Vincent Gallo

Vincent Gallo[1] (/ˈɡɑːl/; born April 11, 1961) is an American actor, director, model, musician, painter and former motorcycle racer. Though he has had minor roles in mainstream films such as Arizona Dream, The Funeral and Palookaville, he is most associated with independent movies, including Buffalo '66, which he wrote, directed, scored and starred in and The Brown Bunny, which he also wrote, directed, produced, starred in and photographed. In the early 2000s, he released several solo recordings on Warp Records.

Vincent Gallo
Gallo seen in 2004
Born (1961-04-11) April 11, 1961
  • Actor
  • producer
  • composer
  • film director
  • screenwriter
  • musician
Years active1981–present
Notable work
Buffalo '66
The Brown Bunny

Early life

Vincent Gallo was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Janet, a hairdresser, and Vincenzo Vito Gallo, also a hairdresser and professional gambler.[2] Both of his parents emigrated from Sicily, Italy.[3]



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 the 1981 film Downtown 81 with painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 1984, Gallo acted in The Way It Is (1985) by Eric Mitchell, 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 Nénette et Boni (1996)."[4]

In 1998, his directorial debut film Buffalo '66 was nominated for, but did not win, an award for "Best First Feature" at the Independent Spirit Awards.[4] 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."[4]

In 2003, Gallo starred in and directed the film The Brown Bunny, which chronicles a motorcycle racer's cross-country road trip, and co-starred Chloë Sevigny. The film, which contained a scene of Sevigny performing unsimulated oral sex upon Gallo, received an overwhelmingly negative critical response to its Cannes premiere and became a media scandal, in part due to Gallo's use of a still image from a sex scene on a promotional billboard. In part, the critical response discussed whether Sevigny had been pressured into performing a sex act by Gallo. According to Andrea LeVasseur of Allmovie, The Brown Bunny "premiered to much derision at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival."[4] Film critic Roger Ebert stated that The Brown Bunny was the worst film in the history of Cannes.[5] 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.[5] Ebert then responded – paraphrasing a statement 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."[6] Gallo and Ebert later made up, and Ebert ended up giving a thumbs up to a re-edited version of The Brown Bunny.[7]

In 2010, Gallo won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor at the 67th Venice International Film Festival for his role in Essential Killing, although he doesn't have a single line in the film. He did not attend the ceremony to accept his award in person, leaving the duty to the film's director Jerzy Skolimowski, who tried to get the actor to reveal himself, leading the audience in a chant of his name. Gallo was not in attendance.[8][9]

Gallo stars in Davide Manuli's La leggenda di Kaspar Hauser, a modern-western interpretation of the German legend of Kaspar Hauser which premiered at the 2012 International Film Festival Rotterdam. Gallo plays the two largest roles in the film, the English-speaking Sheriff and the Italian-speaking assassin.[10]

He co-starred with Kōichi Satō and Yoo Ji-tae in Junji Sakamoto's 2013 film, Human Trust.[11]


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(Vincent Gallo-Bass,Backing Vocals, Barry Hite- Drums and Percussion, Dan Rogalski- Guitars, Rich Zuchoski- Lead Vocals), (not to be confused with the late 1960s band of the same name) which did one performance at Lincoln Park, Tonawanda New York in 1978. The Good (with Bernie Kugel and Larry Galanowitz), The Detours, and the Plastics.[12] 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. 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.[13]

Gallo played in a band called Bohack which recorded an album entitled It Took Several Wives.[12] 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 album which he wrote, performed and produced under Warp Records, titled When.[12][14]

On August 3, 2013 Vincent Gallo headlined the 3rd Annual San Frandelic Summer Fest in San Francisco.[15]

Music videos

Gallo directed music videos for the songs "Going Inside" by John Frusciante, and "Anemone" by L'Arc-en-Ciel.[16] He also starred in the music videos for "Bitter" by Lit, "Cosmopolitan Bloodloss" by Glassjaw, "99 Problems" by Jay-Z and "Grounded" by My Vitriol.

Gallo also appeared as a model in H&M Spring 2009 Collection alongside Eva Herzigova.[17]

Other work and appearances

Gallo currently serves as the HOA president at his Arts District loft in Downtown Los Angeles.[18]

He makes a fictionalized appearance in Caspar Vega's 2012 book The Eclectic Prince.

