BY LARRY NAGER
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Greg Dulli finally found a way to impress his mother.
"I got to meet Martin Sheen, I got to sit down at the dinner table with Martin Sheen," he says of working with the movie star on the new film Monument Avenue. It also stars Irish actor Colm Meany and comedian (and longtime Dulli pal) Denis Leary.
"I called my mom after that, "Mom, I just had dinner with Martin Sheen.' My mom can relate to that. It's not like, "Hey Mom, I went drinking with Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) last night.' But Martin Sheen, she was really excited by that."
The film also features Ian Hart, whom Mr. Dulli knew from the film Backbeat. Mr. Hart played John Lennon in the film, while Mr. Dulli sang Mr. Lennon's parts on the soundtrack.
For the Whigs' leader, that Beatles film was the beginning of a small-scale film career that included an Afghan Whigs appearance in Beautiful Girls.
"I get scripts," he says. "The most exciting one I got, I read for John Woo for Face - Off. I read for (the part of) Nick Cage's brother. And I got called back. To get to meet John Woo; it was John Woo, it was John Travolta, it was Nicolas Cage, how could I not?"
For a while, it looked as if Mr. Dulli would pull a Courtney Love and go Hollywood. Not anymore.
"I get a lot of bad kind of stuff," he says of the scripts he receives. "And I get a lot of stuff for a rock 'n' roll type. And I'm just completely uncomfortable with that. I started out being very interested in acting, and I'm just not anymore. I think I've sort of cast my lot with music, and I feel a lot more comfortable with it as a form of expression."
But he hasn't given up entirely.
"I'm definitely interested in writing films," he says.
"Luckily I'm in with Ted Demme (director of Beautiful Girls and Monument Avenue) and his company, and they've sort of taken me under their wing to the point of giving me soundtrack jobs and letting me bring properties to them. I've gotten real lucky in getting involved in the movie business with people who are my friends and who are interested in things I'm interested in doing."