INT: Ezra Buzzington



Actor Ezra Buzzington has been in kool films like FIGHT CLUB, GHOST WORLD and SECRETARY. You will see him on March 10 2006 in Alexandre Aja's anticipated THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake as one of the psycho/cannibal Hill people named Goggle. We recently yapped a bit with the man and here's what he had to say about the role and his future projects.

Are you a horror fan, if so what are some of your favorite horror movies?

Halloween, The Haunting, The Innocents, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead, The Exorcist and From Justin to Kelly With Love.

You play Goggle in the upcoming The Hills Have Eyes remake. How would you describe the audition process to lock the role?

I actually read for Big Brain. I loved me some Big Brain. So that’s who I was focused on. When they didn’t call for a long time I assumed they’d gone off to Morocco without me. After changing my therapist three times to deal with the loss, they finally called, explained that they’d had a production snag (Miramax was out) and wanted to offer me the role of Goggle. I FLEW back to the script and fell in love with him.

Did you rent the original The Hills Have Eyes and High Tension as research after securing the part? What did you think of both films?

Yes, I did. Please don’t tell Alex. And Alex, if you’re reading this, I’m lying. I rented it right away. It’d been years since I’d seen it. I was happy to see that the tension quotient held up but, I gotta say, most of the other stuff didn’t. The design, the acting styles (Dee Wallace Stone the exception) all seemed so 70’s. Which makes sense, I guess, huh? It was great for its time. Like ours is great for our time. I always thought a remake was a good idea. Especially with these two psychos at the helm.

What can you tell us about your character of Goggle? What kind of chap is he?

Goggle has, first of all, a huge heart. He was the baby of the family for a long time before Ruby came along. The others always had to kind of look out for him. But once Ruby appeared, he kind of found himself. That’s when he became the watchdog for the Hill People. He likes his solitude and over the years, his mannerisms and vocal patterns have become somewhat doglike. And he never takes his derby off. It means too much to him.

Did you find it all difficult as an actor to take part of in the more grisly scenes in the film?

God no. That’s the fun part. Complete and total abandon. In the ADR session (sound re-recording) I found myself making noises from a place in my body that had never been accessed before. And it’s used in the film. It’s a killer scream.

What was the hardest scene for you to execute from an actor’s standpoint?

The scene with Beast. But that’s all I can say.

In the same vein which one was the most “fun” to play out?

The one with Ruby when you first see me. I got to play physically which is my favorite thing to do.

How was the atmosphere on set? Relaxed and pleasant? Tense and stressful?

Yes and yes. We had 14 different languages on set. For example : if they wanted to tweak a light that’s literally on the top of a mountain (not a hill, but a mountain), they’d have to go through several different interpreters to get the light moved. Often in the wrong direction. So then the whole process would start all over again. But everybody worked beautifully as a unit. Harsh conditions can do that on a set. They don’t always, but in this case they did. You know you want a buddy watching your back when you’re up in a crane with a heavy camera or lighting instrument and a dust storm suddenly kicks up out of nowhere. Not easy. Not easy at all.

Would you say that director Alexandre Aja helped you in terms of your performance? Was he an actor’s director?

Yes. Most definitely. As is Gregory Levasseur. Clearly they love actors. And that helps a lot. Paul Thomas Anderson is one of those directors as well. As is Fincher. Actually, all the greats are “actor’s directors”. And I’m not just saying that because I’m an actor. (I also direct.) If you’re crazy enough to cast and actor and then not give them the freedom they require to get the most possible out of the role, then you’re a hack. I’m not saying you need to let the actors run you ragged either. (And they . Believe me. Some of them.) There’s a balance. And Alex and Greg recognize that balance and walk it carefully and deftly.

You have small roles in Fincher’s ZODIAC and Nolan’s THE PRESTIGE, what can you tell us them and your experiences on set?

Well, on ZODIAC I sat in my trailer for 11 hours before I went up to the set and on the way up there I tripped in a pothole and twisted my ankle. I knew I’d be waiting around a long time so that wasn’t a big deal at all. I’d taken several magazines, a book, the script, the full first season DVD of “Drawn Together” and the rough cut of “Outta Sync” the film I directed this year. When I got to set David saw me limping and shouted “Hey Ezra, hurt yourself?”

“Nah, David.” I called back. “It’s just a cry for help.” It was a great shoot for me. He let me play with the character and improvise my dialogue. (The scene features Mark Ruffalo’s character interviewing various “informants”). My guy’s convinced he knows who the Zodiac is. And is really, really nervous. I’m hoping it’ll be as funny as it is disturbing. I got nothing for you yet on THE PRESTIGE. Have a wardrobe fitting next week but that’s all. My start date has been pushed back a bit. Hit me later and I’ll give you the deets.

What’s next for you as an actor? Any other gigs lined up?

Nothing I’m allowed to talk about but it’s huge. We’re really hoping to bang out a deal for another horror flick that starts shooting soon. We’ll see. “Art School Confidential” opens on April 28th. I saw it at Sundance and it’s cool. I play “Lesley” the art school model. Totally nude, dude. Totally. And I hear that audience members are fainting when I make my entrance.

What was the first beverage that you gulped down at the Hills Have Eyes wrap party?

Mint tea. How exciting is that? Followed by champagne and lots of vodka.

What do you hope audiences’ will say about Goggle as they exit the cinema?

I want to see him again.       


I'd like to thank Ezra for this slick interview and wish him HAPPY KILLING with Hills! Rock and roll dude!



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