Friday, March 9, 2012

Meat Loaf moves to Austin

That's what he said last night at the Texas Film Hall of Fame awards show.

Here's Angie Dickinson, who accepted an award for the film Rio Bravo.

See more photos from the event here.

Here's my report from the evening for The Dallas Morning News:

Dallas native Meat Loaf is moving back to Texas


AUSTIN — The Dallas native behind “Bat out of Hell” is moving to Bat City.

Legendary rocker and actor Meat Loaf was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame on Thursday, but perhaps the bigger news is his purchase of a home in Austin, a city famous for its large downtown bat population.

“Who better to live in Bat City than Meat Loaf?” he told a crowd in the Austin City Limits studios, referring to his 1977 album that has sold 43 million copies.

Just as big a lure is Austin-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Meat Loaf said he met Rodriguez 11 years ago and the director talked of putting him in a film. It has yet to happen.

“I will be in a Robert Rodriguez movie come hell or high water,” Meat Loaf joked.

He was serious when recounting discovering theater as an alternative to the too-quiet confines of study hall at Thomas Jefferson High. That led to a lead role senior year.

His big break came in Los Angeles when he applied for a job parking cars at the Aquarius Theater the same day as auditions for the musical Hair and talked his way into a part. He went on to roles in films including The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Austin-shot Roadie and Fight Club.

“Acting is about truth,” he said. “It’s what we all attempt every time we walk onto the movie set.”

The man born Marvin Lee Aday explained Meat Loaf isn’t so much a stage name as a moniker given to him as an infant.

Joining Meat Loaf in the Texas Film Hall of Fame’s 12th class were actor Barry Corbin (Urban Cowboy, No Country for Old Men) and director Douglas McGrath (Emma, Infamous ).

The Austin Film Society stages the event yearly in advance of Friday’s SXSW Film festival opening, and uses proceeds to aid independent filmmakers.

Corbin is also in the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, but, while he can ride a horse, he said he’s only likely to do it for an acting job these days.

“I’m a fake; I’m not a cowboy,” the Lamesa native said, and urged “Let’s keep up the good work and bring more films to Texas.”

Actor Danny Trejo, a regular in Rodriguez’s films including Machete, was named an honorary Texan, while Angie Dickinson accepted the Star of Texas Award on behalf of the film Rio Bravo.

The classic western was Dickinson’s big break. “What made it great was two words: John Wayne,” she said of her much more experienced co-star. “I stretched and got on my toes and got all I could while I was there.”

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