Muse began pursuing roles in feature film following much credited work within the theatre. By 2002, he had appeared in 34 feature films including hits such as, I Know What You Did Last Summer and the follow-up sequel I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. Muse played killer fisherman Ben Willis and relished the role. This interview was completed following the US direct to video release of the From Dusk Till Dawn sequel 'Texas Blood Money' (1999).
It seems like you had a lot of fun on the "I Know..." movies. What was it like playing such an unusual role?
I approached Ben the same way I approach every role. I tried to get inside his head. I liked a lot of things about him, so it was fun playing him. It was a very physical shoot, believe it or not. Ben's ominous appearance is backed up by his physical prowess.
Was it fun working with such up-and-coming 'teen' actors as Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jnr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar?
It was a ball, and I consider them my friends. Sarah and I enjoyed going places, and Love and I enjoyed talking in the make-up trailer, and Freddie is as nice a guy as you will find.
When you first received the script for "I Know What You Did Last Summer" did you know you had something special or was it more the driving force behind the movie that made you go for the part?
Actually no. For one thing, if it were possible to shoot the same script, with the same cast, and the same crew, and the same director at a different time.....you would have a much different movie. Then once the film is made, if you could take the same film and release it on a different day, it would not be received as well. Knowing that, I take the work as it comes. If I ever find the perfect script, I will produce it.
I personally enjoyed "I Still Know..." very much, but despite the fact that it was a huge box office success in both the US and the UK, some fans were left unsatisfied. Did you have any problems with the sequel?
I had a minor problem with the script. I didn't feel like the explanation for Ben being on the island was in keeping with the character that I knew from the first film. ......and it wasn't necessary to know. I don't believe it still. I decided that Ben told the kids those things about himself to throw them off track. In general, there seemed to be some confusion between hiding Ben's identity and minimizing his character......and if you don't have a strong killer?...duh...
If a third movie was made, would you consider directing or even writing it to have more of a say about what goes?
I don't think so. I have directed theater, but I don't think I have the technical knowledge to direct film. Then again, I have seen some really talented D.P.'s who can pull anyone through a film!
Muse as C.W. Niles in 'Texas Blood Money'.
If your character, Ben Willis, was ever faced with another famous Horror movie icon (ala "Freddy v.s Jason", "Alien vs. Predator") who do you think it would be and, most importantly, who would win?
Well, see, the 'show down' ain't Ben's style. That's yall's fantasy to get them in the light. So yall go on with your show.... Ben won't be there. Then on your way home..... Ben would come and whack all of them. ALL OF THEM.
In a past interview with a British magazine called 'Big!', Love Hewitt told of how you had played a trick on her during filming "I Still Know..." by programming her lap top to spell out 'i still know...'. She said that her revenge was dumping a load of 'disgusting bugs' in your hotel room during the mating season. Were there any other encounters like this on-set?
Did she tell that? LOL, We had a lot of fun. When I got to my hotel room, it was 5am and it took me another hour to get rid of the bugs. The next morning I walked out to the pool and she was laying on an air mattress in the pool. I said "Love, did you get me back last night?"........and being a sweet person and the worst liar in the world, she smiled sheepishly and said, "Yes".
You seem to play the role of the Fisherman in the "I Know..." movies with relish, have you appeared in any other Horror movies in which you do not play a 'bad guy'?
Thank you, I can play him with 'chili' too. LOL. I did "Dusk 'til Dawn II, Texas Blood Money". I played a good guy named "C.W.". C.W. was a rodeo clown who turns into a vampire. I thought he was a good guy....he told me he was. Some people may not think so, but I do.
Do you have any projects in the works at the moment or are you taking a well-deserved break for the mean-time?
I am looking for a role where I can play a sweet big ole woman. I want to bake cookies and say wise things to little kids. I need a change. I just came back from Sundance Film Festival a couple of weeks ago where a film I did last year won an award for "ensemble acting". It's called "Songcatcher" with Janet McTeer and Aidan Quinn, and Pat Carole. I play a nice guy who is a loving father and husband and plays the fiddle. It's a great movie that will be released this fall.
What is your view on the 'Horror-revival' of recent years that was due to the success of "Scream"? Do you think that it will die off soon?
I don't know. You know I could wish that film makers could have the courage to make their stories with-out regard to what genre wave we are in. But that won't happen until the movie-goers start picking their movies a little differently.
What is your reaction when fans tell you that your character has featured in their nightmares? Is it a feeling of satisfaction because, in a way, you have done your job in scaring them?
You betcha! ...and I hope that they are recurring dreams. Ben is a scary guy. He is literally not someone you want to get after you. He's smart, he's resourceful, he's organized, and he's cold like a surgeon. Goooood Niiiiiigt yall.
"Thanks for your time, Muse!"
Visit Muse Watson's official site at http://www.musewatson.com