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An Interview With ‘3 From Hell’ Actor Bill Oberst Jr.

Bill Oberst Jr., one of the hardest working actors in the film industry, starring in upwards of 180 films and series, took the time to answer a few of my questions about several of his upcoming projects, including Rob Zombies’ highly-anticipated film 3 From Hell.

 

Horror Fuel: ” You have so many films currently in different stages of production, 38 I believe. How do you manage being so in demand?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “Kelli, let me first thank HorrorFuel.com and your readers for all you do to support our genre. You have no idea how much your encouragement means to us in independent horror. We’re fans, too. To answer your question, I let God open the doors and I walk through them. He’s been good to allow me to do what I love for a living. I’m grateful.”

 

Horror Fuel: “We are grateful to have you! I’m a fan.”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “Speaking of films, how do you switch mindsets from character to character?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “The men I play tend to be on a continuum I call The Wounded Monster; a sliding mixture of malice and melancholy. In some (like Papa Corn in Circus Of The Dead) the malice mutes the melancholy. In others (like the deformed serial killer in Criminal Minds) the melancholy drenches the malice. Most are in between those two extremes, but it is always sliding back and forth on that same scale. I like to move in this emotional world because it is an honest one and because it is true to my own soul.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I see where you coming from. You can’t help but feel for Frankenstein’s monster.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Recently I interviewed Les Mahoney, the director of “At Granny’s House.” He had nothing but good things to say about you. Could you tell us a little about your character Boarstag?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “I have only good things to say about Les, too. He let me play a taciturn, noir’ish detective in At Granny’s House. I love non-verbal screen moments as a viewer and as an actor. When a character doesn’t speak much, it means more when they do. Les and I have a tumble in the movie and I think the only thing I say in that whole fight sequence is the line Les wrote for Boarstag when he removes a pen jammed into his stomach, before resuming the fight: “You should have used a knife.” Now that’s a good line!”   

 

Horror Fuel: “That is a good line!”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “What did it feel like to win a Daytime Emmy for your role as a killer on the Criminal Minds episode “Take This Lollipop”?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “Awards are given to the whole team behind a production, so you’re proud for everybody on the team. That particular award was an unexpected gift. I remember calling my manager Matt Chassin with the news and he said, with characteristic understatement, ‘Well, that’s not unhelpful.’ And it wasn’t.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I can’t believe he said that [laughter]. You were great in that episode. Very creepy.”

 

 

 

Horror Fuel: “Your character in Death House (review) is pretty disturbing.”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “Have you seen it?”

 

Horror Fuel: “I haven’t seen the finished film, but I did see a rough cut.”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “I have not seen the finished film either. I’m a big fan of Sean Whalen’s work, so it was a kick to work with him, and Barbara Crampton, too. Barbara, by the way, has one of the best screen screams I have ever heard. My ears are still ringing.”

 

Horror Fuel: “Mrs. Crampton is awesome. So is Sean Whalen.”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “You’re in Rob Zombies’ highly anticipated 3 From Hell. I’m a huge fan of Zombies’ work. What can you tell us about your character, Tony Commando?  What was it like to be on set?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “I can’t tell you anything about the role because there’s a non-disclosure agreement for actors working on that film. I can tell you that being on that set was inspired insanity!”

 

Horror Fuel: “I love that description. It should be on a T-Shirt!”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “Well, I mean it as a compliment. What a mix of polished professionalism and raw creativity a Rob Zombie set is! Rob is totally in control, his crew is totally dedicated to him, and the machine is well-oiled. Yet he isn’t afraid to take the time to play artistically. He’s an actor’s director, which is, I guess, why so many actors want to work with him (Danny Trejo was on set when I showed up for work, and Clint Howard had just wrapped.)”

 

Horror Fuel: “I can’t wait!”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “How do you think fans will respond to 3 From Hell?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “Fans are going to love this movie. I left the set of 3 From Hell highly impressed and hopeful for the future of this genre. Rob Zombie won’t let us down.”

 

Horror Fuel: “I know fans will love it. I look forward to seeing your character, Tony Commando, in action.”

 

 

Horror Fuel: “What are you working on now?”

Bill Oberst Jr. “In between movies (Mark Savage tells me that his Circus Of Dread may be happening this year…an amazing script…the tagline is ‘”Two brothers – one a priest, one a career criminal – find bloody salvation in a mysterious underground carnival,”) I’m working to get a solo stage portrayal of author Ray Bradbury up Off-Broadway. The Ray Bradbury estate has approved the script, written with the help of Dr. Jonathan Eller, Director of The Center For Ray Bradbury Studies at IUPUI, and we’ve just had a successful staged reading of in New York. The next step is to put together a group of investors, with a goal of opening Off-Broadway in 2019. If your readers would like to know more the site is https://www.raybradburyliveforever.com.”

Bill Oberst Jr.: “We do plan on touring, yes! And Atlanta is a natural stop. I’ll look forward to that.”

Horror Fuel: “I would love to see your show.”

Horror Fuel: “Thanks for taking the time to speak with me. Where can we find you online?”

 

Bill Oberst Jr.: “I thank you, and your readers. My site is billoberst.com, my Twitters are Bill Oberst Jr. and Ray Bradbury Live. I can also be found on Facebook under Bill Oberst Jr. and Ray Bradbury Live Forever. Say hello! I enjoy hearing from fellow horror fans and other thoughtful folks.”

At Granny’s House is now out on Digital and VOD. Death House will soon be out on DVD and as soon as we have a release date for 3 From Hell we’ll let you know.

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