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Interview W/ Actor Bill Oberst Jr.

By: AC

Interview W/ Actor Bill Oberst Jr.

I got an opportunity to speak with,who I consider to be an up and coming figure in the horror genre, Bill Oberst Jr.. Talk about a busy guy, if you look at his IMDB page you can see he has a ton of movies coming out this year and next. The main project we spoke about in this interview is called SCARE TACTICS. Have a look at what Bill Oberst Jr. has to say about acting and horror films below.

IgorsLab: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what got you into acting? 

Bill Oberst Jr.: I believe that we are all born with a gift from God - the thing we are supposed to be doing in this life. I think we are all put here for a reason and that we all have a vocation. The trick is making your vocation your occupation, as nearly as you can. Acting is all I have ever wanted to do, and all I know how to do. None of which means I am any good at it, of course, but I do love it. 

IL: You are in so many films from last year to the coming year. How do you find the time to be in so many movies? 

BO: Acting is not only my passion but it is how I eat, so I say bring it on! I've been a working actor for 16 years now; 12 on the east coast stage and the last 4 here in L.A.; and if there is one thing I have learned it is to strike while the iron is hot. I busted my ass for 3 years here before anyone noticed me. So I ain't gonna turn away good work now. I take a lot of Vitamin B. Eat a lot of spinach. My motto is, "You keep the coffee coming and I'll keep working." 

IL: As an actor what do you look for in a role? 

BO: Up until last year I didn't have the luxury of asking that question. I had to take all paying film roles indiscriminately, but after Jason Zada's Facebook ap TAKE THIS LOLLIPOP went viral and made internet history, I finally got the breathing room to at least consider whether a role was right for me. I don't ever again want to take a role for the money that I know I will suck in. That's a horriblr feeling and it leads to horrible reviews. So, now I look for the roles that I'd like to see a bastard who looks like me play as a fan. Weird, offbeat, strange, intense. But mostly roles that make me smile when I read the script. That means they will be fun to watch. In low-budget films, fun is what matters most. An audience having fun will forgive a lot of flaws. If you take yourself too seriously or try to make "artistic statements" on a low budget you're just asking for the rotten tomatoes.

IL: You are in a new horror film called SCARE TACTICS. Can you tell us a bit about your role in the film? 

BO: Yeah, SCARE TACTICS will be a cool, stylish thriller. It is a mystery film with a veneer of horror laid on top. If Alfred Hitchcock had made a cabin-in-the-woods movie, it might be SCARE TACTICS. A horror writer is recovering from a coma. He can't remember much about his life. So his best friend sets him up in a secluded cabin to spend some time writing and getting his mental groove back. Bad idea. The trailer looks good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMGKReMDd84 There's a very nice pair of knockers at :20 I said to Gregory Blair, the writer and director, "Blair, you better be sure to get those tits in the movie." That's what they call "curb appeal" in the real estate business. Am I too low-brow? Anyway, SCARE TACTICS is doing crowd-funding over on IndieGoGo right now at http://www.indiegogo.com/SCARE-TACTICS. Drop by. Check it out. Help if you can. We shoot this fall. 

IL: SCARE TATICS is currently looking for additional funding for the film. Will the film still be made if the Indiegogo project does not get fully funded? 

BO: According to writer/director Gregory Blair, the answer is (and I quote,) "Hell yes!" However, I want to add that every single dollar that comes in matters. Every dollar makes for a better movie for the fans. You'd be surprised at how a few extra bucks can vastly improve the production values of a film. It can make the difference between a great spooky night-time scene, for instance, or the same scene shot in non-scary broad daylight, because the lights for the night scene cost more to rent. A million little decisions like that are based on the budget. A basic budget just gets you the basics. Hollywood is not supporting films like SCARE TACTICS anymore. These films are a labor of love. OK I'm done preaching. Hmm, guess I better go donate money there now myself or you'll call me a hypocrite. 

