By JOSHUA “PROMETHEUS” SCAFIDI
Bill Moseley is a modern horror icon. From Chop Top to Otis B. Driftwood, the chameleonic actor puts his all into every one of his characters, large or small. Recently, we had the opportunity to chat with Moseley about his new role as The Governor in, PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND, the English language debut of Japanese director Sion Sono that stars Nicolas Cage as a ruthless bank robber tasked with finding The Governor’s missing daughter in exchange for his freedom.
Hey, Bill! How have you been?
I’ve been well! No COVID, so that’s always a good thing. The family is okay. I’ve even been able to get to a few conventions lately.
It’s nice to have conventions back! PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND looks absolutely bonkers. What can you tell us about it?
It was a very wild experience. We shot it in Japan back in November/December of 2019. We got it right before the pandemic really gripped the world. We shot in a little town called Maibara, which is about halfway between Kyoto and Tokyo. Right on the shores of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake. That was the lake that the Green Gargantua emerged from back in War of the Gargantuas, so I was pretty much at home.
So, you did film it in Japan. I was going to ask.
Yeah, we shot it in Japan. I’m a friend of Reza [Sixo Safai], the co-writer, so he had prepped me about Sion. I think he recommended I see Tag. So, I saw [it] and thought, “Oh my god.” I started watching Sion’s movies, including Tokyo Tribe, Suicide Club, and my favorite, Cold Fish. There’s so many of them. He’s an amazing director. Apparently, Sion Sono was a fan of mine from the Rob Zombie movies, that plus with Reza being a buddy of mine, I got the job. And really, it was a dream job. Cool movie, cool script, my kind of character, working with Nick Cage, plus Sofia Boutella and Nick Cassavetes, it was a dream come true.
What was it like working with Cage?
Surprisingly easy, and fun. I was worried because he’s Nicolas Cage, and that’s pretty daunting. I’m a big fan of his. Sometimes when you meet people you’re a fan of, it doesn’t go as well as you’d hoped. Nicolas Cage, I’ll tell ya, he was a total professional. He knew his lines, he hit his marks, knew everything he was doing. He did a lot of his own stunts. He was a great guy, a lot of fun.
My wife, Lucinda Jenney, was in Peggy Sue Got Married. So it was fun to sit down and realize that we had so much in common. Also, having a movie star on set, everyone instinctively raises their game. It was a lot of fun.
The Governor is a southern dandy type who hires Cage’s character to track down his granddaughter. What attracted you to the role?
Well, in six words – It’s good to be the king. That was a big part of it. He’s a lot more polished on the outside than a lot of the characters I play, like Chop Top or Otis. You know, not too concerned with how I look or come across. With The Governor, that white suit was pretty striking. When I really got into character was when they added the red gloves. As soon as I put them on Sion looked at me and went “Governor!” I realized I am Capitalism with blood on my hands. Something bigger than a tin-horn despot. I represented something, and I love that.
If you had to sell the film to me in one sentence, what would you say?
See it on the big screen; it’s epic.
What are you working on next?
I’ve been working with a band called Ice Nine Kills. They’re doing a series of videos called “Assault and Battery.” I’m in their videos. I also just did a new movie called Chastiser. That just wrapped a little over a month ago and should be coming soon!
I had so much fun doing PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND though, I’ve got to say. It was a Sundance selection. Due to COVID, it was over Zoom, as opposed to going there and walking around, but people like the movie. I’d say please see it on the big screen if you can, but stay safe of course!
PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND is available now in select theatres and on VOD.