13 Minutes with Sid Haig
Interview on Past, Present and Future Career Goals
By Ellen Eldridge
Meeting Sid Haig single-handedly changed the incredibly sketchy perspective I had on cons (enjoy the double entendre). The initial impact of stolid celebrities sitting at tables trying to lure customers in for a paid autograph really grabbed me the wrong way – so did Gary Busey, but that is another story that Rose Riot can tell better. I just felt I would rather find a way to earn the right to interact with people through mutual respect and intellectual equality. Then again, I’m not particularly inspired by actors. I appreciate the medium and I have been inspired by films, but my interest in actors has always triggered my interest in psychology – wanting to figure people out.
After Haig agreed to do an interview with me Friday night at the opening of the Days of the Dead convention, I spent all day Saturday researching his work for the Sunday morning interview. Of course, I did take a small break to attend the opening of the “Fear and Loathing in Atlanta” art show at the ABV Gallery Saturday night. That’s where I got the shirt, designed by Aaron Crawford, that I wore in the interview. Sid Haig said he liked it.
Anyone who cares to spend a few hours watching interviews with Sid Haig and reading his bios on websites like IMDB and SidHaig.com can easily find out that he got his start in show business as a child dancer. He started acting in high school, attended the Pasadena Playhouse school and earned roles in Jack Hill’s movies – starting with Hill’s student film while Hill was enrolled at UCLA.
What most earned my attention and admiration in his bio was that he chose to walk away – not quit – the business because he felt he deserved better character roles than “stupid heavies.” I asked Haig what he would advise himself at a younger age and he said “Don’t get type-cast.” His impressive career includes a serious run for President in 2008 that he discusses on camera and receipt of both the Universal Eyegore Award for lifetime achievement and the prestigious Premi Maria Honorifica at the Sitges International Film Festival in 2010. Haig tells Target Audience Magazine that he has many characters left to play and no desire to retire anytime soon.In fact, he talks a bit about his role in Rob Zombie’s newest film, “The Lords of Salem,” and tells us a bit about how Zombie makes his movies.
I love Rob Zombie’s vision, his artistic integrity and his ability to write characters. What Zombie did with his remake of “Halloween” gave me so much more respect than I’d already had for a talented painter, musician and writer. His combination of talents, ability to cross-promote himself through different mediums of expression and his passion to keep pushing forward makes me admire Zombie even though I’m not particularly interested in horror films or the genre’s history. I don’t sit around watching “The Devil’s Rejects,” but I enjoyed its gritty realism and brutal honesty. Analyzing the characters and thinking about the perspective a writer must take to create scenes where psychos wear another person’s face makes me question how comfortable I would be in a room with Rob Zombie or Stephen King. I asked Haig what he thought of character actors and the way acting affects people, especially children actors.
Watch our interview, “13 Minutes with Sid Haig” below: