AR: Hey Bill, thanks for joining me. To jump right in, your character in the Firefly movies, Otis, is such a complex? Guy. How do you prepare to play that character?
BM: I read the script and tried to bring the character to life. Initially, I wasn’t so sure about House Of 1000 Corpses. Honestly, I didn’t understand the Otis character until around six weeks after the shoot. Rob [Zombie] wanted to shoot additional footage so we recorded the ‘Run Rabbit Run’ scene and that was when I understood the character, but it was six weeks to late. When The Devil’s Rejects came around I already knew the character.
AR: One of the most horrifying moments is the Motel scene in The Devil’s Rejects..
BM: I had my girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife read the script and she’s an accomplished actress. I thought she was going to hate it and say I didn’t have to do it and If I did she would break up with me *laughs*. She said as an actor I had to do this. So it was settled. Yeah, the motel scene…I walked off set after that. Of course after Rob [Zombie] said cut, my stomach was in knots. I went and expressed to Rob how I felt the scene and Rob told “art is not safe“. Rob said we are not making just a sequel, we’re making something special, then of course we had to do like 19 more takes *Laughs*. Priscilla Barnes was fantastic the whole way through. After I read the script I thought I may have to carry her a little but it was actually the other way around. She was incredible. After we wrapped I went to my camper to wash up and she had left a note saying it was one of the best experiences of her career.
AR: It was an intense viewing experience, Rob did make something special, it’s such a cult favorite among fans. The ending of Devil’s was closed. How did you feel about coming back as Otis in 3 From Hell?
BM: People would always ask me and Sid at conventions if there would be a sequel to The Devil’s Rejects. I would turn and ask Sid if there would be a sequel and we both would reply on a count of three “NO, because we’re fucking dead” *laughs*. It became a joke we always done, then 14 years later they announced 3 From Hell. There was a scene in 3 From Hell where I give a speech from the back of a prison van to some reporters – the scene didn’t make the cut – and I kept messing up my lines and I could see the director [Rob Zombie] looking at me like Time is Money. I decided to take a couple of minutes by myself in this prison van and I heard a voice saying “sit back, I got this“, it was the voice of the Otis character! From there it was fun, for a moment I had got to much into thinking like an actor.
AR: 3 From Hell was lots of fun, but Sid Haig, of the original line up was really Ill, it must have been hard filming without him?
BM: Yeah, very. We had only learned about Sid’s illness a month before production. Rob went and re-wrote the whole script to include the character Foxy. It was really hard at first as Sid, Sherri and I had this bond for like twenty years and Sid was one of the headlining stars and the biggest star as a matter of fact.
AR: What would be your favourite Otis moment?
BM: Hmm..well with House Of 1000 Corpses it was the ‘Run Rabbit Run’ it was where I found Otis. In The Devil’s Rejects the motel scene was such a powerful scene and in 3 From Hell it was when me and Foxy are planning to free Baby from prison and I’m eating a cold can if beans and we’re talking about them being the best beans ever, but they only taste so good because I was trying to get the taste of prison slop out my mouth *Laughs*.
AR: Out of the ‘Firefly Trilogy’ which is your favourite?
BM: *Laughs* Man, it’s like asking whose your favourite child, pass!
AR: Would you return as Otis for a fourth entry?
BM: I would love to play the character of Otis again if the chance arises!
AR: Another classic character of yours is Chop-Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. I would love to see him team up with Otis! Would you be down for the double?
BM: Yeah!! I’d be down for that!
AR: What is it like working with Rob Zombie?
BM: it’s great, Rob writes and directs all his own movies, there all his ideas and visions, he knows what he wants. Rob is alot of fun to work with, he has such an eye for detail. I remember one scene where was photos in the background that didn’t look right to him so he moved them around and done the scene again and again until he was happy. The man has awesome ideas and knows visually what’s he sees in his minds eye and puts it onto screen.
AR: Finally Bill, what’s next for you?
BM: I have finished a movie with Nicholas Cage, it was made in Japan it’s called Prisoners Of The Ghostland, it’s directed by Simon Sono and it is due for release this year.
AR: I look forward to watching it! Thank you for your time Bill!
BM: Thank you, take care.