Ray Wise is a well-known actor in the business. He is known for roles including Leland Palmer in “Twin Peaks”, Leon C. Nash in “RoboCop” and the Devil in “Reaper”. Ray has a great role in the recent creature feature “Big Ass Spider!”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat about his role in that film and he also was able to reveal plans for a complete Blu-ray box set of “Twin Peaks”.
Mike Gencarelli: How did you end up working on a film like “Big Ass Spider!”
Ray Wise: I worked with Mike Mendez, the director, briefly before this on a project. I knew that he wanted me to play this military man, which was fine with me. I read the character description and I taught it was good role for me. He is not too over the top and conservative in his approach. It was also a nice contrast to Greg (Grunberg) and Lombardo (Boyar)’s characters. They supply a lot of the humor in the script, which was really well written. Mike Mendez did a really good job with it and I responded well to its humor. I saw a lot of possibilities in it and I thought if he could pull it off it would be a good film. I think he did just that and even exceeded expectations. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the first cut of the film. I think it is very funny and very effective. I think people are going to love it.
MG: You play hard-ass Major Braxton Tanner but you are still quite funny; what is your process for balancing the comedy for the role?
RW: It came intuitively for me. It was sort of natural. That is the way I liked to approach all of my roles actually. I like to find the humorous aspects of the character as well as some of the more dramatic and create that blend. That is way I like do things naturally. Fortunately, it works out most of the times and translates well on screen.
MG: There has been quite the positive response around this film; I have a feeling it is going to stick around…
It is going to have legs…
MG: Literally [laughing]…
RW: Eight legs [laughing].
MG: [laughing] Exactly!
MG: If they decided (and hopefully they do) to make a sequel to “Big Ass Spider!” would you be on board?
RW: Absolutely! Yeah, I am on board. Absolutely!
MG: Tell us about joining the cast of “The Young and the Restless”?
RW: I am playing this Ian Ward. He has come in from out of town as is a past cult leader. He has these individuals that follow him religiously because he has this special philosophy of life that can help everyone achieve their own dreams. They are thinking that he is responsible for the pregnant of the character Nikki many years ago. Allegedly responisble. So, he comes to town to really stir things up. You know, it is another one of those characters for me.
MG: And you are no stranger to playing the baddie like with the Devil in “Reaper” etc; what draws you to these characters?
RW: I think it is because they are always so well-written. When the writers try and write the bad guy, they try and put in a little extra umph in these characters. They add a little extra than a rather bland and mundane good guy [laughs]. I think my own personal physicality and demeanor plays well to that aspect of the writing as well. When you see me, you think “Well he seems alright…but there is something going on here” [laughs]. That suspense and anticipation is really great for the audience.
MG: Do you enjoy going from a bad guy like those to funny roles in films like “FDR: American Badass!”?
RW: First of all I love Barry (Bostwick) and I thought his FDR was really great! I played Douglas MacArthur, so that might have been the beginning of my military chops [laughs], I am not sure. I enjoyed that experience very much actually. There was a lot of laughs and it turned out pretty well also like “Big Ass Spider!”.
MG: I heard you broke the news about an upcoming “Twin Peak” series Blu-ray; can you give us the scoop?
RW: It will be a new box set of the pilot and episodes combined with “Fire Walk with Me”, the prequel movie. It is everything. Everything! Also included will be deleted scenes from “Fire Walk with Me”. I think David (Lynch)’s original cut of the film was about 3.5/4 hours long, so there is stuff that no one has ever seen that is going to be on this new box set. I think it is pretty great. So stay tuned.