Although Harvey Keitel has appeared in more than 50 films since his 1968 acting debut in Martin Scorsese's "Who's That Knocking at My Door?," he says that few have stirred him the way Tony Bui's "Three Seasons" did.
The film, now playing at Loews Cineplex Broadway Cinemas in downtown Salt Lake City, is the first American movie shot in Vietnam since the war. It deals with the lives of several disparate people in Ho Chi Minh City, the beautiful old Saigon, now in the grip of change. Keitel plays a former soldier who returns to Vietnam to find the daughter he fathered and left behind during the war."I read the script and it took me someplace I had never been before," Keitel said.
"It's about the struggle of a human being seeking self-esteem; it's about reconciliation between daughters and fathers. I identify with that," he said. Keitel has a 13-year-old daughter with his former wife, actress Lorraine Bracco.
Keitel, whose credits include "Mean Streets," "Taxi Driver," "Bugsy" and "Pulp Fiction," has usually played tough guys in films.
"Being typecast is a struggle, yes, but the struggle is welcome," he said. "Actors should welcome the struggle. That's part of the journey."
"I've been a lucky guy and I have no regrets about anything," he continued. "It's all part of the path. It would be dumb of me to say all the good things were wonderful and the bad things were just a waste of time. It's not true. Each one informs the other."
Keitel, a Brooklyn-born former Marine, laughed when asked about being typecast as a tough guy. No matter how hard he tries, he said, the tough guy scripts keep coming in.
"If you say one more word about me being a tough guy," he said, "I'll beat you up."