sevigny. The film, which contained a scene of Sevigny performing unsimulated oral sex upon Gallo, received an overwhelmingly negative critical response to its Cannes premier and became a media scandal, in part due to Gallo's use of a still image from a sex scene on a promotional billboard. According to Andrea LeVasseur of Allmovie, The Brown Bunny "premiered to much derision at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival."
in 2003 regarding film critic Roger Ebert's statement that The Brown Bunny was the worst film in the history of Cannes. Gallo retorted by calling Ebert a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader" and put a hex on Ebert, wishing him colon cancer. Ebert then responded – paraphrasing a statement made by Winston Churchill – that, "although I am fat, one day I will be thin, but Mr. Gallo will still have been the director of The Brown Bunny." Gallo and Ebert later made up, and Ebert ended up giving a thumbs up to the finished version of The Brown Bunny.
In 2010, Gallo won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 67th Venice International Film Festival for his role in Essential Killing, although he doesn't have a single line in the film. He did not attend the ceremony to accept his award in person, leaving the duty to the film's director Jerzy Skolimowski, who tried to get the actor to reveal himself, leading the audience in a chant of his name. Gallo was not in attendance.
Gallo stars in Davide Manuli's 2012 La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser, a modern-western interpretation of the German legend of Kaspar Hauser which premiered at the 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Gallo plays the two largest roles in the film, the English-speaking Sheriff and the Italian speaking assassin.
He co-starred with Kōichi Satō and Yoo Ji-tae in Junji Sakamoto's 2013 film, Human Trust.
Gallo played electric bass and sang in the mid-1970s in several adolescent garage bands such as Blue Mood, a progressive rock cover band named Zephyr (not the late 1960s band) which did one performance in New York State, The Good (with Bernie Kugel and Larry Galanowitz), The Detours and the Plastics. At the age of 16, Gallo moved to New York City and was a later member of the band, Gray, with visual artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Gray played at clubs such as Max's Kansas City, CBGB's, Hurrahs, and the Mudd Club. A few of Gray's recordings appear on the soundtrack for the film Downtown 81.
Gallo played in a band called Bohack which recorded an album entitled It Took Several Wives. When Bohack disbanded, Gallo turned his attention to acting, directing, and composing in films. He wrote songs for the soundtrack of the 1998 film Buffalo 66. He played in a rock band with Lukas Haas called Bunny, and Gallo put out his own album which he wrote, performed and produced under Warp Records, titled "When."
On August 3, 2013 Vincent Gallo headlined the 3rd Annual San Frandelic Summer Fest in San Francisco.
Gallo directed music videos for the songs "Going Inside" by John Frusciante, and "Anemone" by L'Arc-en-Ciel. He also starred in the music videos for "Bitter" by Lit, "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" by Glassjaw, and "Grounded" by My Vitriol.
Gallo also appeared as a model in H&M Spring 2009 Collection alongside Eva Herzigova.
Other work and appearances
Gallo currently serves as the HOA president at his Arts District loft in Downtown Los Angeles.
He makes a fictionalized appearance in Caspar Vega's 2012 book The Eclectic Prince.
Gallo is a supporter of the Republican Party, and has been seen at a New York fashion show with George W. Bush's daughters Barbara and Jenna. He has stated that his fantasy is "becoming more like the stereotype of the Republican Party." He also wishes to look "more like [American conservative journalist] George Will." In his own words, Gallo "considered himself a radical, always, but an extremely conservative radical."
Gallo is godfather to Chris Squire's son Cameron and helped Squire with his autobiography.