Vincent Vito Gallo, Jr. (born April 11, 1961) is an American film actor, director, producer, screenwriter, singer-songwriter, and painter. Although he has had minor roles in mainstream films such as Goodfellas, he is most associated with independent movies. Buffalo '66, which he wrote, directed, and starred in, is considered his most notable film. In the 1980s, Gallo worked as a figurative painter in New York City, performed in a rap duo, and played in a band called Bohack. In the late 1990s, Gallo played in a rock band called Bunny, and in the early 2000s, he released several recordings. Gallo is known for his outspoken views and claims, once stating: "I stopped painting in 1990 at the peak of my success just to deny people my beautiful paintings; and I did it out of spite."
Gallo was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Janet, a producer and hair-dresser, and Vincent Gallo, Sr., a sheriff's deputy and hairdresser. Both of his parents emigrated from Sicily. Gallo lived in New York City and from there traveled around most of Europe. In his adolescence, Gallo was frequently arrested for petty crimes and for indecent exposure, and has reminisced in print about his compulsive adolescent masturbatory habits. While living in New York, Gallo was a go-go dancer at various homosexual clubs and has also admitted to prostituting himself to homosexual clientele. "I did do sexual things for money. With men, I've never performed or had fellatio performed, but I did do jerk-off things. I would go in a peep booth and watch straight porn and get paid 5 or 10 dollars to have somebody watch me masturbate."
Gallo has modeled, most notably for Calvin Klein, and been photographed by Richard Avedon. He first began painting, then racing motorcycles, and finally became an actor.
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 a film called the "New York Beat Movie" (1981) with painter Jean Michel Basquiat. In 1984, Gallo acted in "The Way It Is" (1984), which included actors Steve Buscemi and 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 N?nette et Boni (1996)."
Gallo acted in the film Arizona Dream, with Johnny Depp, in the cult comedy Palookaville, and in The Funeral, and had a lead role in the film Truth or Consequences, N.M. .
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". Gallo proceeded to act in the crime drama Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby, the drama Stranded: N?ufragos, the thriller Hide and Seek, and the romantic comedy Get Well Soon. Gallo appeared in another Claire Denis film, an erotic/horror movie called Trouble Every Day.
In 2003, Gallo starred in and directed the film The Brown Bunny. The film, which chronicles a motorcycle racer's cross country road trip, co-starred Chlo? Sevigny. The film, which contained a scene of Sevigny performing unsimulated oral sex upon Gallo, received overwhelmingly negative critical response to its initial cut 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 the Allmovie, The Brown Bunny "premiered to much derision at the Cannes Film Festival."
A war of words erupted between Gallo and popular film critic Roger Ebert in 2003 regarding 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 once 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." Regarding Gallo's alleged hex, Ebert quipped "the video of my colonoscopy is more entertaining than your movie," a comment that Gallo later claimed to find funny. Ebert responded favorably to Gallo's second edit of The Brown Bunny which stripped 26 minutes from the runtime, and the pair reconciled amicably thereafter.
A shorter, re-edited version of the film played later in 2003 at the Toronto International Film Festival (although it retained the controversial sex scene). While not receiving the highest praise, neither did it garner the same level of derision as the Cannes version, and on the August 28, 2004 episode of the television show Ebert & Roeper, Ebert gave the new version of the film a "thumbs up" rating. In a column published at about the same time, Ebert reported that he and Gallo had made peace.
Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired multiterritory distribution rights for the film in February 2005. Sony Pictures Entertainment also released the film on DVD in North America in August 2005.
Gallo has recently appeared as a model in H&M Spring 2009 Collection with Eva Herzigova.
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, 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 (who was not yet famous). 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. In the early 1980s, Gallo performed solo as the Nonsexuals, rapped in a duo called Trouble Deuce under the name Prince Vince (along with Nick Nice, who went under the name DJ High Priest).
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 CD under Warp Records, titled "When". Bunny did a Japanese tour and recorded an album for Sony with producer Eddie Offord. In Japan, for his 2001 When tour, Josh Klinghoffer and Carla Azar of Autolux supported him as his tour band.
In 2002 he released "Recordings of Music for a Film", which is a remastered version of his older music. He also did shows with Jim O'Rourke playing on bass. Gallo has also performed shows with Sean Lennon, whom he collaborated with on an album they completed in 2004, that has yet to be released. Nikolai Haas, Lukas Haas's younger brother, was a drummer for a few of Gallo's shows. Gallo also curated one weekend of the UK music festival All Tomorrow's Parties in April 2005. His friends John Frusciante and PJ Harvey appeared on the bill. Gallo selected Yoko Ono as a headline act, and also performed with her and her son Sean Lennon at this event.
In 2006 he contributed beatboxing on Zoozersadd's third album, "The Gates of Hell," produced by fellow indie filmmaker, Joel Potrykus.
Gallo's most recent musical project is the band RRIICCEE, with Hole co-founder Eric Erlandson, which plays only improvised music.
Gallo also appears in the following music videos by other artists: "Grounded" by My Vitriol (2001), "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" by Glassjaw (2003), "99 Problems" by Jay-Z (2004), and "Bitter" by Lit.
Gallo directed music videos for the songs "Going Inside" by John Frusciante, and "Anemone" by L'Arc-en-Ciel.
Personal life and political ideology
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 George Will." In his own words, Gallo "considered himself a radical, always, but an extremely conservative radical".
Since 2004, Gallo is known to be suffering from prostatitis.
Gallo is godfather to Chris Squire's son.
Oliverio Rising (2007)
Moscow Zero (2006)
The Brown Bunny (2003)
Stranded: N?ufragos (2001)
Get Well Soon (2001)
Trouble Every Day (2001)
Hide and Seek (2000)
Freeway II: Confessions of a Trickbaby (1999)
Buffalo 66 (1998)
L.A. Without a Map (1998)
Truth or Consequences, NM (1997)
N?nette et Boni (1996)
The Funeral (1996)
The Perez Family (1995)
Arizona Dream (1993)
The House of the Spirits (1993)
Doc's Kingdom (1987)
The Gunlover (1986)
The Way It Is (1985)
The Brown Bunny (2003)
Buffalo ?66 (1998)