10 Facts about James Dean & New Movie LIFE

LIFE is released in Irish cinemas this week. Dane DeHaan stars as the up and coming movie star James Dean, as he unsuccessfully evades fame, and having his photograph taken for Life Magazine by tenacious photographer Dennis Stock (Robert Pattinson). The film shows Dean as a man who was desperate to be liked, and who sought success, but didn’t necessarily want the trappings that went with fame.

To prepare you for seeing DeHaan take on the role of the man who certainly seemed to live by the rule ‘Live fast, die young’, Movies.ie have gathered together some facts about the late James Dean.

1. Fame
Although James Dean is a name that any fan of cinema knows, and who has lived on in popular culture and the famous images taken of him by Dennis Stock, James Dean only had major roles in three movies; ‘East of Eden’, ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ and ‘Giant’.

2. Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die
The above lyric is from a song The Eagles wrote about Dean. When he died in a car accident in California, James Dean was just 24 years old. He had received a speeding ticket just a few hours previously.

3. Affairs of the Heart
It was widely reported during his life that Dean was a notorious ladies man, and had several affairs with high profile starlets. Most of these affairs were made up by the Warner Brothers PR to raise his profile. Dean did, however, did have love affairs with Pier Angeli and Liz Sheridan.

4. Love and Marriage
Pier Angeli – played in LIFE by Alessandra Mastronardi – was seemingly the love of Dean’s young life; the two were engaged before Pier broke off the engagement to marry singer Vic Damone. Before she accidentally overdosed and died at the age of 39, Angeli said in an interview with the National Enquirer; ‘I loved Jimmy [Dean] as I have loved no one else in my life’

5. Trailblazer
Was the first actor to receive an Academy Award nomination posthumously, for his role in ‘East of Eden’ However, he lost out to Ernest Borgnine for his role in ‘Marty’.

6. Career Starter
Although Dean may have gone out in a blaze of glory, and gone on to become an American icon, his first professional acting gig was in a Coca-Cola commercial, handing out bottles of Coke to teenagers who were riding a merry-go-round.

7. Icon
As well as Dennis Stock’s photographs, which helped to cement his icon status, Dean ahs been mentioned by name in numerous songs, including ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ by Billy Joel, ‘Jack and Diane’ by John Mellencamp, ‘Vogue’ by Madonna, ‘Speechless’ by Lady Gaga and ‘Electrolite’ by R.E.M.

8. Premonition
Alec Guinness met James Dean a few days before the young actor died. Dean was so excited about his newly bought Porsche Spyder that he showed it to Guinness. The older actor warned Dean about the car, saying ‘Get rid of that car, or you’ll be dead in a week!’. Guinness unfortunately proved right.

9. Mood Swings
Dean notoriously suffered from very erratic mood swings, and it is believed that he may have had undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder.

10. When Can I See LIFE?
LIFE is released in Irish cinemas on September 25th 2015. Watch the trailer below…