The Hopper Architect Transcript

Interviewer: Dennis, earlier you mentioned that you’d had a bit of a modern day Howard Hughes experience with a friend of yours. He holed himself up in an underground bunker, afraid of dark particles or something and would spend all his time down there watching Orson Welles movies. Once a night, he’d call you on the telephone and you’d talk about physics, movie making, the unknown, and what a proper challenge for a man was. Since we have ten minutes until Toni gets back and you are such a wonderful storyteller, can you spin that yarn for us?

Dennis Hopper: Well, it’s quite a tale. But it’s got a lot of charm. You see, my friend, let’s call him “The Architect.” Yeah, quite a character, a real-life enigma. Made his fortune in tech, you know, all that Silicon Valley hullabaloo. But he was more than that. The man had a mind that yearned for something beyond zeros and ones, something… cosmic, you could say.

Now, The Architect, he started reading up on all this advanced physics, quantum stuff, particles. And not just any particles, mind you, the invisible ones—dark matter, neutrinos, the works. One day, he calls me up, says, “Dennis, do you know there are billions of these particles passing through us right now?” Gives you a shudder just thinking about it.

So, he gets spooked by this idea, starts to feel like he’s drowning in a sea of the unknown. He begins retreating from the world, starts hoarding Orson Welles movies. “Citizen Kane,” “Touch of Evil,” “The Trial” — he had ’em all.

Interviewer: That’s fascinating, Dennis. But why Orson Welles?

Dennis Hopper: You see, that’s where it gets interesting. He sees in Welles’ work a mirror to his own situation. Kane, that powerful figure, misunderstood and alone at the top. That’s how he felt amidst his billions and these unseen particles. Then there’s this ‘Rosebud’ thing, Kane’s elusive driving force. He relates it to these invisible particles—his own Rosebud, if you will.

And then he does the unthinkable. He goes underground, literally. Builds himself a bunker, stocked with all these Orson Welles films and shuts the world out. Every night, he’d call me from down there, talking about the unknown, physics, Welles, and this idea of what a ‘proper challenge’ for a man was.

Interviewer: And what was that challenge, according to him?

Dennis Hopper: Well, he wanted to go after these invisible particles. He said a real challenge was about conquering the unknown. Like Kane’s pursuit of ‘Rosebud,’ he wanted to uncover the secrets of these particles. He talked about building some massive contraption—a super collider in the desert. He wanted to unveil the unseen, decode the universe.

He said that’s what men do—they wrestle with the unknown, try to make sense of it, not run away from it. He saw it as his duty to probe the depths of the universe. And let me tell you, as an actor who’s played his fair share of ambitious men, I found it genuinely captivating. That was his ‘proper challenge,’ as he called it. To confront the unknown, no matter the cost.

And while he may not have emerged from his bunker as a Citizen Kane or an Orson Welles, he came out as The Architect, a man with a grand vision, ready to wrestle with the universe.

He’s a rare breed, my friend. A Howard Hughes for our time. A man who dares to probe the enigma of the universe while the rest of us are content just living in it. I’ve played a lot of characters in my time, but I tell ya, none of them come close to the real-life drama that is The Architect.

Dennis Hopper: (Laughs) Of course, you know this footage ain’t ever gonna see the light of day, right?

Interviewer: Dennis, I can assure you this is purely between us.

Dennis Hopper: Well, alright then. But if I see this on the evening news or some exposé, I’m coming for you.

Interviewer: Noted. Please continue.

Dennis Hopper: So, where was I? Ah, right. So this Architect, he’s not your average Joe. He’s got this madness in him. A madness for understanding. He’d spend days—no, weeks—underground, lost in Welles’ masterpieces, obsessing over these invisible particles.

You ever seen a man talk about neutrinos like they’re long-lost lovers? That was him. Obsessed. And I, a humble actor, was his sole connection to the world above. Every night, like clockwork, the phone would ring. He’d ask me about my understanding of the universe, about Welles, about our purpose. He’d talk about the particles, about the collider he dreamed of building.

Interviewer: Was it all just talk, or was there more to it?

Dennis Hopper: Now, that’s the interesting part. He wasn’t just dreaming; he was planning. He said he’d discovered something—something big. Didn’t quite explain what, though. Kept saying he needed more time. More Welles, more particles.

He was playing with fire, I’d tell him. But he’d just laugh, say that’s the only way to play. I still remember one conversation we had, deep into the night. He was going on about these particles, about how they were keys to unlocking the universe’s secrets.

He said, “Dennis, imagine a world where we’re not bound by what we see. A world where we can dive into the depths of the universe, right from our living rooms. That’s the world I want to build. That’s my Rosebud.”

And I’ll be damned, the conviction in his voice… It was like talking to a man possessed. You couldn’t help but believe him. He wanted to conquer the unknown, and he was going to do it, come hell or high water.

Interviewer: That’s quite a story, Dennis.

Dennis Hopper: (Laughs) Well, with The Architect, the story’s always quite something. But remember, you promised this stays between us. I ain’t one for breaking confidences. And there’s nothing I respect more than a man chasing his Rosebud, however insane it might seem to the rest of us.

Interviewer: Did he talk about quantum supposition at all?

