When the role in Apocalypse Now came up, Dennis Hopper was a wreck. Since the success of Easy Rider, fights with film studios, failed marriages, and drink and drug problems had turned his professional and personal life into a disaster. On location in the Philippines, veteran photo-journalist Mary Ellen Mark was on hand to document movie history in the making and, in these rare porraits, she captures Hopper on the very brink of insanity.
"Hopper arrived a crazed twittering drug casualty"
Coppola and Hopper discuss the script, which Hopper claims he's forgotten. "You need to learn it to forget it," says Coppola
"Dennis was telling me how he kills pigs in New Mexico with a x22 pistol, covers them with shaving cream and then shaves the hair off"
During the shoot, there were reports of gunfire and a burning mattress being thrown out of Hopper's hotel window