We recently reviewed Billy Pon’s epic new clown movie called Circus Of The Dead, and now we finally sit down with the ever cool star of the film Bill Oberst Jr. He is such a fantastic guy and we hope you enjoy reading this interview.
Here are some links you can find out more about Bill Oberst Jr.
Q: Hey Bill, thank you so much for joining us at infamous horrors today!! I just loved how brutal and sadistic your new movie Circus Of The Dead was!
A: Thank YOU for the opportunity to chat with you and the InfamousHorrors.com community, AJ. I appreciated you reviewing the movie, too.
Q: The first question I have for you is how did you become involved in the project?
A: Billy Pon called me. I’ll never forget the first time we spoke on the phone. I was on a movie shoot out in the middle of this field watching a car drag a bloody prosthetic corpse behind it. Billy said “I’m about to make an iconic horror movie.” I liked him immediately. A few months later I was chasing a naked woman down a parking garage ramp at midnight in Odessa, Texas, with a functional cattle prod in my hand. And Billy was smiling.
Q: Billy Pon seems like a wonderful down to earth guy. How was the chemistry on set with him directing?
A: I consider Billy Pon to be one of the next great directors of our genre. His genius lies in the weird mix of brutality in his head and tenderness in his heart. The best directors of truly great horror always have this balance. Billy is gentle in nature but brutal in storytelling. I was totally dependent on him for the character of Papa Corn. Billy and his writing partner Lee Ankrum had been working on this character in their Texas haunt attraction for years before Circus Of The Dead. They knew Papa Corn to the bone; he was their creation. Billy breathed life into Papa. There’s one behind-the-scenes shot which sums up my relationship to Billy; he has me up against the wall of the rural convenience store where we filmed Tiffani Fest’s incredibly rough death scene, and Billy is patiently talking me into character. That’s Billy Pon. You’d best listen when he speaks.
Q: You have been the second lead in a lot of B-Horror movies, how did it feel to totally own the lead role in Circus Of The Dead?
A: I thought of the movie as an ensemble cast. Filmmaking is such a team effort that if you know how many people are really involved in making any one shot happen, you don’t think much about hierarchy. Except for the director, we’re all on the same level. My job is always to support my fellow team members.
Q: Out of all the movies you’ve been involved in your career which is the one you would say is the most brutal?
A: This one. And that’s saying a lot, given my history. Billy created a nightmare world for Circus Of The Dead and it actually scared the hell out of me.
Q: Growing up as a kid, what kind of movies were you into? Also which inspired you to become an actor?
A: I was the very picture of the Weird Horror Kid! My adolescent bedroom was a shrine to horror, man…I loved it. Didn’t care whether it was quality stuff or not, either, as long as it was dark and had monsters. I felt like a monster myself growing up, total misfit, so I identified with those monsters. I loved them. They were my friends. As far as being an actor goes, it was all I ever wanted to do, from as early as I can remember. The desire was always there. I personally believe in a loving God, and I believe that He gives us all a vocation; something we’re meant to nurture and develop and give back to the world. This was mine.
Q: You were also recently in 3 From Hell, how was it working with Rob Zombie and can you share any experiences on the set?
A: I love Rob Zombie because he is the total professional package; he understands every facet of this business so well that he makes it all look easy. It isn’t. Rob’s command of a set is very impressive – he owns it all while still giving his crew and cast the opportunity to make suggestions, which makes everyone want to please him. I’ve seen this same commanding-but-inclusive set style in Jamie Lee Curtis, too, when she directed a Scream Queens episode I guested on. It’s a genius way to work. When I was in the transpo van with Rob going to set I asked him “What do you want in this character?” He said, “I want what you do best; the quiet delivery and that weird hurt stare.” Well, that’s the way to make an actor want to please you, right there! Brilliant.
Q: Thank you so much for joining us today, Bill! Hope you are staying home and safe.
A: AJ, it was really my pleasure. Thank you for what you do to help keep the blood of indie horror pumping. I appreciate you.