Part Three: The Shoe Star Leo Fitzpatrick On New York After-Hours and Magic Carpet Rides
André Saraiva pulled from his personal experiences as a modern day bon vivant for his directorial debut The Shoe, but the artist and club owner also channeled the cinematic ghosts of his leading man. “The central character is a little as if Leo [Fitzpatrick’s] character in Kids has moved to Paris nearly 15 years later,” Saraiva says. “It’s a clin d’oeil [wink] to it, with the skateboard, the kisses, girls and free love.” Fitzpatrick was a mere 14 years old when he was discovered by Larry Clark while skateboarding in Washington Square Park. The maverick filmmaker promptly cast him in his controversial 1995 movie Kids, and since then Fitzpatrick has appeared in movies including Clark’s follow-up feature Bully and Todd Solondz’s Storytelling. We talked to the actor about "dude" bars and the charms of New York versus Paris.
What do the shoes from the film say about the man who wears them?
I guess that’s the point of the film, really, anyone can wear them; it’s how your personality shows through. Shoes don’t necessarily make the person.
How much of your character was based on André?
All the events in the film took place in André’s life at some point in time––more in his teenage years than his later life, except for the women. He and Olivier Zahm [the script’s co-writer], that’s kind of how they see life, you know, every girl is attracted to them. It’s a fantasy of sorts I would imagine.
Are your nights out in New York similarly girl-heavy?
I like to keep it simple. I haven’t really gone out of my zone in quite a number of years. I go to [Lower East Side bar] Max Fish and there are generally never girls there so I don’t have to worry about that—it’s a dude bar and you just go there to talk about skateboarding.
How did you spend your free time in Paris?
On my only night off I went up to Pigalle, where there is a really ridiculous store where you can make a video of yourself riding a magic carpet around Paris, so I made it into a Gang Gang Dance video. Something as stupid as that brings you the most joy as opposed to going out and raging. That was probably my favorite thing because it took about ten minutes and 30 euros and I was happy.