Ray Wise is an actor who has had
great success in both film and television. Most famous for playing Leland
Palmer in David Lynch's Twin Peaks he most recently starred in monster
movie Big Ass Spider.
Firstly, thank you for taking
the time to talk to me. How are you?
Hi John, Iím well, thanks.
How did you come to be
involved with Big Ass Spider and what drew you to the film?
Iíd done a previous piece for Mike Mendez (writer and director) and he
sent me an email asking me if Iíd like to play a military role in this
film he was making about a giant spider. I read the character description
and the script and I thought it had real potential. I knew that with it
being a low budget film it would be like guerrilla film-making but that
was something I was keen to do. I also really liked the character. Heís a
pretty hard edged special forces guy and I liked working within those
Ray: "One of my all time favourites was The Thing From Outer Space".
Have you always been a fan of
Yes, always. I grew up in the 1950ís with all those movies around then. I
particular liked Creature From The Black Lagoon and a film called Them
about giant ants. One of my all time favourites was The Thing From Outer
Space which had a marvellous group of actors. I love that ensemble acting
where theyíre up against a horrific force. Those 1950ís pictures really
did it for me.
The film has scary moments but
is genuinely witty and funny which is a difficult balance to strike. What
do you think works so well in Big Ass Spider?
Firstly itís well written and secondly there was Greg and Lombardo who are
very funny actors. In scenes with me you can really see the difference
with my character being very straight and them adding the comedy. Itís
just a combination of great writing and great acting.
I read that youíre a big
Dracula fan. With the recent Argento version and a new film being released
this year what is it about Dracula that has such endearing appeal and have
you ever come close to playing him?
No, I never have although itís still one of my dreams. I was turned on to
Dracula at a very young age. First of all Iím half Romanian so I have the
heritage and Iíve been there many times. In around 2003 I was actually
there making a film with Robert Englund and we went to the castle in the
Carpathian Mountains which was a fun trip. Iím really into the whole
mythology and I actually have a first edition of Bram Stokerís Dracula
which I got when I was about 10 years old. Iím a fan of some but not all
of the movies but I still donít feel that the definitive Dracula film has
yet been made. Francis Ford Coppola came very close though but I was
always hoping that I would be the one to do it.
Ray: "Working with David
(Lynch) and that cast was something really special".
I have to ask about Twin
Peaks. Itís now over 20 years since it aired and I believe the reverence
and respect in which itís held is as high as it ever was. What are your
enduring memories of that time and the program?
I always felt it was the best of times. It was the greatest experience of
my career even though Iíve done so many things since. Working with David
(Lynch) and that cast was something really special and weíre all still so
close to this day. It was a moment in time that burned very brightly for a
short period and its legacy is still being felt today.
To finish then what are your
favourite horror films?
Well The Horror Of Dracula and Them as Iíve mentioned. I love The Exorcist
and Rosemaryís Baby. I like an outright monster or a psychological horror
like The Haunting Of Julia which is very special to me.
Thank you for your time
No problem at all, take care.
"Thank you ever so much for taking part in this interview
And we wish you the very best of luck in the future."