5 Questions With...Easy Rider Writer/Director/Actor Dennis Hopper

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Q: Are you surprised, 40 years later, to still be talking about Easy Rider?
A: No. Easy Rider captured a pivotal moment in American history, the end of the '60s. It's like a time capsule. And at the same time, we wanted to make sort of a modern Western, which gives it a timeless quality. I'm proud that people still care about the movie.

Q: Why was there never a sequel?
A: I had a great idea for a sequel. It's told from the perspective of Peter Fonda's daughter, Bridget. She grows up an orphan, and finds out later that her parents were [Fonda's Easy Rider character] Wyatt and one of the New Orleans prostitutes. The government had them killed. She'd figure the story out while she followed their cross-country route in reverse, back to California. But that's a movie that will never get made.

Q: Where did you get the bikes for the movie?
A: We bought four police bikes at auction and made choppers out of them. We asked Harley-Davidson to give us bikes, but they didn't want anything to do with a "biker" movie. I've heard now that there are actually replicas of both movie bikes in the new Harley-Davidson Museum.

Q: Where are you hiding the real Captain America chopper?
A: That bike doesn't exist! We built four bikes for the movie. One was destroyed in the final scene, and the other three were stolen shortly before we finished shooting. That was way before the movie was released, so the bikes weren't even famous yet. They were probably parted out. There sure are a lot of replicas, though. I even saw a great replica in Paris.

Q: Do you still ride?
A: I ride my BMW all over the world. I'm a founding vice-president of the Guggenheim Motorcycle Club, and we get together as often as our schedules allow. Last year a few of us--Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Lauren Hutton and Guggenheim Museum head Thomas Krens--rode from San Diego to La Paz, at the bottom of Baja. Great ride!