While many stars have a love-hate relationship with the blinding flashes and distracting hyper clicks of cameras, Alice Cooper seemed fine as he walked down the red carpet inside the Chelsea Bow Tie Cinema for the premiere of the Tribeca Film Festival rockumentary “Super Duper Alice Cooper.” Photographers shouted, “Look here, Alice! Look here!” It is hard to believe this man has been living the grueling life of a touring rock icon for five decades.
As I snapped his picture Alice said, “So many people get me confused with Johnny Depp. The resemblance is amazing.” Then he grinned. Alice looks like so many other surviving rockers with lines of battle all over his still-lovable face. His dyed black hair still hangs long past his shoulders and it’s teased up rock ‘n’ roll style. He wore a black leather jacket and around his neck was a choker with a leather band holding a black ball snuggled into his neck right below his Adam’s apple. Underneath that was a heavy silver chain partially obscured by his open, white button-down shirt collar. He looked every bit like rock royalty.
Alice had walked in with his stunning wife, Sheryl, on his arm but was quickly pulled away by handlers to pose solo for the crowd. He seemed eager to talk.
“I’m used to playing a heavy character in a film but usually it’s not about me,” he told me. “I get to play the bad guy, the villain, so this was different and interesting. They came to me and said, ‘We want to do a documentary that is as theatrical as your characters.’ Then they zeroed in on a Jekyll and Hyde sort of thing because that really is my career. I’m the nice guy here talking to you and I’m the guy on stage — two entirely different people. It’s not your normal documentary, not a talking heads kind of movie.” When asked how he felt about the manic flashing cameras he said, “It doesn’t bother me one bit. I feel much more comfortable on a stage with a mic than I do off stage. So that’s never a problem.”
Then he sighed. “I think it’s sitting up and talking about yourself for 30 hours that’s hard. After a while you get sick of yourself and want to say, ‘Let’s talk about you for a while.'” This was the star’s first visit to TFF after getting back from a tour in Germany, and following the TFF hoopla he said he’ll be heading back to Phoenix. There’s no rest for him anytime soon. Next he’ll be heading out for a European tour, an album, and then performing with Mötley Crüe in July.
What kind of music does he listen to? “I really haven’t had time lately to listen to anybody. I get in the car and turn on the radio just like everybody else. Whatever is on is on. With Sirius now you can find yourself locked into certain eras. You know, sometimes you listen to ’40s radio, sometimes the ’50s. Rarely do I go to modern rock because I just haven’t heard any young bands that have knocked me out yet. Classic punk and classic rock are good.”
Asked how he liked being in New York, he said, “When I left Phoenix it was 92 degrees, when I got here it was snowing so that’s a little different, but I was a New Yorker for awhile. I used to live at 72nd and York in the ’70s.”
Commenting on Robert De Niro, the father of TFF, Alice said, “I still like ‘Mean Streets.’ I think it was one of his best performances and I think he was winging it the whole time. Of course I still think he is the premier American actor. Everything he does is great. And I’ll tell you what he was good in, his last movie, ‘American Hustle.’ He was really nasty in that movie. I mean the look he was giving them was just whoa. I thought that one scene was great. It didn’t get any mention, but that was one of the best scenes in the movie.”
As Alice made his way down the red carpet and towards the theater he looked out on the crowd and said, “Hello my children of the night. It’s good to see you.” It’s good to see you too, Alice!
Watch the movie trailer: