Horror fans will recognize his name from such movies as I Know What You Did Last Summer, From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money and Dead Birds. He is an amazingly talented actor and musician and after corresponding via Twitter with Horror Icon Of The Month (August) alumni, Muse Watson, (Fun Fact: I first made contact with him on July 4th) I bit the bullet and asked if he would allow me a few moments of his time to do an interview with me. Much to my surprise, he agreed. I first unleashed him on Truly Disturbing. Now, Muse has found a home here on my official site.
REI: What was your reaction to being named Truly Disturbing’s Horror Icon Of The Month for August?
MUSE: *laughs* I thought "Is this an honor...or what?"
REI: It certainly is. We only do the best of the best when it comes to horror stars for our Horror Icons. Speaking of horror do you like to watch horror movies? If so, which is your all time favorite horror film?
MUSE: Not really. I love to watch horror movie fans. They are loyal and fun.
REI: I think I just blushed *laughs*. You’ve made a name for yourself on stage, film and television as well as getting behind the camera and directing. Which outlet do you prefer to let your creative genius flow and why?
MUSE: I love acting and creating a character or just letting the character borrow my body. I also like singing and making music. What I do not like is the other stuff that goes with the job, like trying to determine if a producer is trustworthy...
REI: What has been the hardest part of your career?
MUSE: Getting work.
REI: So, how did you get into acting?
MUSE: I actually auditioned for my first role after being told the Berea College Theater wanted to see some new faces. I got one of the leads, Petruchio, in "Taming of the Shrew".
REI: I bet that was exciting. So how do you decide on the roles you want to take?
MUSE: My wife reads the scripts first. She likes fiction, I don't. If she says for me to read it, I read it. Then, it has to be a good script. Two, I have to play a character which will suit my career. I won't play a character who begs for his life because there is no future in it... *laughs* Three, it has to fit the family plans, and four, it has to be worth my time to do it. I can get big money to play killers and bad guys so I ask low budget Indies to let me stretch a bit. So I would play a lesbian attorney for very little money.
REI: Am I the only one that would pay to see you play a lesbian attorney *laughs*? Have you ever looked back at a character you’ve played and thought ‘I could have done that so differently’? If so, what character and how would you have changed the way you portrayed him?
MUSE: Yes. One was the bad guy in "Acts of Betrayal". I had sent dozens of men after the hero and he had defeated them. When he and I stood face to face I was acting a little nervous. Seems logical to me. He had beaten everyone I had sent after him. Big mistake. I should have stayed the Hollywood style and been a bad guy to the end. Good news is nobody saw it because it is a terrible movie. I wasn't the only bad performance in it.
REI: I want to jump back to the topic of horror movies for a second. I haven’t been shy in stating numerous times that I Know What You Did Last Summer was my introduction to the horror genre and that the Fisherman has scarred me for life. If you were asked, would you pick up that hook again and return as Ben Willis?
MUSE: Yes. If the script was good... ah well, see above for criteria. *laughs*
REI: And now I have chills running down my spine. What initially attracted you to the role of Ben Willis and what convinced you to return for the sequel?
REI: I love how honest you are. In I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer, the Fisherman became more of an urban legend and there was no real reference to the original two films. The Fisherman was also played by Don Shanks, who was Michael Myers in Halloween 5. Were you aware of the third instalment and how do you feel about being replaced?
MUSE: There is no third instalment...Yet!!! No one from the first two was involved in that thing. I wish Don well, and I hope he got a new boat out of the film, but it is not an instalment. I suspect it was a financial ploy of some producer's failing career. Stop.
REI: My sentiments exactly. I wasn’t overly impressed with I’ll Always Know. There’s a reason it went straight to DVD. According to IMDB you’ve got a few films in post production, in particular two horror/thriller style films entitled The Last Exorcism 2 and Compound Fracture. What are the films about and can you give our readers a little behind the scenes information?
MUSE: "The Last Exorcism 2" is directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly and stars Ashley Bell. It was filmed in New Orleans so it was a coming home party for me. I can't wait to see what it will look like. "Compound Fracture" is directed by A. J. Rickert-Epstein and stars Tyler Mane and Derek Mears. I know you recognize those names. First time three icons of horror have been together in a film. The three of us had a blast on set. I am also excited about seeing this one come out.
REI: I must admit I’m looking forward to both of them too. For those that don’t know Tyler Mane and Derek Mears, they have played Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees respectively in the remakes of Halloween and Friday The 13th. What was it like working with them?
MUSE: Oops. We had a blast. It was really nice to work with them. Being a serial killer is a lonely job, so it was nice to be around other people who understood... *laughs*
REI: *laughs* We’re all looking forward to see it. I’ve had the pleasure of writing about some of horrors finest actors. My first article was on Robert Englund and I must admit I see a lot of similarities with your career compared to his. Would you consider eventually following in his footsteps, and that of fellow Horror Icon Kane Hodder, and release a book about your illustrious career as well as the pitfalls and possibilities of Hollywood?
MUSE: I've been told I need to do that. I have a file on the computer called "Musings" that just may turn into that. I also had a President of my fan club who was a dictator (Is that a word?). She said if I were to just make recordings she would transcribe it.
REI: Ooh fantastic. And should she not be available, send it to Australia and I’ll be more than happy to assist you. Who has been your favorite person to work with so far and who would you want to work with in the future?
MUSE: Yeah, right, like I am going to give you a favorite... You know how these Hollywood types are... My favorite is whoever has the biggest budget currently casting *laughs* I have worked with a lot of huge stars. Check it out on IMDB.
REI: It was worth a shot. What are you currently working on?
MUSE: I am currently working on "Shattered Love". This is a moving story about Alzheimer's.
REI: I must say it certainly is a story that I would love to see. My grandmother suffered from Alzheimer's. Are you involved in any charity work and if so, which charity are you associated with?
MUSE: I am. Autism Society http://www.autism-society.org/ and Military Working Dogs http://mwdtsa.blogspot.com/
REI: That’s fantastic. Anyone who follows you on Twitter and/or Facebook would know of your work with the Autism Society. When you’re not working, what do you like to do in your down time?
MUSE: Well, when I was in Branson, Mo. last year doing the musical "A Christmas Snow Live" on stage and I got some down time, my daughter and I built a dam across the creek behind our house. Hopefully when I am there (Nov.1 thru Dec 8th) this year I can shore it up again...
REI: That sounds wonderful. OK, last question. Do you have any advice for someone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
MUSE: Follow your dreams... You know if I really knew what to say I would sell a book and retire with a lot of land, and a bulldozer...
REI: “Follow your dreams” sounds like perfect advice to me.
I would like to thank Mr. Watson for allowing me a few moments of his time. I truly appreciated the opportunity to go toe to toe with such a prestigious actor.
To all my readers, do yourselves a favor and check out Muse Watson when Compound Factor and The Last Exorcism 2 hit cinemas later this year. In the meantime, check out his amazing filmography, catch him in reruns of Prison Break and NCIS, have a re-read of his Horror Icon Of The Month article and, for those of you who remember him as The Fisherman, double check the locks and before you go to sleep, check the closet and under the bed...you know...just in case.