Horror Queen Genoveva Rossi Sits Down With Horror Icon Sid Haig
I was truly honored to be a guest with Sid Haig at Monsters and Robots in New Jersey, Scare-a-con in New York State, Scare-a-con in New England, and at Mad Monster Party in South Carolina. In South Carolina it was an epic treat to see him a marry some horror fans dressed up as Captain Spaulding. Oh yeah, in addition to being an actor he is an ordained minister.
Genoveva: Amazing meeting with the great Sid Haig today. We are both in Death House, which is a film developed by Gunnar Hansen of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Were you friends with Gunnar Hansen?
Haig: Yes we were friends and had known each other at least ten years. He was a good guy. I am excited about it actually.
Genoveva: Everyone that is anyone in horror seems to be in it: you, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Dee Wallace, Barbara Crampton, Adrienne Barbeau, Bill Oberst Jr, . . .the list goes on and on. I am honored to have a cameo.
Haig: And Vernon Wells. Yes everyone is in Death House.
Genoveva: So Sid I think everyone would be curious to know what your first acting role was and when?
Haig: When I was about 12 years old I played the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz.
Genoveva: Very cute
Haig: That’s how I am. I just do things. I see something and I do it.
Genoveva: A fascinating part of your film career is your work in black exploitation films especially working with Pam Grier.
Haig: That’s not work haha. We did six films together. The director found her working as a secretary and came up to her. He actually talked her into becoming an actress.
Genoveva: Amazing here you are an actor since childhood and Pam Grier had to be convinced to go into acting. And then you ended up in six films together. It’s interesting how everyone gets into acting for different reasons.
Haig: I actually got into acting as a kid because I was growing so fast I had no coordination so I couldn’t do sports so I got involved in the theater! Then my parents wanted me to take dance classes. I know ballet, tap, jazz, and more stuff. I have danced in a number of films.
Genoveva: Tell me a bit about how you came to meet Rob Zombie and get cast in House off A Thousand Corpses?
Haig: Rob Zombie was a big fan of Jason of Star Command a TV series that aired 1978-1981 and I scared him in the show. Rob said to himself if I ever make a movie I am putting that guy in it and when he was casting his film he reached out and offered me a role.
Genoveva: What was it like working with Rob Zombie?
Haig: He was great; really laid back and lets you do what you want, gets out of the way, and lets you do your job.
Genoveva: He puts a lot of trust in his actors.
Haig: And that’s how a director should work. You can the right people and then let them do their job.
Genoveva: Tell our readers a bit about what it was like working on House of a 1000 Corpses? And playing Captain Spaulding?
Haig: I met Karen Black at the premiere. Unfortunately, we had no scenes together and shot on different days. The clown character has become the role I am most known for. People think it was my first role, but it was probably my 100th. Now all these years later I go to conventions and see people dressed up as Captain Spaulding, with t-shirts, hats, and even tattoos. It’s amazing. There must be 100,000 people with Captain Spaulding tattoos. I go to Spain they’re there, Germany they’re there; all over the world.
Genoveva: What was being on set like?
Haig; Well the companion disk for House of 1000 Corpses is called 30 Days in Hell because for 30 days we worked in 103 degree heat. I developed an appreciation for women that waxed. With all the dried blood on my chest and body I was ripping out my body hair every time I took off my shirt. My nipples were hard and painful. It took 45 minutes to brush the crap off my teeth.
Genoveva: What was is like working with Ginger Lynn? I was on her radio show once about a year ago and I have to admit you came up when we were discussing our experiences doing sex scenes in films.
Haig: Again, that’s not work. I have the most pre-eminent porn stars of the 1980s riding me like it was the Kentucky Derby. I remember telling Rob Zombie that I have to wear my underwear for this because if I go skin to skin with her it’s going to be a whole different type of movie. Haha. I told Rob I wanted to do something in my sex scene that would piss off every woman watching; leave my socks on during sex. Sex is kind of ridiculous if you think about it. You help another person undress and when it’s over you dress yourself.
Genoveva: That’s a good point Sid. Everyone’s on their good side until they’ve gotten what they’ve wanted. Haha
Genoveva: Looking back at your long career and everything you’ve done what is the one thing you’d want to be the most remembered for?
Haig: Wow! (pause) Spider Baby. When I was a kid I would wake up Saturday morning and watch Lon Chaney Jr. as the Wolfman then all of a sudden there I am working with him. For the first couple days I couldn’t even speak. He loosened me up and became my mentor actually. He taught me a lot and gave me some good advice I appreciated at the time. I was a huge fan of Universal Studio Monster Movies and would rush out to see them when they came out. That is my best moment in film and what I’d like to be remembered for.
Thanks for reading this month’s A Life In Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen! See you ghouls next month for more tales of horror.
Yours in screams,
Pictures 6 & 7 credited to Todd Staruch