Bill Moseley talks to Nicolas Cage

Japanese director Sion Sono’s English language debut Prisoners of the Ghostland is out on September 17th in select theaters, on request, and digitally. The wild western stars Nicolas Cage in the lead role, and also has Bill Moseley and Sofia Boutella.

“In the treacherous border town of Samurai Town, a cruel bank robber (Nicolas Cage) is put out of prison by the wealthy warlord The Governor (Bill Moseley), whose adopted granddaughter Bernice (Sofia Boutella) has disappeared,” the official synopsis said. “The governor offers the prisoner his freedom in exchange for the flight back. Wrapped in a leather suit that destroys itself within five days, the bandit sets out on a journey to find the young woman — and his own path to salvation.

ComingSoon editor-in-chief Tyler Treese spoke with Prisoners of the Ghostland Star Bill Moseley on the production of the film, working with Nicolas Cage, and more.

Tyler Treese: Your career is just so synonymous with the horror genre. So how exciting was it to do something a little different by playing the governor and doing this wild, crazy Western?

Bill Moseley: I do not know if it was a dream, because I do not think I dreamed it so wildly [laughs], but it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun and it was really a great experience, both on camera and off.

If you read a script like this and it’s so wild, what’s going through your head? Do you like, “What did I go through”, or is it exciting as an actor?

Actually, as I was reading the script, I thought, “Man, that’s a lot, that’s a lot of technical stuff to say to the governor.” [laughs] That was my first [thought] after the idea of ​​working with Zion Sono in Japan with Nic Cage and Sofia Boutella. After all that much frost for that cake, I looked at the script and I said, “Geez, I have a lot to memorize.” So I started about a month and a half before I came to Maibara, Japan, where we shot the movie. Actually, my wife and I had planned a trip on the Mekong River from Vietnam to Cambodia, just before I went to Maibara to shoot the movie.

So I went up and down the deck of our little riverboat and stumbled upon these lines across the various buttons on Nic Cage’s costume. [laughs]. So, that was a worry. Even when I came to Japan, I was still a little unsure about how to play or who the governor was. I met Sion at a wardrobe montage and I put on the costume and I thought, boy, this looks good. They sent me about 40 measurements they wanted, so they constructed this perfect costume for me. I put on the white hat. Then they took out the red gloves and they put the red gloves on me and I thought, ok, I know what I am. I’m like the execution of capitalist evil. The white suit, but I have blood on my hands. As soon as I pulled on the red gloves, Zion looked at me and laughed and went, “Governor.” So I was like, OK, I got it. So, that made everything a lot easier because I was more focused.

What about the governor that interests you most in the script?

I do not like to play characters that are evil and sometimes evil. I like this because it was a little more refined than saying Chop Top or Otis. These are a bit rough-looking characters. So I like the idea of ​​being kind to the king, I think. It’s good to be king, as they say. So that certainly pleased me. The fact is also that along with the governor came 30 geishas and there were 30 geishas on set and they all looked great. So that was definitely a bonus. My bodyguard was Talk Tak Sakaguchi, one of the greatest martial artists in Japan.

So that was hot fun too. So the thing was, like I said, it’s good to be king and I’m also trying to trick Nicolas Cage. I mean, who does not want to work with Nicolas Cage? I was a little nervous at first, but, man, he was such a great guy both on screen and off. He is truly fearless, non-self-confident. He goes for it, and that’s the way I like it. He’s just in the story. He’s not about what my better side is and all that sort of thing [stuff] the Hollywood actor’s worries are on the way to really shooting a butt. So I like working with him.

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Bill Moseley Prisoners of the Ghostland Interview

Awesome. I wanted to ask, working with someone like Cage, did you feel that brought the best performance in you? Can you talk to just working with him and the kind of back and forth you have?

Absolutely. It was not necessarily in our exchange, just the fact that he is there, that he is like the tent pole of production in terms of the name actor, and what a great example. He was really a gentleman, a really good actor, knew his stuff. Be prepared, and only absolutely if you have someone like your main character, it can not be helped but for you to pick up your game. So absolutely I think he was a real inspiration. It was also a relief that he really was my kind of actor. It was a relief personally for me because I did not have to worry about human things or any acting school versus anyone else. All those things that just really get in the way of doing a good job. He made it simple, easy and fun to work with.

You mentioned Chop Top and Otis. So I wanted to get to some of your horror stuff. In The Devil’s Rejects you have to work with the wrestling legend Diamond Dallas Page. I would like to hear about your experiences with him.

That’s a good question. He was funny. At one point, uh, I’m thrown out the window at Charlie’s Fun Ranch, and I come out the window and I roll on Diamond Dallas’ feet. I stand on my hands and knees. He’s gonna shoot me in the ribs. So he shot me in the ribs and it hurts. Because I had no pad. So I said “ow”, and so they said, “ok, ok, let’s take it one more time and give you a pad this time.” So I got a pad, but the pad was like a piece of plywood [laughs]. Then we did another take and he hit me again and thought he could shoot a little harder because I now had a pad, but it really hurt. It hurts more than that. I love it. Fortunately, the pain subsided after a few months, however [I cherished] that I was shot in the ribs by a heavyweight champion.

Very cool. I saw that you used to be a writer and you contributed to National Lampoon among a few other magazines. Do you have a favorite piece from your writing days?

I have done many interviews with scientists in a magazine called Omni and some of the Omni interviews. Peter Hagelstein, Carlton Gajdusek, Linus Pauling. I think if you just Google, “Moseley Omni interviews,” you probably come up with some of those. So those are pretty cool. I also wrote a cool poem for Dance Magazine called “In Full Swing. That was what I did. I worked seven or eight years as a freelance writer after I started my career in Boston as a copywriter at an advertising agency. So somehow that led to freelance writing in New York, which then led to Chop Top, which led to a 30-year career in the horror business. [laughs] So I’m sure there is logic somewhere.

What a wild career, and when we talk about wild, Zion is such a unique director. I wanted to ask, were there any surprises to work with him or was it a more traditional film experience?

We did not speak much because I’m not sure how much English he knows. I hardly know Japanese. I can say Arigato and Shinkansen because I’m a big train guy, that’s the ball train. So we communicated via a translator when there were specific instructions, but for the most part we communicated with laughter and friendly gestures, thumbs up and laughter. When he got his back, that was not good [laughs].

Which was very interesting because it just shows you that in film making and a lot of art, the spoken language and I also think the written language is not always that necessary. I basically understood, I got the general idea whether I was doing something not enough or too much. I found that there was no obstacle at all to enjoying the work and doing the best job that the director wanted from me.

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