Ken Foree interview

Genre favorite Ken Foree, known for memorable roles in Dawn Of The Dead and Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3 plus Rob Zombie's forthcoming The Devil's Rejects, recently participated in a telephone interview with John Gray. Many thanks to Mr. Foree for his time and effort!

First of all, itís a pleasure speaking with you. Personally, I am a big fan of yours all the way back from Dawn Of The Dead, From Beyond, Leatherface, and now Charlie Altamont in The Devil's Rejects and....
(Foree laughs)

We are all interested to hear what you have to say about your character?
Well, you did see it, so....

Ken Foree as Charlie Altamont in THE DEVIL'S REJECTS.

Yes sir, it was awesome!
Heís no one that you're going to bring home for dinner or introduce to your sister. Thatís for sure....Charlie is not a slasher, heís not a killer. Heís more the jake-leg businessman that canít seem to make any businesses work. Heís always on the narrow end of the fence in terms of breaking the law or being honest or dishonest. He gets him and his brother into a lot of situations that land them in jail together. They have been in a lot of things....Spaulding and myself. Heís a guy that initially wanted to build a frontier fun resort and it turned into a frontier fun whorehouse. So, he had to find a way to finance this thing and he resorted to that. Heís a better pimp than a resort owner. (laughs)

So how exactly did you land the role? Did Rob have you in mind the whole time?
Apparently. Thatís what Iíve heard. I met with Rob and we talked for about twenty minutes or a half hour and that was that. I wanted to work with him and he wanted to work with me.

It almost seems like he wrote the role for you just from watching the film.
I just can't say enough about him.

So heís a good guy, good to work with?
Great guy....great to work with.

I donít know if you had a chance to read my review of The Devil's Rejects on Pit Of Horror, but I commented that this is your finest role to date.
Why, thank you!

I had another questions in reference to your relationship with the family. Itís hinted in the film that you and Spaulding are brothers?
I am a ĎFirefly.í I am a member of the family. We are brothers. I guess the easy answer is that we have different mothers. I guess the alternative answer for me is that some families will have a genetic twist and have one child that is very light and one child that is very dark....or certainly very brown skinned and they donít particularly look like brothers or sisters but they are. That happens in many African-American families, so I guess thatís why I look a little different than the rest of my family!(laughs) Iím not quite sure if we are an African-American family, or an Anglo family (laughs) or if we are a mixture. Iím not quite sure. I took that approach. We are brothers and Iím a ĎFirefly.í You might just want to print that we have different mothers. The fans and the audience are certainly going to accept that as opposed to my explanation on black genetic twists. I donít think thatís going to go over very well with the fans....(laughs)

So basically a brother from another mother right?
Yeah, the simple one....theyíll go with that one!!!

I also wanted to ask you, aside from The Devil's Rejects, one of my favorite roles of your was Peter in George Romero's Dawn Of The Dead.

All the fans want to know about the original suicide ending. Was that actually filmed? Itís never really been clarified.
No. We opted for the more uplifting ending. Thatís what we went for.

So it was in the original script, just never filmed?
George looked at me, and I looked at him... and we just said ĎNAHí! (laughs)

And of course you had a role in the remake of Dawn. What did you think of that film?
I thought the film was very good... I thought it was a good horror film, a tribute to us. I enjoyed it a lot. I think the fans were maybe fifty/fifty on it. Some liked it, some didnít for various reasons. Great special F/X... I love crane shots anyway and that shot at the beginning of the film with the tanker truck being struck and the crane shot of all the zombies surrounding the bus as it leaves the shopping mall were both great. You know, it was good... it was a good movie.

And moving on to another fan favorite: your role in The Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3....
Oh, Benny!

Yes, Benny!
And all the gang!

What was the deal with the end? First he dies, then New Line decides to bring him back and redo the ending?
Well they tested it and the audience just didnít like it.

I was one that wanted to see you come back in Part 4, but they went off in some crazy direction with The Next Generation.
Oh, with Matthew (McConaughey) and those guys? (laughs loudly)

Yeah, thatís it. What a terrible follow up, huh?
Well, they got theirs, so Iím off the hook now! That was an interesting shoot, a lot of fun. Good people....Kate Hodge, Bill Butler, Viggo Mortensen, Joe Unger.

Yeah, I was a big fan of this film. Great cast, great direction and screenplay. The critics unfairly lambasted the film in my opinion.
Yeah, that was too bad.

Back to your role in The Devil's Rejects. I did say this was your best role to date and I think this film is going to launch you back to the forefront in horror films....not that you ever really went anywhere, right?
Well, I was away for a while. I had a restaurant for three and a half years. That took me away from the business for a while and this is the first thing Iíve done since Iíve been back, so itís great to be back.

Well, itís great to have you back!
Well, I feel flattered and Iím looking forward to working. Nothing like being in front of the camera.

Do you have any current projects going on?
I am waiting on hearing about a project called The Dark Between The Stars. Itís a sci-fi horror project that I like a lot. A really well written script and a good director. Just waiting to see if we can get a Ďgoí on it. And a few other things in the pot....thereís always something there.

Well, you gotta keep some things under your hat to surprise the fans right?
YEAH! YEAH! We're probably gonna get really busy after The Devil's Rejects premiere. I would imagine there will be a lot of offers.

Is there a role that you hold dear that you would consider reprising?
Coming back? Oh, probably Peter from Dawn Of The Dead

Is that something thatís ever been talked about with George?
No, George never works that way. He never has in any of his films....with Emgee, Reineger, Joe Pilato, Tony Todd, you go down the list. They donít usually come back. I think that the only person that has ever been used in another Romero film was me, and I think Gaylen Ross did Creepshow. But other than that, we haven't talked about it.

Have you seen Land Of The Dead?
I have seen it.

Ken Foree today.

What did you think?
I thought it was great!

I saw the premier here in Dallas and thought it was awesome! Speaking of role reprisal, it was great to see Tom Savini reprise ĎBladesí from Dawn, in zombie form no less.
AHHHH! Blades, I saw him! I saw Tom. I thought it was a good film....he really put his touch and his tag on it. Itís another George Romero classic.

George said if this one does well, this will be the start of a new Dead trilogy. Maybe the fans can petition to get you back in the second one. That would be cool considering you were in Dawn which was the second in the original trilogy.
HAH! HAH! Oh my God, he said if this is successful heís gonna go for a new trilogy?

Yes, well actually the new trilogy has already begun with Land.
Huh, well, that is an interesting thought. Well, sure....Iím ready. Iím ready to destroy ANY zombies, anytime, anywhere! If he wants to bring me back, I have my gun ready!

Well, thatís all the questions I have for now. I really appreciate your time and all the great answers. Anything you want to say to the fans or all the great folks over at Guts And Gory?
Just that I appreciate them being there. I hope they enjoy The Devil's Rejects.... and much love. See you soon.

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