Interview with 3 From Hell star Bill Moseley
by Bobby Blakey
There are actors that have found their niche in Hollywood and while they do all sorts of projects they seem to venture back to genre’s they are most known for. Once such is the always great Bill Mosely who most know as ‘Chop-Top’ Sawyer from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Luigi Largo from Repo! The Genetic Opera and Otis Firefly in both House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. I had the chance to interview him years ago about his career at one of the Texas Frightmare conventions and he was the coolest guy ever. Now he has returned to the role of Otis Firefly once again in the unexpected sequel 3 From Hell and I had the chance to sit down with him once again to discuss the latest chapter in the Rob Zombie trilogy.
Bobby: How did it come together for you to return to play Otis?
Bill: Sid Haig and I have been to many horror conventions together and we used to have a joke where people would ask if there was going to be another and we would kind of look at each other and say “No because we’re Fuckin’ Dead!” It seemed to the world we were, but I don’t know if it was the power of love or evil, but we are back. We are still human, we didn’t go to hell and get expelled by the devil or just another bad dream. I am very happy to be back in Otis’ skin and beard. That beard took about a year and a half to grow so had to have a lot of vitamin E to get that Otis beard back in shape. Our shooting schedule was short and sweet so there wasn’t a lot of time to some kind of actor’s Yoga to try and get back to the spirit of 2005, we just hit the ground running. It was great to be working with Rob again and certainly working with Sherri, Sid and the rest of the team. It was also great fun to meet and work with Richard Brake who was new to the cast and so much fun to work with.
Bobby: When Rob comes to you with this knowing that you like all of us thought they were dead was there any hesitation on trying to go somewhere else with it or were you ready to just dive back in?
Bill: I had no hesitation whatsoever. Rob created us and is a great horror fan so I knew if anyone had a good or workable idea it was going to be Rob. As soon as he called I just yep, absolutely.
Bobby: With playing him three times now, you obviously know this character front and back, but I have loved there was an evolution of sorts to all the characters. Coming in this time around did you get to play around with him more to do new things or was it pretty much already laid out for you?
Bill: It was pretty much laid out by Rob. There was certainly some improvisation in the way I played Otis and how the story was rolling, but Rob had a pretty strong vision of Otis post 14 years in prison. It seemed very organic and never forced. The time had gone by and you have Baby and the new guy Foxy, Richard Brake and it all just felt like an ongoing part of the story. It never felt like Rob was forcing anything and it just felt very smooth.
Bobby: There is so much physicality in these movies where one minute there is this bloody rage and the next they are having these quieter family type moments. As an actor how hard is that to bounce back and forth in these varying emotions of sorts and still keep the same overall tone to the film and character?
Bill: We are all crazy so it makes it pretty easy. We can go zero to ten in a New York minute which is pretty par for the course. I don’t remember really having any emotional transition difficulties it’s just who we are. Most of the time we are pretty chill with each other with joking and taking jabs, but not violent with each other. When there is an opportunity to commit some act of murder and mayhem that’s the fun part and we go right into overdrive at the drop of a hat.
Bobby: I know with a short prep time and the varying budgets it varies on how much time you get to get ready for the physicality of these kinds of roles or was it a lot of gorilla film style and just diving in to make it work?
Bill: A lot of it is the gorilla film style. Like a lot of actors I have a trainer and hit the gym 3 times a week. I am in pretty good shape so that part of it keeps me ready to do whatever is asked of me and for the most part I am pretty capable of doing. With my big fight this time around I trained for probably about 7 or 8 sessions to get the footwork down and proper for that fight so that was special. For the most part though for some stunts there is always a stunt person on set who will walk us through ahead of time, but it’s never been a particularly big challenge. Of course the fight at the end did take some more practice.
Bobby: Now that you have done three of these films and they are so physical have you gotten any big injury in any of them that stand out when doing your own stunt?
Bill: I am pretty careful about that because I know how dangerous it can be especially when some people get carried away in the moment. I have avoided any big injuries, but when we were shooting Devil’s Rejects where I get thrown out the window at Charlie’s Girl Ranch and Diamond Dallas Page, former heavyweight Wrestling Champion of the World, kicks me in the ribs while I am on my hands and knees. For some reason I wasn’t wearing a pad and he kicked me I guess gently for him, but it really hurt so I played it accordingly. For the next take I was given a pad to protect my ribs and this time he thought he could kick harder and it took about 4-6 weeks for my ribs to stop aching. That was really the only thing I can remember that had any lasting effect.
Bobby: I love this series and really digging the new one. I appreciate you taking the time to speak with me again.
Bill: Thanks it was nice talking with you as well.
Tickets for the September 16th/17th/18th nationwide release of 3 FROM HELL are available at FathomEvents.com/3FromHell