Henry Hopper

Henry Hopper enters the family business.


“You can very easily be turned into a commodity,” says Henry Hopper, who has starred in only one film but is already wise to Hollywood’s wiles. “I’ve grown up with it.” Indeed, much like his late father, the legendary Dennis Hopper, Henry, 20, is determined to make it on his own terms. His debut is in Gus Van Sant’s Restless, in which he plays a teenager who becomes a “funeral-crashing dropout with a ghost friend,” as another character puts it. “It wasn’t much of a stretch,” Hopper, who lost his dad to cancer last May, says of the subject matter. Though his performance is earning accolades—“There are qualities to his acting that seem to come from another era,” Van Sant notes—Hopper considers himself as much a visual artist as an actor. He had his first gallery show of paintings at 18, and is more likely to discuss Oscar Wilde and Andrei Tarkovsky than the cast of Jersey Shore. “To go into a character, I have to, as Jung says, explore the images that exist at the root of myself,” he remarks earnestly. “It’s about liberation, man—going all the way there.”

Fashion editor: Carolyn Tate Angel; hair by Jamal Hamadi for Gamadi Beauty at the Wall Group