Anthrax’s Scott Ian Reveals He Almost Starred In This Classic David Lynch Movie

Scott Ian: Jonas Rogowski, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons / David Lynch: Aaron, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons
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Here’s an interesting piece of movie trivia for you: Did you know that Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian almost appeared in the David Lynch movie Lost Highway? Per a post the guitarist recently uploaded to Instagram, Ian reveals that he worked with the legendary filmmaker on a scene for Lost Highway – however, Ian’s role was ultimately cut from the film.

Ian’s post displays a typed-up letter explaining how his character was cut from the movie (you can see this letter below). Toward the bottom of the letter though is a handwritten message from Lynch that reads as follows: “P.S. Scott – sorry it didn’t make it in the film.”

Per the caption associated with this photo, the Anthrax guitarist provides context to this experience, talking about a scene he worked on and what it was like to be directed by Lynch. Per Ian:

“From the I Haven’t Seen This In 27 Years file – Here’s the story behind this letter: I was playing an inmate on death row in David Lynch’s film Lost Highway. My friend Jennifer worked for David and suggested me when she heard David was looking to cast an inmate. David said, ‘Scott has the right look.’ I took that as a compliment. My scene was in the prison that Bill Pullman is in. I’m sitting in my cold, dark cell and the small window in the door slides open and a guard (played by Henry Rollins) slides a food tray in. I get up, walk to the window and stare at Henry until Henry, unnerved by my vicious stare, closes the window.

“We practiced the scene a few times for camera and then David came over to give me direction – ‘Scott, I want you to stare Henry down because you hate Henry, you hate Henry and you want to kill Henry, Henry is an alien species that you have never seen before and he’s a threat to you and you need to kill that threat.’ This was all said to me in the same loud voice David had as Gordon Cole on Twin Peaks. I thanked David for the direction and walked off thinking, David Lynch just directed me for a scene (!) and how the hell am I supposed to be tougher than Henry? It was all too much.

“David called for a ten minute break and I headed over to Henry – I told him it was nuts that I was supposed to be the hard guy in the scene. We had a laugh and then Henry asked, ‘Did you see Heat?’

“‘Of course,’ I answered. Then a smirking Henry leaned in and said, ‘Remember the scene where Al Pacino, who is this tall (Henry held his hand up to denote how not tall Al Pacino is) beat the shit out of me?’

“‘Hahaha, yeah, I remember’ I said, starting to understand where he was going with this… and then Henry exclaimed, ‘ACTING!’ We had another laugh, headed back to set and when David said, ‘Action!’ I was ready. Thanks Henry! So in this letter when David refers to my character, it makes me feel that my acting was good enough for David Lynch. And saying I was ‘an integral part of the creative process’ ain’t too bad either! Thanks David! And thanks Jenn for making it all possible.”

While it would have been awesome as hell to see Scott Ian in a David Lynch movie, it’s still incredibly awesome that he got the chance to be directed by a filmmaking legend. Below you will find a photo of the letter that Lynch sent to Ian. What is your favorite David Lynch movie?

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