Fire in the Sky director Rob Lieberman’s latest, The Tortured, is now available on VOD, XBOX, iTunes, Sony Playstation, Amazon, and Sundance Now via IFC Films and opened in NY Theaters on Friday, June 15th.
One of the stars of the film is Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, and Exit Humanity). Earlier this week I hopped on the phone with him to discuss a multitude of projects. In Part One of our interview we chatted about Exit Humanity and Manson Girls. Now, in Part Two, we talk The Tortured as well as his upcoming role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D.
The Tortured also stars Erika Christensen Jesse Metcalfe, Fulvio Cecere, Alfonso Quijada, Chelah Horsdal and Thomas Greenwood. In the film, “The perfect marriage of Craig (Metcalfe) and Elise Landry (Christensen) is suddenly shattered when their young son is abducted and murdered. When the killer (Moseley) is brought to trial, he manages to plea bargain his way to a lighter sentence. Utterly outraged by this miscarriage of justice, the grieving parents decide to take matters into their own hands. They capture the murderer, imprison him and subject him to the same monstrous acts he perpetrated upon their defenseless child. The unforeseen consequences, however, challenge their ideas of vengeance, justice and the true nature of evil.”
Head inside for the rest of the interview!
In The Tortured you play someone convicted of a pretty heinous crime who is punished outside the justice system. Do you want to talk a little bit about that character?
The role is John Kozlowski and I’m a small town bus driver and secret pedophile chill killer. And it was interesting because when I was working on Repo! The Genetic Opera one of the producers on it from Twisted Pictures was this guy named Carl Mazzocone. And Carl was the one who had the script for The Tortured. So when we were shooting Repo! he approached me and said, “hey I’ve got this great script and I’d like you to play this character.” And I said, “what character is that?” And he said, “well it’s a pedophile child killer.” When someone approaches you with a past like that you look at him and wonder what it is they see in you. But anyway I was friends with Carl so I read the script and thought it was fantastic. It brought up a lot of moral issues. [In real life] I’m the father of two girls and if something like that happened to one of my children – God forbid – I could understand where the parents in this film are coming from. But to get under the skin of a character like that was a little daunting.
What happened to me was that I ended up kind of approaching it like, “this guy’s a small town bus driver. Maybe he’s got some voices in his head.” So I started thinking of JonBenet Ramey, the little beauty queen who was mysteriously murdered. And I was thinking about a mean girl that would be angry at boys. So I borrowed my little daughter’s tiara and got my girlfriend to give me a fast lesson in makeup. So at the beginning of The Tortured you see John Kozloswki in front of a mirror getting made up and really getting angry as a mean little girl with the tiara and makeup on. And then having her convince the man [Kozlowski] to do her bidding. So that’s kind of how I approached it. It was interesting, I gotta say.
What was the chemistry like on set between you and your captors?
Working with Jesse and Erika was a pleasure. Jesse was a little cooler [towards me]. They weren’t really my best buddies off the set because it’s hard to befriend the actor who is playing your son’s killer. We didn’t hang out too much but I was really impressed with both of their performances. Erika is called upon to shoulder the emotional weight off the movie and she does a great job.
You’re in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. You famously played Chop-Top in Part 2, what’s it like returning to that universe as a different character?
I had a ball playing Drayton Sawyer. Once again the producer is good old Carl Mazzocone. He’s been putting my younger daughters through public school and I thank him for that [laughs]. I saw a little bit of the movie when I was doing ADR. I went in and saw a couple of scenes and it looks awesome. I imagine that long saw blade will benefit from 3D technology.
I had a moment where I was laying on the floor by the front door of the faithfully recreated Chainsaw house. I was covered in fake blood and chicken feathers. This was in Louisiana last summer so it was probably 103 degrees and 90% humidity. I’m laying on the floor with all of the crew stepping over me and dragging cables over me. It was oppressively hot. And I looked behind me and saw the front door of the house with the saw blade through it, and I’m laying on my side and looking up the stairs where Grandpa is. Then I look down and the metal sliding door is open right there with all these skulls hanging inside. And I just had to think, “my God this is awesome!”
And I flashed back to 1976 when I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre on a double bill with Enter The Dragon in an old theater in Boston. And it blew my mind the first time I saw it. And fast forward more than 30 years and there I am laying at the bottom of the stairs at the Chainsaw house. And it was a moment of gratitude, I couldn’t believe I was there.
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