Wild at Heart (1990) – The Snakeskin Leather Jacket


You look like a clown
in that stupid jacket. This is a snakeskin jacket. It’s a symbol of my individuality and my belief
in personal freedom. The story is simply that I walked down
Melrose Boulevard in the ’80s and I walked into Aardvark’s. It was a second-hand clothing store. I saw this snakeskin jacket and I immediately thought
of The Fugitive Kind. I thought, “I’m going to have to buy that.” “Is there a way I could wear that
in a movie one day?” Literally, I wore it for about a year
and it just hung in my closet. David called me about Wild at Heart
and we went to dinner to talk about it. I met Laura that night. I think I said, “It’d be interesting if I could
wear a snakeskin jacket in this picture.” He thought about it and then said, “Let me work with that.
Maybe I can build it into the script.” He came up with the idea that Sailor
should say, “This is a snakeskin jacket and it’s a symbol of my individuality
and my belief in personal freedom.” Sailor, honey… Ow! And that became a running theme. It became an identity for the character. The reason for that is
I was a fan of James Dean and I noted that in Rebel Without A Cause
he had that red jacket that was such a symbol,
an icon of that time. It became apparent to me that
the characters that you remember most are the ones that have one wardrobe
and they stick to it. It becomes their identity,
like a second skin. I thought,
let’s bring these concepts back and have Sailor wear the snakeskin jacket
and not really wear anything else. He’s got the snake jacket
and the black jeans and T-shirt and that’s his symbol. That’s the genesis of that. That was the idea.
It was to make it a more strong image.

2 thoughts on “Wild at Heart (1990) – The Snakeskin Leather Jacket

  1. Well thought and that jacket is just hilarious. You need to be a Real Badass to buy and wear that ridiculous thing in public and even more Badass to wear it in a film where thousands and thousands of people can see you wearing it.

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