Thursday, October 4, 2012

Celebrity Interview: Muse Watson!

I first met Muse Watson almost 20 years ago - he was acting in a movie I was working on called The Birds II: Land's End. A few years later - always a working actor - Muse joined the ranks of the great movie maniacs when he portrayed the murderous Ben Willis in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Although that movie was shot here in North Carolina, I didn't work on it with him. But Muse and I did work together again several more times across the next decade. Recently I heard he'd acted in a new supernatural thriller called Compound Fracture that sounded really interesting, so I contacted him to see about doing a quick interview. Muse agreed, and we chatted about a few of the many projects he's worked on over the years.

Muse Watson

Craig Edwards: Tell me the wildest thing you saw growing up.

Muse Watson: Voodoo. Blood from a man's nose.  I won't say any more....

CE: What made you want to be in the entertainment industry?

MW: I'm not sure. My father passed away when I was very young and we were very poor.  I may have just wanted some applause at first.

CE: What was the first project you acted in?

MW: I played Cactus Crash Crack Down, a silly police officer in the fourth grade.... not sure that was acting, but then I played Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew when I was in college at Berea College.

CE: We met on The Birds II: Land's End. What are your thoughts on that one these days?

MW: Well, my name got left out of the credits on that one. The director chose to leave his name off the credits.  I got more money as a fine for the credits mistake ... so I may have done ok. LOL

CE: You played that homicidal Gorton’s fisherman Ben Willis in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Was it fun to turn loose your inner homicidal maniac?

MW: Well, it was scary.  I remember wondering how I was gonna let Ben have my body without him hurting me emotionally. As I conjured him, he told me I was being silly. He said he didn't go through what I went through to prepare to kill someone. Didn't mean anything to him. He was a psycho. So I didn't take my head there. I just went to the set and did the action without any thought. Made me kinda scary I think and closer to the character.

"Hook line and sinker. In order, that's what I'm going to kill you with; what I was doing when I said
I wouldn't kill you; and what I'm going to do to this boat to dispose of your body."

CE: When we worked together on the sadly still unreleased movie The Last Summer, you told me a fascinating story about what the sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer was originally conceived to be. Can you go over your memories of those original concepts again?

MW: An early draft of the sequel, or the way it was pitched to me was Julie and her friends go to New Orleans, and there against the backdrop of the spooky and atmospheric Big Easy...Julie starts to believe she's being pursued by Ben Willis again...but the movie was going to be shot to keep the audience guessing for a long while whether he is back or if Julie has gone bonkers before finally revealing Ben is sure enough there and swinging that hook again. I wish we'd gotten to make that movie.

"We could have been on Bourbon Street doing this, with hurricanes in our hands. But nooooo...."

CE: You also told me that unlike the first movie, you were not present for every moment Ben appears in the sequel – what happened there?

MW: Well, after the movie was finished, the test audiences said the killing didn't start soon enough in the movie. They proposed killing Jack Black much bloodier and making it sooner in the picture.  I was already on another film shoot, but I ased them if I could fly back to L.A. to do it over the week-end. They decided it would be easier to get a stunt man to do it. He had to wear the hat so far down over his face not to be seen that there is where the criticism started of the movie being stupid...that the fisherman could not see, etc. I hated it. I could have done it.

"I am not amuse. Because neither was he."

CE: What was it like appearing on Saturday Night Live as Ben Willis to support Jennifer Love Hewitt’s hosting gig?

MW: One of the biggest thrills of my life....  I was insane with excitement and they flew the "Hook" in from L.A. to be there.... LOL

CE: Were you approached for I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer?
MW: Not really. My manager saw the script. It was idiotic. It's not a third. There is no third .... YET.

Don, really - Shanks, but
no Shanks.

CE: You’ve been busy since laying down your hook; NCIS, theater, Prison Break, movies. What were the highlights of that period for you?

MW: Prison Break was great. It is always so great to be on a set where every cast member is developing a unique character. The whole cast was so creative. ...and I enjoyed living in Chicago.

"All right! Perfect plan...we'll smuggle ourselves out inside
this kitty!"

CE: Now you’ve just wrapped Compound Fracture, a horror movie featuring you, Derek Mears, and Tyler Mane. Ben Willis, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers all in the same movie! What is this one about?

MW: It's about me and my son, Tyler, battling each other and finally my son in law, Derek, in some pretty scifi settings. ....... LOL

CE: Where did you shoot it?
MW: We shot north of town ( L.A. ) about 30 miles.

Compound Fracture

CE: Who else is in it?

MW: Leslie Easterbrook, Dan Roebuck, Todd Farmer, Renae Geerlings, Alex Saxon, and Susan Angelo. It's a great cast.

l to r: Susan Angelo, Alex Saxon, Muse Watson, Tyler Mane, Dan Roebuck, Renae Geerlings, Leslie Easterbrook,
Jellybean Howie, and director A.J. Rickert-Epstein.
Photo courtesy Joy Neely.

CE: Did you three iconic movie maniacs compare kill methods or weapons? The hook vs the machete vs the butcher knife?

MW: There is certainly a bond between us. Being a serial killer is a lonely job. LOL Being around other serial killers is neat.... we seem to really know each other.....

Compound Fracture

CE: Celebrity Psycho Deathmatch: Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Ben Willis. Who's the last man standing?

MW: Well, in my opinion, there is no question..... Ben is smarter so he will last longer. Scary is great. ... but it takes intelligence to stay around ..... no stupid zombie in Ben.

"Sorry boys, I'm coming out on top in this one."

CE: When can we expect to see Compound Fracture?

MW: I'm thinking it may be soon.  I hear rumors that it is almost complete.

Compound Fracture

Thanks a lot for taking the time to chat, Muse! We'll be looking for Compound Fracture! My thanks to producer/co-writer Renae Geerlings and director A.J. Rickert-Epstein for the photos and the poster from Compound Fracture!

And to wrap this up - let's throw Muse's Demo Reel in - you get some fantastic clips from several of the shows he's worked on, including some of the Saturday Night Live bit. Be aware, the video contains some salty language and some violence. NSFW!

I can't embed the video clip - but here's the link:


Until next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. OKAY THAT WAS THE COOLEST THING EVER... I am jealous. What a wonderful chat, Craig you and I got to talk someday... you bring such great stuff to your site... I don't I comment that nearly enough... it was nice getting to know "Muse Watson" and his life, stuff and to be!

    1. Thanks very much RZ! Please feel free to drop by and comment anytime! You always bring something good to the party. I haven't been by your joint nearly enough of late either! Rectifying!

  2. REally enjoyed his recurring role on NCIS.

    1. Good ol' Mike Franks. And I can tell you that although we didn't touch on that role in this interview - he REALLY enjoyed playing that character! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Cool interview, Muse seems to be a really cool guy.
    Interesting stuff he tells about the Summer-sequel. Could have been a way better movie if they didn't change so much.

    1. I totally agree - but the producers wanted to make the shoot a "working vacation" so they went off to a real resort to make the movie - which I thought was terrible - except for Muse. He's a terrific guy.

  4. Amazing interview! Muse is one of my beloved actors in industry & to know more about his acting pleased me in numerous ways. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the post - and thanks a lot for taking the time to comment!