IL: What is the most difficult thing about acting, especially in horror films?

BO: Figuring out where to stand. And how to hit your mark exactly right no matter what action or dialogue you are doing before you get to that mark. And keeping your actions simple so you can remember exactly what you did in each take and not screw up the editor by doing something different in the tight than you did in the wide. And staying in your key light when you are sawing somebody's arm off and they are twisting like a bitch and pulling you out of that light. And back-handing a nun and not knocking her wimple off. And 1,000 other things that nobody teaches you before you get to a set. It's a trial and error business.

IL: If there is a role out there that you have not played yet, what would it be and why? 

BO: Monsters. I want to play more monsters. I am a huge fan of Lon Chaney Sr. and Boris Karloff, both of whom brought such humanity to the monsters they played. I am attached to a film called EVIL'S TOY from writer Cheryl Compton, and my role is a demon who is inadvertently released onto Facebook and the internet by kids playing with a spirit board. His name is Gadriel and he'll appear both in a half-human form and in a bat-winged demon form. Gadriel in EVIL"S TOY is a classic monster. He is what he is and he can't help that. His nature is bad, but he has feelings. He has emotions. I can't wait to put on his wings and walk on his goat legs. Personally I am very tired of CGI monsters. 

IL:  Is there an actor or director that you would love to work alongside with? If so who and why? 

BO:  Willem Dafoe. He has blown me away in just about everything he has ever done. And Harvey Keitel. Someone wrote on my IMDB page: "If Al Bundy and Harvey Keitel had a bastard son with weird skin, it would be Bill Oberst Jr." Which I took as a compliment.

IL:  What is up next for Bill Oberst Jr.? I noticed you are in ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES, what other horror films can we see you in? 

BO:  I would invite folks to visit my IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994/  I have 3 horror films that are done and definitely coming out this year, ABRAHAM LINCOLN VS. ZOMBIES on May 29,  CHILDREN OF SORROW from director Jourdan McClure (whose ROGUE RIVER with Bill Moseley has a June 5 release date) and the horror anthology flick SCARY OR DIE  from director Michael Emanuel, starring Corbin Bleu of the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL films. All of those are lead roles. Besides the lead in Gregory Blair's SCARE TACTICS, I am shooting lead roles over the next few months in Trevor Juenger's absolutely wild art-house horror film 'Coyote' this summer, and am in talks with director Mark Savage about his next horror project. I have 4 other horror pictures in post that will likely release this fall or in early 2013 and I am shooting leads in 3 non-horror features & a TV-movie that I am locked in for this year. I am a big fan of quantity. As my father once memorably said: "If you keep throwing shit against the wall, some of it will stick."  

IL:  Is there anything you would like to tell us about SCARE TACTICS that we don’t know about? 

BO:  My therapist in it has big knockers. She's very hot. And I wear a sweater vest. I call it my sweater vest movie. Never wore one. The guy is obviously having some mental problems if he's running around an isolated cabin in a sweater vest, you know? They itch.

IL:  Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring actor looking to jump into the horror genre? 

BO:  Reach out to people you'd like to work with. Write them. Sound interested in their work and tell them specifically why you would like to work with them. Yes, this does take time. And research. You can't text it and you can't tweet it. But that's exactly why it works so well; because nobody does it anymore. I can't tell you the number of professional relationships that have started for me that way. If I see someone whose work I admire, I write them and tell them. This is a people business. Besides the standard auditions and online stuff that all actors do, that personal touch is always going to be your best shot.

I want to thank Bill Oberst Jr. for taking time out of his busy schedule to answwer some questions for us.

You can find Bill Oberst Jr on IMDb at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2454994/, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/billoberstjr, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ActorBillOberstJr His Official Website is http://www.billoberst.com 

Oberst Demo Reel

Bill Oberst Jr. Horror Demo from Bill Oberst Jr. on Vimeo.


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