"Acting is acting, and there's going to come a moment when there's a great part, and it doesn't have to be pretty, but it has to be good." - Peter Fonda (Mr. Showbiz)
1969--the Summer of Love, the first men on the moon, Woodstock, and a Harley Davidson that guns onto the screen in Easy Rider, as Captain America blazes into America's hazy consciousness. Thirty years and over fifty films later, Peter Fonda continues to awaken audiences and breathe life into each of his roles, embracing them with an always-sincere and ever-stunning elegance which few actors have been able to match.
As the son of one of America's greatest thespians (Henry Fonda), Peter Fonda has always been placed in the spotlight, as has the rest of the now-legendary dynasty. With few fond memories of his formative years, and a notoriously emotionally shut father, the overwhelming pressures of Fonda's youth were wrought with insecurities--ones that were shared with his sister, Jane--and even lead to his own attempt to commit suicide using a .22-caliber pistol. Overcoming many odds and frustrations, Fonda produced an eclectic body of work, which includes such early classics as The Trip (1967), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974), 92 in the Shade (1975), Race with the Devil (1975), and Fighting Mad (1976), has cemented him as one of the greatest American icons of the latter half of the 20th Century.
His most famed work, Easy Rider, also garnered him an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, which he shared with Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern, a success that paved the way for Fonda to direct his first film, a critically-acclaimed western titled The Hired Hand, in 1971. It was his appearances in 1993's Bodies, Rest & Motion and 1994's Nadja that lead to Peter Fonda's decision to re-focus on acting, rededicating and re-educating himself--with a private coach--and refining his skills and strengths. It was in 1997 that Victor Nunez chose Fonda to portray the taciturn Florida beekeeper who struggles to hold his family together in Ulee's Gold, a role that would result in Fonda's Golden Globe for Best Actor and an Independent Spirit nomination.
Since the time when Ulee's Gold debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, Peter Fonda has taken the film world by storm. Roles in Keeping Time (1999), The Limey (1999), and the upcoming South of Heaven, West of Hell (2000) have been interspersed with such exciting performances as Fonda's Golden Globe nomination for The Tempest (1998) and his Emmy nomination for The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999).
Still youthful and teeming with hyperkinetic energy, Peter Fonda meets each role with the same vigor he did when he became an American icon over thirty years ago. His work, his life, and his continued determination for mesmerizing us, make it befitting that Cinequest enters its last festival of the millennium celebrating this true maverick. Join Peter Fonda for a wonderful evening. KICU Entertainment Editor Brian Adams will be the moderator. - Mike Rabehl