Gallo did a fashion campaign and photo shoot with G-Star Raw jeans in Fall 2011.[19]

In 1984, Gallo (using the name "Prince Vince") appeared as a dancer on an unsold TV pilot for a hip-hop dance show called Graffiti Rock.

Personal life

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.[20] He has stated that his fantasy is "becoming more like the stereotype of the Republican Party."[21] He also wishes to look "more like [American conservative journalist] George Will."[21] In his own words, Gallo "considered himself a radical, always, but an extremely conservative radical."[22]

Gallo is godfather to Chris Squire's son Cameron[23] and helped Squire with his autobiography.[24]

Gallo is a supporter of current president Donald Trump, stating in an open letter: "I like Donald Trump a lot and am extremely proud he is the American President. And I’m sorry if that offends you."[25]




Feature films

Short films

  • If You Feel Froggy, Jump (1980)
  • Wedding (1986)
  • The Gun Lover (1986)
  • That Smell (1988)
  • Gallo 2000 (1989)
  • Casting Director Billy Hopkins Leaves a Message for Vincent Gallo (1994)
  • Buffalo 66 Trailer (1997)
  • Vincent Gallo Has a Thing or Two to Say About the British (1997)
  • Vincent Gallo Directs (1997)
  • Looking for Enemies Finding Friends (1997)
  • Live Love Drive (1999)
  • Anemone (2000)
  • Honey Bunny (2001)
  • John Frusciante Plays and Sings (2001)
  • The Brown Bunny Trailers (2003)
  • The Curse of Manuel Chiche (2003)
  • Akiko (2004)
  • The Agent (2010)
  • Anea 17 (2010)
  • United States Wins the World Cup (2014)



  • It Took Several Wives (1982, Family Friend Records) as Bohack
  • The Way It Is Soundtrack (1984, Rojo Records)
  • Buffalo '66 Soundtrack (1998, Will Records)
  • When (2001, Warp Records)
  • Recordings of Music for Film (2002, Warp Records)


  • So Sad (2001, Warp Records)


  • Honey Bunny (2001, Warp Records)


  1. "An open letter from Vincent Gallo – unfiltred and unedited". Another Man. Retrieved March 20, 2018. I was not born Vincent Vito Gallo Jr. but instead just Vincent Gallo with no middle name.
  2. "Vincent Gallo Biography (1962?-)". Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  3. Spencer, Liese (October 1, 1998). "Handpicked to be a wise guy". The Independent. London. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  4. "Vincent Gallo biography". The New York Times. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
  5. Ebert, Roger (2005). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2006. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7407-5538-5.
  6. Ebert, Roger (2006). Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2007. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7407-6157-7.
  7. "The Brown Bunny Movie Review & Film Summary (2004)". Roger Ebert. September 3, 2004. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
  8. "Essential Killing Takes Triple at Venice". inside out film. September 13, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  9. "Quentin Tarantino denies Venice nepotism claim". BBC News. May 7, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  10. Harris, Brandon (February 2012). "Rotterdam Review: Vincent Gallo's Unhinged, Dual Role Performance Can't Save Pretentious 'Legend Of Kaspar Hauser'". IndieWire.
  11. Schmidlin, Charlie (July 12, 2013). "Vincent Gallo Joins Japanese Thriller 'Human Trust' Co-Starring Kôichi Satô & 'Oldboy' Star Yu Ji-Tae". IndieWire.
  12. Allmusic ((( Vincent Gallo – Biography )))
  13. Allmusic ((( Downtown 81 > Overview )))
  14. "CD REVIEWS: Hayden, Ozzy Osbourne, Sloan, The Tea Party and many more". Chart Attack, October 16, 2001, by Debbie Bento
  15. "3rd Annual San Frandelic Summerfest w/ Vincent Gallo, Spindrift & More!". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  16. "John Frusciante music videos". Music Video Database. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
  17. "H&M Spring 2009 : Eva Herzigova, Shalom Harlow and Vincent Gallo". the Fashion Spot. Retrieved September 2, 2010.
  18. "Biscuit Company Lofts". Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  19. "Vincent Gallo". G-Star RAW. G-Star RAW inc. May 14, 2013. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  20. "Party Girls". New York.
  21. Vidéos MySpaceTV: Vincent Gallo on Politics
  22. Vidéos MySpaceTV: Vincent Gallo on Politics
  23. McGee on music: How Vincent Gallo taught me to love Yes
  24. Yes – Propelling Forward, by Anil Prasad, Innerviews, August 2012
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