Dennis Hopper: Ah, quantum superposition! Now that was a favorite topic of his, always got him fired up. He’d explain it to me in layman’s terms, so I’d get a sense of it. You know, the idea that a particle could exist in two states at once.

Interviewer: How did he explain that?

Dennis Hopper: (Laughs) Let’s see if I can remember… Alright, he used to say it’s like Schrödinger’s cat, the whole thing about the cat being both alive and dead until you look inside the box. The cat is in a superposition of states.

Then he’d make it more relatable, saying it’s like me acting. “When you’re in character, Dennis, you’re both Dennis and the character at the same time. It’s only when the director says ‘cut’ and you step out of character that you collapse into one state,” he’d say.

Then he’d pause, give that self-satisfied chuckle of his and say, “Of course, in the quantum world, there’s no director to say ‘cut’.”

Interviewer: That’s a pretty good explanation.

Dennis Hopper: Oh, he was good at explaining things, made you feel like you were on the edge of understanding, like if you just listened a little more, you’d get it. But then he’d laugh and say, “But don’t worry, Dennis, even Einstein thought it was spooky!” And then he’d move on, start talking about dark energy or black holes or something else just as mind-boggling.

But superposition, it seemed to have a special place in his heart. It was the unknown, the unresolved. The paradox that was hard to swallow but impossible to spit out. Kinda like the man himself, if you think about it.

Interviewer: That’s quite profound, Dennis.

Dennis Hopper: Well, you don’t spend hours talking with The Architect without some of it rubbing off on you! But remember, this stays off the record. We clear?

Interviewer: Crystal clear, Dennis.

Dennis Hopper: Absolutely, I get it. I’ve been in the acting business for decades and trust me, not knowing and uncertainty is a big part of it. But this guy, The Architect, his not knowing was of a whole different scale.

He’d call me up in the middle of the night, going on and on about the unknown. He was haunted by it. It was as if this curtain was drawn over the universe and he was just itching to peek behind it. The worst part? He knew the curtain was there. Most of us, we don’t even realize it, we’re just content living in our little bubble, ignorant of what we don’t know. But not him.

For him, it was a matter of principle. It was the fundamental nature of existence, the basis of everything. He’d say, “Dennis, we’re walking blind. We’re navigating a world with only a fraction of what exists presenting itself to us.”

And that’s a scary thought, right? We all have our fears, our uncertainties. But imagine if what haunts you is the knowledge that you’re only seeing a fraction of the universe, and the rest is hidden, unknown. Imagine being haunted by the dark matter and dark energy, by the neutrinos and the unknown particles. That was his life.

But the one thing I admired about him? He didn’t cower from it. He embraced it. For him, it wasn’t just a fear, it was a challenge. A challenge to understand, to uncover, to know. I mean, how many of us can say we’ve taken up a challenge as grand as that?

Interviewer: That’s quite a fascinating insight, Dennis.

Dennis Hopper: (Laughs) Well, when your friend locks himself up in a bunker to ponder over the universe, you’re bound to get a few fascinating insights!

Interviewer: Did you ever worry for him down there?

Dennis Hopper: Worry? (Laughs) Oh, I worried plenty. When you’ve been in this business as long as I have, you come across all sorts of people. Actors with wild ambitions, directors with grand visions, producers who’d sell their soul for a box office hit. But The Architect, he was something else. His ambition wasn’t measured in Oscars or box office dollars; it was measured in the secrets of the universe.

When he first told me about his plan to retreat into that bunker, I thought he was joking. But then the calls stopped, and the emails. And then I started hearing rumors, whispers about him going off the grid. That’s when I knew he was serious. I was concerned, sure. He was a friend, and it seemed like such a drastic step to take.

But you know what’s funny? He seemed more at peace in that bunker than he ever did up here, among the rest of us. When we talked on the phone, his voice had this calmness, this clarity that I hadn’t heard before. He’d talk about the movies he was watching, the books he was reading. But mostly, he’d talk about the physics. The dark matter and dark energy, the neutrinos and quantum superpositions.

It was like he was in his element, in that bunker. Surrounded by the unknown, grappling with the mysteries of the universe. It was a strange kind of solace, an acceptance of the unknown rather than a fear of it. I think he found comfort in knowing that there was so much more out there to discover, so many more questions to ask.

So yes, I worried for him. But in some ways, I envied him too. There was a freedom in what he did, a liberation from the constraints of the known world. And that, in its own way, is pretty remarkable.

Interviewer: Remarkable indeed, Dennis.

Dennis Hopper: Just remember, we’re keeping all of this between us, alright? This stays in this room.

Interviewer: Of course, Dennis. This is just between us.

Dennis Hopper: When is Toni getting back? We really need to turn this back to the project, I feel like I’ve betrayed a friend even sharing this with you.

Interviewer: I understand, Dennis. These things are personal and it was generous of you to share. According to the production crew, Toni should be back any moment. In fact, I think I see her walking up now. We can wrap this up and turn back to discussing the project. And rest assured, this stays between us. You have my word.

Dennis Hopper: Alright, let’s get back to business then. And remember, the less you know, the better. Sometimes, the unknown is just where it needs to be – unknown.