Set Visit: Interview with Devil's Rejects actor Bill Moseley
Easily beating out the other family members for the creepiest from HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES, I thought was Otis. When the artist completed his creation of fish boy, I had about had it. So, you can imagine my trepidation when Otis started walking up to me with a long thick beard, and hands covered in blood. Surprisingly, Bill Moseley, the actor behind Otis, was incredibly nice. Although our time with him was short, he gave us some insight into his character, and explained to us what made him cry during the shooting of THE DEVILS REJECTS.
So how's the shoot going today?
The shoot is going well. I'm really, really happy with it. I think everybody is excited. It's going pretty good.
Is your mind set a little bit different this time than in the previous film?
It is actually. I'm a lot more comfortable. I think I didn't really discover Otis until we were, I think it was about 2002. A couple of years after we had completed principal photography of the first film. I was down in Rob's basement and we were doing the, "Run rabbit run", sequence. Actually I think it was in Wayne Toth's make-up shop that we did that. That's when I thought, "Oh yeah, that's Otis." So it took a while to get to Otis and this time around here in 2004 I kind of started as Otis so I didn't have to find Otis.
Has it given you the chance to do anything different with the character or is it pretty much the same?
It's given me a chance to do a lot of different things with the character. This whole movie, I'm sure you've heard echoed from mouth to mouth is a really...just a whole...,it's a chance to really not only take the story in a different direction but also to really flesh out the characters. And I think it really obviously reflects Rob's satisfaction as a writer and also as a..., you know he kind of in this movie one he gets to really just a take it to a lot of extremes where we didn't really go and were only hinted at in the first movie. The one thing that I am very happy about is that Otis is a lot more sexual. (Laughs) There's a lot of sex in this one.
Is that in the opening scene? I think it was.
No. Actually in the opening scene someone has already, you know there is a girl in my bed who has expired during the night. So, Sheri comes in and she scolds me because the girl I have in my bed is dead. Maybe it was a friend of hers or something. So, Otis does a lot of scenes in this movie that I'm either fighting, getting my ass kicked, or involved in some kind of sex play where as in a frightening, you know pleading to get laid with someone you shouldn't have to plead with. I'm just Mr. Sex. Plus this time I've got a beard so maybe that has something to do with it.
What's the deal with the beard? Is it a kind of, hiding from the law disguise there?
You know it's funny I went to see the superbowl over at Rob & Sheri's back in January and Rob said, "Maybe you should just let your beard grow". And I had never let my beard grow. I never even thought I had a beard. And I said, "Okay". So I said, "Well what did you have in mind". Then he took out a paper plate, flipped it over and started drawing, kind of sketched a picture of the new Otis. Kind of looked like a kind of Duane Allman type. (Laughs) He kind of sketched this thing out and I thought, "Oh, alright". I just started letting my beard grow and now I know where all the white hair has been hiding. (Laughs)
Rob said that the tone of this picture is much different from that of the first film. Can you give your perception on that?
Yeah. Again, I think the words grittier & darker and more edgy. I think those are the three adjectives. It's absolutely true but at the same time there is a lot more humanity in this one too, which is really a strange thing for me to be saying. You know during the first one I don't really ever remember making any kind of human emotional connections. I mean certainly, yeah there were some just because of the nature of the story. You know when Karen Black came in as, "Mama" there was the kind of argument with your mom kind of stuff and getting testy with some family members. I have already cried a couple of times in this movie. (Laughs) Which is like, "where did that come from!"
In character or...
Yeah, in character. (Laughs) Yeah absolutely in character. Which has been really exciting. So, there is a depth and an emotional connection in there that wasn't as much as in the first one. The first one I've heard Rob say is more of a cartoon compared to this version, the sequel. Which is actually very exciting. I mean, I did a scene that was very frightening to me and it was a sexual scene where we have got a few couple hostage in a motel room and I have decided to move myself with the wife of one of our hostages. A very dark scene and really bummed me out. And, of course, in the movies you don't get to do it just once you have to do it over and over. "Okay that was great but now we have to do it from this angle with this lens." Oh my God, after about three takes of this one particular scene which is really very powerful & frightening for me personally.
I said to Rob during a break, "You know this is really bumming me out." And he looked at me and said, "Art is not safe." And I thought, "Wow!" First of all that is a very profound thing to say I guess and second of all I didn't realize we were making art. (Laughs) You know what I mean? At first I was thinking, "Yeah we are making a sequel and we are gonna kick some horror ass and you know." But then all of a sudden we are going to these very dark and very real places. Not just the old slash-a-roo. And that freaked me out but at the same time it really encouraged me and it gave me the green light to really go there and to really try to go to certain places and to really challenge myself as opposed to just kind of yupping through a set sequel.
As there been any instances or have you been doing any kind of scene where Rob has said, "No that is too much"?
Does he have any kind of moral line where like this is not right for this or that or...
You know, I think that the only line we didn't cross that kind of appeared as a line was in the opening scene where we discover, in the "meet Otis scene". I am lying in bed with a naked corpse as it turns out. I didn't know how we were going to shoot it. I figured that maybe I would nude as well because it is my bed and my corpse. But he said, "No I want you in tightie-whities." And I was like ready, I was ready to give the long suffering horror fan a view of my shining behind but he didn't want go, he said "It wasn't that kind of movie." (Laughs)
Did you do any adlibbing?
Yeah. Yeah a little bit here and there.
I understand you are shooting in about 30 days. Has it felt rushed at all compared to the first film?
No, not at all. No, the pacing as been really good. It has been good for me but I can't speak for the crew that are in here day in and day out every single day. For me it has been actually very comfortable. It seems to have worked out just fine. There's not a lot of, "God, just do the next scene!" You know where you are sometimes over the course of six weeks your just gasping to get to your next lines. But this, I'm ready to go for another six weeks. (Laughs)
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