Rob Zombie‘s 3 FROM HELL will be released in theaters on Sept. 16th, 17th and 18th! I’m a huge fan of the first two films in the series, and I was lucky enough to chat with a few of the cast members! In the following days I will be posting interviews with Bill Moseley, Danny Trejo, and Rob Zombie followed by my review!
I had the chance to speak to Bill Moseley, who will be reprising his role as Otis B. Driftwood in 3 FROM HELL! I’ve been a fan of Bill’s since the days of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, where he played the over the top and entirely insane “Chop Top”. Bill is an amazing character actor and I love his portrayal of Otis. He was a pleasure to chat with, check out our conversation below!
Bill Moseley – BM
Joshua Scafidi – JS
BM: Hey Joshua, how’s it going?
JS: Hi Bill, how ya’ doing?
BM: I’m doing good.
JS: I just want to say I’ve been a fan since I was about 8 years old and saw “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”.
BM: Alright man, I’m glad to hear it!
JS: So, “3 From Hell”, I’m super excited!
BM: Have you seen it yet?
JS: I have seen it, you were awesome. You killed it! I love you as Otis.
BM: Thank you, yes cause I, I haven’t seen… I saw a rough cut about nine months ago, but that’s it so your way ahead of me.
JS: Really? I feel privileged! No spoilers, but I enjoyed it!
BM: Oh good!
JS: Speaking of spoilers, I don’t want to get too spoilery but you probably have some stuff you want to say about the film, what do you want to tell us, Bill?
BM: Uh, you know, go see it! I’m glad it’s coming out, we shot it a little more than a year ago, so I’ve been kind of waiting and uh, biting my
fingernails (Laughter). So, I’m glad it’s finally coming out I think it’s cool that it’s being packaged as kind of an event.
JS: Me too!
BM: That’s a new one for me, ‘cause I’m used to the theatrical release. So, I guess this is the new way of doing stuff. Which I guess is cool.
JS: Yea, things have changed a little bit. I think it’s cool. OK, so Otis... he has issues. We’ll just say that.
BM: Oh yeah!
JS: What’s it like playing a character like that? You get so into it. I watch the movie and I’m like wow, you’re really convincing. Is it hard to go home after that and just turn it off?
BM: Ya know, it’s not. And that I think is part of the art of acting. You just basically leave it at work. You know, a lot of people say, “how can you go to all those dark places” and I say, “it’s pretty easy.” (laughing). Maybe I probably shouldn’t be laughing about that but it’s not that hard. For me at least, but the trick is getting back before lunch. I’ve got a wife and kids, a couple little cats, a dog and I live on a nice street in the middle of town. I can’t be coming back as Otis.
BM: Although, I use to joke that after Devil’s Rejects when I was doing that, my kids’ rooms were very clean (Laughter).
JS: Yeah! I can imagine! (Laughter)
BM: (Otis’ voice) Get in there!! (Laughter)
JS: That’s awesome! Do you think you get recognized more as Otis or Chop Top?
BM: Do I identify more with Otis or Chop Top?
JS: No, do you get recognized more, by the fans?
BM: I don’t get recognized really for either one.
BM: That’s the beauty of it. Well certainly if I’m sitting at a table with my name on a banner at a horror convention.
BM: The interest is really almost 50/50. A little more Otis, just because there is more of Otis. But you know Chop Top is still a force to be reckoned with. I thought you were asking do I identify more, and I had identified more with Chop Top from the get-go. Then, when I met Rob and he wanted me to play Otis, I thought Otis was kind of a reworked Chop Top. Then he lead me slowly but firmly away from the skitchy psycho to a balls out badass. And I had never really thought of myself as a bad guy, but Rob saw it in me, and I’m very grateful because I always still think of myself more as Chop Top.
JS: No kidding.
BM: Yeah and it’s funny. Of course, really it was hard to convince me because Chop Top was my character, you know. He was kind of like my life raft in Hollywood. “I’m Chop Top, I’m Chop Top”, and for him to lead me to Otis was really a revelation and something I really appreciate! My wife agrees too.
JS: I think you took Otis to a whole other level. I mean Chop Top is great. When I was a kid, that character stuck with me. He was silly, he was zany, he was over the top and you owned it. It was awesome! I didn’t know much about acting then, I was a little kid. But to watch you play Otis, I feel like you took it, and you owned it. You made it you, I couldn’t see anyone else playing that role now.
BM: Well I appreciate that! I think Otis is really the only character I’ve ever played more than once.
JS: Is it enjoyable playing him for you?
