Muse plays "C.W. Niles" in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: TEXAS BLOOD MONEY, which is due out this Spring. He was kind enough to answer my questions about the film and about his career in acting. The interview was conducted on 12/21/98. Very special thanks to Mr. Watson for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions!
Mark: How did you get interested in acting?
Muse: I think it may have begun with my hearing the old timers in Louisiana telling stories. They often acted them out. I was extremely shy on the outside while on the inside my imagination was running flat out. I began entertaining my family and they encouraged me to show other people my 'story telling'. Finally, in my senior year in college, I was in a speech course taught by the director of the theater. He encouraged everyone to come to an audition for "Taming of the Shrew". I went home and fortified my belief that I could become Petruchio with liquid courage. I got the role. The liquid courage became a story all it's own.
Mark: A lot of your early acting work was on stage, how did you make the transition into film?
Muse: I was seen as Hamlet on a stage in Chattanooga, Tennessee by a local agent who had on occasion supplied small roles to features filming in the area. She asked if she could represent me. I thought acting was acting. I soon learned that the difference between stage and film was as great as the difference between snow skiing and water skiing.
Mark: Had you seen the original From Dusk Till Dawn?
Mark: Where did you first meet Quentin Tarantino?
Muse: We haven't met. I understand he saw my audition tape and approved it, and then during filming I was told he got daillies in New York and was pleased.
Mark: How did you first meet Robert Rodriguez?
Muse: I haven't. Texas Blood Money was directed by Scott Spiegel. I'd love to meet Robert Rodriguez
Mark: Your character in TEXAS BLOOD MONEY is C.W. Niles, one of the bank robbers if I'm correct. Can you tell us about him?
Muse: C. W. is a rodeo clown who has picked up the skill of cracking safes along the way. His luck hasn't been the greatest, but your heart goes out to him. You don't know if he became a thief cause his rodeo skills weren't the best or if all of his skills are part of the total picture of him. I mean he's part rodeo clown, part line-backer, and got more heart than any ole boy you ever got drunk with.
Mark: What was the shoot like?
Muse: As they say in South Africa....."Stunning". I was loaded for bear when I flew to Africa, but once there it was as deligntful a shoot as I had seen. Hangin with Robert Patrick, Bo Hopkins, Raymond Cruz, Dwain Wittiker, and Stacie Randall was the best. We became friends and did good work too. It was the best.
Mark: Were there any contributions that you personally make to the film?
Muse: Scott Spiegel was convinced that I was C.W. in a former life. When Robert Patrick and I were doing the scene where he comes to the rodeo to get me, Scott had this vampire-mirror thing going and it was technically separating Robert and I so far that we couldn't feel the closeness of these two buddies. I suggested that Robert hand me his cigarette in the scene like you would give a smoke to a hurt friend. It worked because it made us feel the closeness we needed. I know that sounds ridiculously unimportant, but in our little world it was traumatic.
I insisted on riding a horse into the scene where they pick me up. Something most production companies are scared of, cause actors tend to exaggerate their riding skills.
I also struggled with Scott to get my face in the rodeo stunt. I think you'll see I'm in there 'til the pros take over at the last moment.
Mark: Have you seen the finished product yet?
Muse: I saw a great deal of it when we did ADR in Canada. It's wild.
Mark: Do you have a favorite scene in the film?
Muse: Yeah, but I understand it didn't make the cut. I understand it was a favorite of Quentin's too. It was a scene at the 'el Coyote' motel where all the 'gang' are watching a porn flick while they wait for Luther. My "C.W." refers to the film with a term for sex from behind, and Raymond Cruz's character sorta re-enacts a story of how a whole porn production company was whacked. It was a raunchy scene, but then who is gonna want to see this film that could be offended by that? I hated to lose it, because I thought it was good work, but if it was taken out because it was too rough, it was.
Mark: What was the funniest thing that happened on the set?
Muse: Well, now you should hear from that master story teller Bo Hopkins, but one day Robert Patrick, Bo Hopkins, Raymond Cruz, and myself had our hair all done in "Buckwheat" braids. Now there's a picture you won't see in 'Premier'.
Mark: Of all the work you've done so far as an actor, what are you most proud of?
Muse: In theater I did some work I was damn proud of, 'Cervantes', 'Pale', 'Mercutio' , in film I feel my best work is coming........"soon to a theater near you".
Mark: You're also famous for playing The Fisherman aka Ben Willis in I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER as well as it's sequel (which I thought was even better than the first). Do you like doing horror films?
Muse: I wasn't a fan of the genre, but I have had such a great time filming them and I really have come to appreciate the people who do like them. The fans of horror are the greatest.
Mark: What's your dream project?
Muse: A modern day film version of "Man of LaMancha".
Mark: Is there anyone out there that you'd REALLY like to work with?
Muse: Elizabeth Shue.
Mark: What's next for you?
Muse: I just finished a cameo in "Austin Powers II". Just prior to that was a two episode special guest lead on "Walker, Texas Ranger" and a nice role in a Billy Zane movie called "Morgan's Ferry". I am scheduled for surgery on my feet (which have become very painful during stunts) on December 22, so I am hoping I'll be able to work by the time the three projects that could start in January show more interest.
Mark: Thanks for doing this interview, Mr. Watson!
Muse: Thank you. It is my pleasure.
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