Exclusive Interview: Actor Richard Brake Talks Rob Zombie’s 3 FROM HELL

In 2003 Rob Zombie unleashed House of 1000 Corpses to the masses and introduced horror fans to the Firefly clan. In 2005 these iconic characters returned for more bloody mayhem in the cult classic The Devil’s Rejects. Now, Rob Zombie is back with 3 from Hell, the highly anticipated third chapter that returns the devilish trio and introduces us to a twisted new family member. Winslow Foxworth Coltrane is played by actor Richard Brake who was kind enough to let me ask him some questions about his character and working with the legendary rocker director. Tickets for the September 16th/17th/18th nationwide release of 3 from Hell are available at FathomEvents.com/3FromHell

Alien Bee – First off, tell me about your character Winslow Foxworth Coltrane in 3 from Hell. As much as you can.

Richard Brake – I can’t tell you much at all (chuckles). I don’t want to spoil it. Nothing worse than going into a film knowing things. Always want to go in fresh. Especially this film – the less you know the better. What I will say, is what I love about Foxy is he brings a whole new flavor to this universe that Rob has created so brilliantly over the last couple of films and now continues with 3 FROM HELL. I love that about Foxy. Definitely is a unique character. Definitely brings a different flavor to the world. I’m looking forward to everyone seeing it.

Alien Bee – He (your character) kind of fits right in like a distant family member. Wouldn’t you say? (see what I did there!)

Richard Brake – What I would say is that I think one of the things I love about the film is the interaction between Foxy, Otis and Baby in particular. I think there’s a real chemistry. There was a real chemistry when we filmed it between the three of us. I mean I’ve worked with Sheri before, and I adore her. She is an absolutely fantastic actor, and working with Bill for the first time was incredibly thrilling. He is a great actor. Right from the moment we started there was a real connection and flow that is unique and one of the most exciting things about being an actor when it happens… and it happened. Literally our opening scene together when we first shot. It was a scene somewhere in the middle of the film with the three of us, and I remember looking over at Sheri and just thinking how brilliant she was, then realizing the camera was on me and thinking Foxy was probably thinking in this same way. Then Foxy just started clicking, and the relationship between the three of us really clicked. And hopefully that has come out in the film itself.

Alien Bee – Would you say Winslow Foxworth Coltrane is as demented and vicious as Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding?

Richard Brake – Yeah it’s not really for me to say. That’s for the audience. Foxy himself is definitely mad and crazy, and definitely belongs in this world. Who’s more demented? I think that’s a conversation for Foxy, Otis, Baby and Captain Spaulding to have. I think they probably sit around debating who is the most demented for like three hours. He’s definitely someone who could benefit from some serious psychotherapy. But he probably wouldn’t benefit from it. I don’t think anything could help him. (chuckles) Or any of these guys. I love him.

Alien Bee – You’ve worked with Rob Zombie several times now. How would you describe him as a filmmaker?

Richard Brake – Absolute genius. The guy is incredible. I’ve worked with amazing directors in my life, many of them award-winning: Spielberg, De Palma, Ridley Scott- they’ve been incredible. I’ve enjoyed working with all of them. And a host of other directors that are maybe less well known, and also great. But if I had to choose one, if somebody said to me, “you have to choose one” there’s no doubt my absolute favorite director is Rob Zombie. I love the guy. Amazing. He’s a creative force of nature. Unlike anyone I’ve really come across. A true renaissance man really. I adore working with him. He’s just brilliant. Both as a filmmaker and a director of actors.

Alien Bee – How much free reign do you have with your character? Is Rob Zombie strictly by the script or does he let you improvise some?

Richard Brake – One of the great things about him is Rob gives you a lot of room to develop your characters. In the case of DOOM, there was very little improvisation because it was strictly written. He’s such a rigid, controlled character. I felt no need to improvise. I don’t know I even improvised a word in that film. Most definitely not in that opening monologue, which is one of the best things I’ve ever come across as an actor in terms of writing. However with Foxy, Foxy is a lot looser and there’s a lot more room there. So Rob always films initially what’s written because usually that’s fantastic in and of itself. But then in the case of this film and this character, he would often come up to me and be like “hey man why don’t we try this?” and give me some ideas – crazy, insane ideas and then walk behind the camera and go “action!” I’d have about four seconds to pull my shit together and do some improvisation with whomever I am working with. And inevitably those guys are so great we’d be off on something or go on some crazy tangent. So yeah, we had quite a bit of freedom. I think that lent itself to a lot of the chemistry between the characters for sure.

Alien Bee – What was your favorite scene or moment while making 3 from Hell?

Richard Brake – I think my favorite moment was arriving on my first day. I had been shooting another movie over in Europe, and I just flew home, literally changed my underwear and flew to LA to begin work. I think they were a couple days into shooting already when I arrived, and I remember walking into the canteen for lunch break, and there was Sheri and Bill – who I hadn’t met at that point, and of course my really, really dear friend Jeff Daniel Phillips, who is a great actor, and of course Rob. Just seeing them and it was like coming home to a family. An absolutely, fantastic, big hug from Sheri. It was so exciting to see them all again, and to be making another film together. Not just any old film – a sequel to one of the greatest horror films ever made. So I think that moment was one of the highlights of my life, not just as an actor but as a human being because not only do I admire these people are artists, but as human beings. They’re just incredible human beings – all of them. Everyone that Rob has around him. Very special people that are a big part of my life. So being back together was a big thrill.

Alien Bee – I’ve already had the opportunity to witness 3 from Hell and I think it was the R rated version. This cut is pretty darn gory so how much more of the red stuff are we gonna get in the unrated version? Do you know?!

Richard Brake – I do not know the answer to that question. You’re going to have to ask Rob that one.

Alien Bee – How would you describe 3 from Hell?

Richard Brake – Just more madness and mayhem in the incredibly brilliant world that Rob Zombie has created of this clan.

Alien Bee – Will we ever see Winslow Foxworth Coltrane again?

Richard Brake – That’s in the mind and imagination of Rob Zombie. That’s what I love about Rob. He’s such a renaissance man like I say, who does so many different things. Of course his music, he’s an artist, filmmaker, writer, so you never know with Rob. What I love about Rob is you’ll just get a text one day saying “So what’re you doing man?” in three months time, or whenever he’s planning his project, and inevitably I say “absolutely nothing if you’ve got something in mind.” We’ll wait. One day I’ll get that text I hope and we’ll be off and running with some other project, and it may have something to do with this or it may be something else. Another question for Rob really, but who knows.

Alien Bee – Thank you so much for taking the time and letting me ask you some questions about 3 from Hell!

Richard Brake – You’re very welcome. Thank you for writing about this film that we’re really excited for everyone to see. We’re really proud of this. Even when we were filming, we just felt the absolute blazing film was going to be another masterpiece in the Rob Zombie cannon. So really excited for everyone to see it in September.

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