This past Saturday I attended Chiller convention with a few friends and wasn’t too thrilled. One of the only bright spots was being able to sit down and interview William Sadler. The actor who has been in such movies as THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, THE GREEN MILE, THE MIST as well as some favorites of mine like TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT and BILL & TED’S BOGUS JOURNEY. He is one of the coolest guys you can meet, very friendly and down to Earth. Mr. Sadler was more approachable then some guests who are not at his professional level. We discussed gaming, breaking into films and the rumor that is Bill & Ted 3. Read the interview below.
IgorsLab: You were born in Buffalo. NY. Did you start your acting career in NY or did you bolt to Hollywood right off the bat?
William Sadler: No, No I did community theater in Orchard Park, NY then I studied acting for four years in Geneseo and then two years at Cornell and then moved to NY and did eleven years of off off Broadway, off Broadway and then on Broadway and then I did my first movie.
IL: What was your first movie?
WS: Project X
IL: I am a big gamer and FALLOUT NEW VEGAS came out I noticed you lend your vocals to the character Victor. How did that role fall into your lap?
WS: They called me up. They called my agent and said: Would he be interested in doing a voice in our game? And I said sure.
IL: Was that your first game for voiceover work?
WS: No, I did a BOURNE IDENTITY game a couple of years ago. They are great fun to do.
IL: Is it easier than film?
WS: Pretty easy. You can show up in your bathrobe if you want. You are in a recording studio. I mean its work because you have to do thousands of different versions of dialogue. It can be sixty-five hundred lines and on and on and on.
IL: Do they show you the finished product, of your character at least?
WS: Yes, the director is there, Josh was there, Jason was there and they explain who he is. Then we play with the voice until we get it right and we start racing through it.
IL: You’ve done a few sort of horror movies, TALES FROM THE CRYPT: DEMON KNIGHT of course. Was that your first venture into horror?
WS: TALES FROM THE CRYPT? I think that was my first. I did one called THE HILLS RUN RED a couple of years ago that was pretty good. I can’t think of any others that were.
IL: I know they are talking about re-doing BILL & TEDS…?
WS: BILL AND TED?
IL: Yeah, have you been approached yet?
WS: I spoke to Alex Winter a couple of weeks ago and writer Ed Solomon. I contacted them weeks ago when I heard the rumor. Okay, if you need the Reaper to show up again I would love to do it.
IL: They haven’t confirmed the Reaper or anything yet?
WS: I don’t think they’ve written it yet.
IL: It’s just a rumor at this point?
WS: At this point they are throwing ideas around and it won’t be a real movie until they have a real script, a real studio.
IL: Well, hopefully there are enough fans out there to get it going. I mean your portrayal of the Reaper was great.
WS: Thank you.
IL: I always ask this question; any tips for people who want to make it in the industry?
WS: Get some training, if you want to take a shot at becoming an actor in this business. Get some training, get into a good school, study in college. Spend some time learning the craft and then do some theater, professional theater if you can, because it teaches you. There’s just a great work ethic surrounding the theater. You show up on time, you do eight shows a week, you don’t screw up the lines, no one is going to yell cut half way through the show. You can’t have a headache. You can’t have a bad show or you will let everybody down, including the people that paid for the tickets. It teaches you. It puts some steel in your spine so when you get to, it gives you the experience, it gives you the training that you need when you make the move to movies where there’s no rehearsal. You meet the woman that is going to play your wife, the morning you shoot the scene. You won’t rehearse the scene , you’ll run it through once or twice and then shoot it. There’s mo audience to tell you whether you are funny or not. There is no time to figure out what’s going on. The more chops you have coming in to it, the better. It’s like two hundred people standing around, it’s three in the morning and they are running late, their in overtime, they get to your moment and they yell action. That’s the only little piece of the whole project that you are responsible for. You have to have your shit together, that’s all. There are so many things that can rattle you, and distract you. Get training, get some training, do theater, that’s my advice.
IL: Since Halloween is upon us, is there a particular movie you would watch for Halloween, as a kid maybe or now as an adult?
WS: A Halloween movie?
WS: A scary movie. I don’t know. I guess I might dig out DEMON NIGHT. I don’t think I’ve seen it since it came out. No, I really don’t have a... I’m not a big horror fan myself. It scares the crap out of me. I don’t like getting that scared.
IL: I just watched DEMON KNIGHT the other day.
WS: Did you? Does it hold up?
IL: It does actually, it does. I like movies dealing with religious matters. Well, thank you Mr. Sadler for your time and good luck with all your future endeavors.
WS: Thank you.
Again, what can I say? He is a cool guy and hopefully he does reprise his role as the Reaper for Bill & Ted 3.