David Bowie’s Son, Director Duncan Jones, Opens Up About His Dad
For film director Duncan Jones, being the son of David Bowie could have been a huge stepping stone for his career, but he's carefully avoided trading on the Bowie name for his own benefit.
Even as Jones released the 2009 sci-fi/B-movie throwback 'Moon,' his critically acclaimed debut film, very few people knew that he had known as 'Zowie Bowie' earlier in his earlier life. He achieved a good amount of success on his own terms with 'Moon,' which featured Sam Rockwell in the starring role.
By the time his second film, 'The Source Code' was released earlier this year, the world had learned a lot about Duncan. In the afterglow of that film's success, Jones is finally talking about growing up with his famous dad.
Bowie's passion for acting and movies rubbed off on Duncan, who relates the experience of being on a film set as being a Disneyland-like experience. “I’d see the amazing sets being built, how the make-up worked. In 'The Hunger,' Dad had to age at one point to become an old man and I remember him scaring the s*** out of me.”
The mutual love of film strengthened the relationship between the pair, although early on, Jones remembers in an interview with the Daily Mail that his father tried to get him interested in playing music. “He tried to get me to learn the drums but I didn’t want to. The saxophone? No. Piano? No. Guitar – no thanks! Bless him. He kept on trying and nothing was happening. Nothing would take.”
Growing up, Jones spent some time with Bowie on the road, an experience he compares to any kid going to work with their parent – his dad just happened to have a really cool job. “I could hear the noise up front but I’d spend most of my time hanging out with the roadies and playing with them. You know those big crash cases that they put the equipment in? Big, thick metal boxes with foam padding – well, I’d stand inside one of them and get the roadies to push me around like I was in a go-kart.”
“In many ways it was an incredible childhood. We traveled all over the world, we got to do some amazing things."
He remains very close with Bowie, communicating via Skype each weekend. He says that he and his father meet up when possible during his visits to New York. Jones calls Bowie “a wonderful guy and father” and says that “he gave me the time and the support to find my feet and the confidence to do what I do.”
Ironically, he now regrets never having learned to play an instrument, and names the guitar as one thing that he'd like to tackle, if only he had the time.
As Jones ponders his next film move, we're also left wondering whether David Bowie might make music again someday soon. According to Bowie biographer Paul Trynka, the star will only return if he has the opportunity to do something “seismic.”