Geoffrey Lewis Rules by Owen Keehnen

At 70 longtime character actor Geoffrey Lewis is getting increased attention in the horror world following his work as the ill-fated Roy Sullivan in Rob Zombie’s ‘The Devil’s Rejects’.The man is certainly no stranger to the genre having appeared in numerous fright flicks in the past like Stubbs in ‘Trilogy of Terror II’, Terry McKeen in ‘The Lawnmower Man’, Mike Ryerson in ‘Salem’s Lot’ and other genre titles like ‘Song of the Vampire’ and ‘Mark of the Wolf’.

This man is a working actor, an actor’s actor who has consistently given top-notch performances in many productions. He’s known for so many other roles --- almost 120 titles. He’s a frequent supporting actor in Clint Eastwood films like ‘Bronco Billy and ‘Every Which Way But Loose’. In addition he’s starred in such diverse fare as ‘Macon County Line’, ‘Lust in the Dust’ with Divine, ‘Fletch Lives’, ‘Tango and Cash’, ‘The Painted House’, ‘Maverick’, ‘Dillinger’, ‘Point of No Return’, ‘Night of the Comet’, etc. And all this says nothing of his appearances in dozens and dozens of TV shows from ‘Laverne and Shirley’ to ‘Nip/Tuck’ to ‘Murder She Wrote’. He’s even had regular roles in over half a dozen television series such as ‘Flo’, ‘Falcon Crest’, ‘Centennial’, ‘Land’s End’, ‘Gun Shy’, and ‘Maximum Security’. The man never seems to stop!

Currently Geoffrey Lewis is working on two films he’s written and is starring in ‘The Whip’ and ‘The Drummer’ as well as several other movies like J.S. Cardone’s promising ‘Zombies’ and ‘Voodoo Moon’ – a horror flick with Charisma Carpenter, as well as ‘Cold Ones’, and ‘Moving McAllister’. I was thrilled to get the chance to chat briefly with him for this exclusive interview.


Owen: Hi Mr. Lewis.  I'm a huge fan of your work both in film and on television.  Have you found yourself a somewhat different fan following since your appearance in Rob Zombie's 'The Devil's Rejects'?

Geoffrey: Not really. Although I have some people who look and sound like common, normal people come up to me and say how much they enjoyed the film. I asked them what the heck are you doing watching the film.

Owen: How did you go about being cast in the role of Roy Sullivan? 

Geoffrey: I just went in and met Rob and we got along and he asked me to join up. I had no idea who he was, but when I told my kids they all said, All right! Far out! I asked Rob for some CDs he did. And I must say, he’s got his act together.

Owen: You have been on so many film and TV sets ---- what about 'The Devil's Rejects' set was different or unique?

Geoffrey: It was pretty much the same.

Owen: So tell me about Banjo and Sullivan: The Ultimate Collection.  Did you and Rob Zombie and Lew Temple always plan to release a CD of the fictitious C&W act and how far do you guys plan to take the act?

Geoffrey: Sorry, but I had nothing to do with that.

Owen: You were also Terry McKeen in 'The Lawnmower Man' (1992).  What are you predominant memories of that film project?

Geoffrey: Cutting lawns and trying to keep my Irish accent intact. Also the director was very easy going for a first time director.

Owen: Tell me a little bit about working for Tobe Hooper when you played Mike Ryerson in another Stephen King project 'Salem's Lot' (1979).

Geoffrey: I didn’t see Tobe very much on the set. He spent most of his time with the camera and left me to my own devices.We filmed in Northern California, which looked remarkably like New England. The eye pieces were actually gels and reflected the light so us vamps looked like we had some inner light.

Owen: You also were "amongst vampires" in 'Vampire Resurrection' (2001).  What was it like working on that Denice Duff production?

Geoffrey: Denice is a long time friend. I knew nothing of what the film was about. I just filled in my part.

Owen: One of my favorites of your roles was in 'Moon of the Wolf' (1972) where you are trapped in a jail cell with a werewolf?  You have such a terrified look on your face.  Do you recall the filming and what you were actually looking at when that scene was shot?

Geoffrey: That scene in ‘Moon of the Wolf’ was, oddly enough, one of the hardest to do. I was surrounded by people in different states of nonchalance and I had to pretend I was looking at a werewolf in abject terror. That’s hard. I’m glad you believed it, I didn’t.

Owen: 'The Fallen Ones' (2005), 'Trilogy of Terror II' (1996), 'Disturbed' (1990), and 'Out of the Dark' (1989) are just a few more of your horror films.  Do you like to watch horror films yourself?  If so what would be your picks for an all time terror-ific double feature?

Geoffrey: I don’t watch horror films as a rule. Although I do remember being scared of Frankenstein and the Wolfman when I was about 6 or 7.

Owen: So you have done lots of horror, but also lots of westerns, dramas, comedies, science fiction, action/adventure, Clint Eastwood films, etc.  What do you see as the quintessential Geoffrey Lewis role?

Geoffrey: I think that’s still to come. Hopefully in one of the two films I have written and am filming this summer.

Owen: What are the titles?

Geoffrey: The Whip and The Drummer.

Owen: I also see you have an upcoming film called 'Voodoo Moon' which sounds very promising to us diehard horror fans --- what's the premise of that film?  

Geoffrey: I have no idea what it’s about.

Owen: Has your appearance in 'The Devil's Rejects' resulted in a windfall of offers to be in more horror films?

Geoffrey: Maybe. I just finished doing a film called ‘Zombies’.The zombies are children who have been trapped in a mine for 50 years. We filmed in Bulgaria.