Dennis Hopper’s intense feud with co-star Peter Fonda: ‘Give me a f****** break!’

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Dennis Hopper fell out with one of his co-stars from Easy Riders , who admitted they had a “love-hate” relationship. Channel 5 airs Waterworld at 1:05pm today, the futuristic adventure film — which stars Kevin Costner and Dennis Hopper — follows various characters as they grapple with a flooding plant. The Mariner, a lonely figure who has adapted to the new world, is rescued by Helen and Enola when he is caged on the Atoll, a floating settlement made out of scrap.

But the three survivors are pursued by the evil Smokers, while Helen and Enola hold the key to reaching a dry land.

Hopper appeared in numerous films and TV shows after making his first television appearance in 1954.

Among the big-hitting flicks he starred in included Easy Riders – a 1969 American independent road drama that he wrote alongside Peter Fonda and Terry Southern.

While the film was met with critical acclaim and even nominated for an award at the Academy Awards for best original screenplay, it led to a bitter fallout between Hopper and Fonda.

The feud began over the credit and profits for Easy Rider.

In 1992, Hopper sued Fonda over who deserved credit for writing the script, a case which was settled out of court.

Hopper later filed a complaint in Superior Court in Los Angeles in 1996, claiming that when the rights to Easy Rider were sold to Columbia Pictures in 1994, he received less than he was entitled to.

Lawyers for Hopper said the matter was settled in 1997 but would not reveal any details.

In Fonda’s 1998 memoir titled ‘Don’t Tell Dad’, he wrote: “Dennis Hopper is still insisting that he alone wrote the screenplay to Easy Rider, and has sued me for cheating him out of ‘millions and millions of dollars’. It blows my mind.”

He also accused Hopper of ruining a key campfire scene in the film: “We never shot it his way … Give me a f****** break, Dennis”.

Fonda said, however, that he still had affection for Hopper despite the long feud.

He added: “One can imagine the love-hate relationship I’ve had with him all this time.… Of course, I didn’t think twice about his vow never to speak to me again.

“Of course I go to see all his work, and I call him to tell him how I liked it.”

Hopper sadly passed away in 2010, aged 74.

Four years later, Fonda told The Independent that Hopper refused to speak to him prior to his death, and even barred him from the funeral.

He said: “Well, I knew that Dennis was dying and I made many attempts to see Dennis as did Bert Schneider [the Easy Rider financier].

“But he refused to see us. The funeral service was in a chapel in Taos, New Mexico. I rented a private jet and flew in, but I was not allowed in the chapel.

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“So as much as I wanted to pay my respects, to Dennis and his family, I was not allowed to be a part of it.”

On the Easy Riders dispute, he added: “My contract with him was the same, he just felt that he deserved to have that. He got millions from me that he misappropriated investing in phoney gold mines.

“That’s his problem. I mean, it’s a shame, because he was too whacked out on drugs.

“I just think that he was so caught up in his own megalomania and his own bitterness that he couldn’t see that I treated him quite fairly and that I respected his genius and his work.”

Fonda died in 2019 aged 79 following a respiratory failure caused by lung cancer.

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