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Rob Zombie Discusses How #MeToo Changed How He Makes Horror Movies

Zombie keeps a professional set.

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On camera, not much has changed, but off camera, Rob Zombie says #MeToo has had an impact on how he makes movies. Zombie spoke to Consequence of Sound in the lead up to the limited theatrical release of his newest film, 3 From Hell, and was asked if the #MeToo movement affected his filmmaking.

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Zombie responded that things changed behind the scenes a bit:

Well, yes and no. Yes, behind the scenes, and no, as far as the movie. I just think art and movies don’t apply to the rules of real life — because it’s fake. It’s fiction, you know? And once you start trying to get involved with the real world with fiction, what are you going to get it? You can’t do that — they have to exist differently. But as far as like behind the scenes, when we were starting, this was at the height of that so they had extra meetings with people talking about things like that.

But my sets are very professional, ’cause there’s always a lot of nudity, a lot of stuff. And everybody I work with is a pro and the people that did these nude scenes, I’d get emails after saying, “That’s the most professional set I’ve ever been on. I would do it again. Everybody is a total pro. There’s nothing weird about it. I felt completely comfortable the whole time.” Because I think that’s very important, not just from the #MeToo movement, but for an actor. Actors have to feel completely protected at all times because that’s how they’re going to work well. If they feel, “That camera man’s kind of leering at me,” they’re not going to do good work. And I’ve had people like that before and I’ve either fired them or taken them aside and said, “Look man, you say one more fucking thing and you’re gone right now.” So when it does happen, it does get addressed. But on this movie, I’d weeded out any of that. So, it was a weird time. But the actual content of the movie never changed.

Actor Bill Mosley, who plays Otis in the series said there was one scene in particular in The Devil's Rejects that made him uncomfortable, and his now-wife had to convince him:

I think about the Kahiki Palms Motel scene and Devil’s Rejects. I remember when I read the script and I read that scene, I was thinking, Oh my god. It freaked me out. Rather than say, “I’m not going to do this,” what I did was, in a kind of a cowardly move, I let my then-girlfriend and now-wife Lucinda Jenney — who’s also in 3 From Hell — read the script without telling her in advance to see how she would react. I was expecting her to say, “If you do this, I’ll never talk to you again,” in I could have then had an adequate case to say, “Hey, sorry man, I can’t do it, you know, my girlfriend will leave me.”

But Lucinda, she’s been in Rain Man and Thelma and Louise, and all kinds of stuff, she handed me the script back and said, “This is a great part for an actor.” And really what that told me was, “Dude, this isn’t Bill Moseley making these choices. You’re acting out a part in the scene in a movie.” She was fine with it, and so that really encouraged me to go for it. Obviously, Priscilla [Barnes] and I worked stuff out ahead of time. That’s the way it goes. I mean, if you’re uncomfortable with a scene, or scenes like that, certainly you have every right to pass, or talk to the director, or whatever else.

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I didn’t really feel that there was really anything close to that in 3 From Hell, frankly.

3 From Hell has some shows left tonight and will come to video on demand next month.

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