BM: You know, it really is. I love playing Otis. Would I want one of my daughters to go out with Otis? Probably not (Laughter). But Otis was a great character to play because Otis has kind of, there’s something of a kind of frontier mentality in Otis, the psycho in Otis, there’s the artist in Otis, and there’s the guy who just really is fearless. Without getting too spoilery, but the big fight scene at the end. That’s something I would’ve coward, I’m sure and run as fast as I could before they shot me in the back. (Laughter)
JS: What an awesome scene! That was great, and I feel that Otis, he shined in that scene. In many scenes in the movie, I feel like Otis shined. But yeah, I felt like that one stuck with me for sure.
BM: Well thank you, and it’s interesting about Otis too because Otis doesn’t really have a plan. Otis basically lives his life in the moment. You know, Otis basically, it’s not like he wants to be president of anything. He doesn’t have any romantic visions or ambitions. Just basically what the road brings. Obviously still very artistic, but that’s something I like about Otis. He’s just basically what you see is what you get. The fact that Otis has been in jail this whole time really hasn’t affected him one way or another. Which is part of the deal.
JS: And that’s what I think makes him scary right? Is like, his disconnect? He just lives for what he wants. I’ll be honest. Otis is one of my favorite portrayals in any recent horror movies that I can remember. I’m not taking away from the cast. Baby, she was awesome. I think Sherri Moon Zombie did a great job. I think Rob is awesome as a director, and I think this was back to his element. I don’t know if he just has so much love for these characters, but I felt like it was Rob back to being Rob Zombie. What’s it like working with him after so many years going back to the characters?
BM: We got right back into it. Of course, before we hit the set we had done read-throughs and had a couple of meals and gone through a bunch of stuff prior to actually getting on the set. It’s always fun to work with Rob because, first of all, he’s a writer/director so he knows what he wants. He’s not translating someone else’s vision. He’s also very good - he’s collaborative when that suits the movie. So, if you have an idea, start improvising, and if it works, he’s more than happy to have you do it. I like that, too. If it weren’t for improvisation, there probably wouldn’t have been a Chop Top, ha-ha. Most of that stuff is made up. And I love in “3 FROM HELL”, I certainly love the addition of Richard Brake.
JS: He was great!
BM: I thought his improvisations were just incredibly cool. So much fun.
JS: He was an awesome addition.
BM: Great addition. And it was great to get back on the set with Sid and Sherri. I also know Dee Wallace, a lot of people outside of school so to speak, and so it ends up just being a lot of fun doing what we love to do. That’s really what it came down to. So, there wasn’t a sense of pressure, or we got to get this as good as Devil’s Rejects or got to do this... There was no real pressure on it. It was just kind of, if anything, it was just the opposite. Like getting a chance to do what we do best. And that just made the whole thing a lot of fun.
JS: It shows. You can tell you guys had a blast with it. I know we’re running sort of short on time here I do want to ask you a question I’ve been dying to ask you myself. Kind of a personal question for me. You put out some music with Buckethead awhile back.
JS: I’m a fan of Buckethead, what was that like? Do you guys have any future plans?
BM: You know, I haven’t talked to Buckethead in a bunch of years. He’s a character. When we worked together it was so much fun because we were really on the same wavelength. So, he would start playing something, and I would make up the lyrics. Or I would bring lyrics in, and he would just start riffing and doing his thing. So, it was a lot of fun. I really don’t know if that’s ever going to happen again. But Corn(bugs) was really a musical high point for me.
JS: That’s so awesome!
BM: Then I put out Spider Mountain. An album with Rani Sharone, (bassist/guitarist for the Stolen Babies). Then of course more recently I put out an album, an EP with Phil Anselmo (Pantera) called Bill and Phil.
JS: I did not know that! I was a Pantera fan.
BM: Oh yes! Bill and Phil Songs of Darkness and Despair.
JS: I’m writing that down. I’m gonna check that out, absolutely! Sir, you promised us gratuitous violence, you delivered! I will be advising everyone to check out the film when it comes out and I’ll be watching for your future endeavors Bill. You’re a legend!
BM: Alright, well thank you very much Josh, and say hi to Harry for me!
JS: I absolutely will Bill and thank you for your time!
BM: Alright, my pleasure man!
That’s it, for now, folks but make sure to check back soon for upcoming interviews with Danny Trejo and Rob Zombie, not to mention… what I thought about 3 FROM HELL! Tickets for opening weekend are available at https://www.fathomevents.com/events/rob-zombies-3-from-hell. Thanks for reading and until next time, keep on geekin on, my friends!
Joshua “Prometheus” Scafidi