Known in the Horror community from his role as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s House of 1,000 Corpses (2003) and Devil’s Rejects (2005), actor Sid Haig actually has a much more expansive resume of work in films, TV shows and even as a recording artist. Haig had an affinity for the drums, and one year out of high school, he recorded a single with the T-Birds before beginning his acting career at age twenty-one in Jack Hill’s short The Host, going on to work with Hill in several Blaxploitation films in the 60s and 70s, including 1968’s Spider Baby and 1974’s Foxy Brown. There is no denying that his main claim to fame is as the painted face of Zombie’s infamous Captain Spaulding, a role that earned him both a Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards at two separate Annual Fangoria Chainsaw Awards shows and the Most Vile Villain award at the First Annual Spike TV Scream Awards, one that he shared with his other Firefly family members, played by Leslie Easterbrook, Sheri Moon Zombie and Bill Moseley. Recently, CrypticRock sat down with this quiet, humble man to chat about both old and new roles, music and what really scares this King of Horror.
CrypticRock.com – You have been involved in film now for over four decades and have over fifty film credits to your name, as well as a ton of TV appearances. Tell us, what has your journey been like as an actor?
Sid Haig – (chuckles) Well, it’s been full of highs and lows. Like most actors who have been around as long as I have – this is my fifty-forth year in the business – so there is always ups and there are always downs, you know? So there you go.
CrypticRock.com – Understood. As a child, you were both a dancer and a drummer, even playing drums for the T-Birds in their 1958 single “Full House.” Were you ever able to incorporate any of those talents into your acting?
Sid Haig – A little bit, yeah. I sang about three or four bars of a Blues tune in a film that I did called The Big Dollhouse (1971) just as kind of a little filler to take up the time getting out of the boat and onto the dock and I was kind of just singing to myself. And there were a couple of other times, like when I did a film called Wolf Moon (AKA Dark Moon Rising 2009) where I sang the song that rolled over the final credits. So it’s been off and on that I’ve been able to use music.
CrypticRock.com – That is pretty awesome that you got to sing the closing credit songs for one of your films.
Sid Haig – Yeah. Yeah, it was. It was actually really cool.
CrypticRock.com –Now 1968’s Spider Baby, one of your first films is an all-time great which is under appreciated. Many would say it was way ahead of its time. Can you tell us what it was like working on that film?
Sid Haig – Yeah. First of all, it was way ahead of its time. But it has lasted since we made the thing way back in 1968. It still has audience, which I am very thankful for. And working with Lon Chaney, Jr. in my first co-starring role. I’m probably the only person left on the planet that can say that. It was just amazing, working with him and spending the hours waiting for a scene to get set up and all that business. Just sitting there, we would talk. It was great.
CrypticRock.com – As stated, you have been involved in film for some time now and in early 2000s, you saw a massive of success when you teamed up with Rob Zombie for 2003’s House of 1,000 Corpses. Were you surprised at all by the success of that initial Zombie film?
Sid Haig – Not really. When I first read the script, I knew that it had the potential to do something. I did not know that it was going to be as well accepted as it was, but I did know that it had something going for it.
CrypticRock.com – It certainly did. In fact, Captain Spaulding is now considered a mainstream Horror villain. How does it feel, knowing you had something to do with bringing this iconic character to life?
Sid Haig – Yeah, I don’t use that term. It’s just… I don’t know. It’s a little much for me. I guess I should embrace that. And I do appreciate that people feel that way about it. But I just don’t use the term at all. That would be like, “Look at me! How cool I am!”
CrypticRock.com – That is understandable and very humble. You have worked with Rob Zombie on The Devil’s Rejects (2005), Halloween (2007), The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009) and Lords of Salem (2012). Seeing that you have this lasting relationship, what has been like working with Rob Zombie?
Sid Haig – He was very cool. He was really laid back. He would just tell you what he was looking for and then leave you alone and let you do your job. Which is what most directors should do.
CrypticRock.com – True. You would think, as an actor, you would know what you are doing, right?
Sid Haig – Well, if they have enough confidence to hire you, then they should have enough confidence to let you do what you know how to do.
CrypticRock .com – That is very true. This may seem out of the blue, but, are you afraid of clowns?
Sid Haig – No! No. Never have been.
CrypticRock.com – (laughs) What are you afraid of then?
Sid Haig – Well, I do not want to get political, but a lot of the things that are happening in the world today are kind of stressing me out. Yeah.
CrypticRock.com – It is probably best not to go into that. We will be here all day. (laughs)
Sid Haig – Yeah! (laughs) Yeah.
CrypticRock.com – Your most recent film, Bone Tomahawk, was released on October 23rd. It is an interesting Western about the rescue of a man’s wife from cannibalistic Native Americans. How did that project come about for you?
Sid Haig – It was something that was offered to me. Director Craig Zahler had his list of people that he liked to work with on a film, and I guess I was on the list. When I read the thing, I knew that I just had to do it, particularly with the people who were already on board, you know. A great cast, intelligent script… I was really looking forward to it.
CrypticRock.com – Well, the film certainly has an all-star case including Kurt Russell and Patrick Wilson. It should be exciting to see what moviegoers think of it. The noises those cannibals make in the film were pretty insane.
Sid Haig – Yeah! (chuckles)
CrypticRock.com – Since CrypticRock.com covers film and music, we are curious – what is your favorite kind of music to listen to in your off time? Also, do you use music of any kind to prepare for certain characters or roles?
Sid Haig – First of all, my favorite is Blues, but I really don’t use music as a tool to create a character, unless it’s something that happens to have music involved in it.
CrypticRock.com – Interesting. Our last question for you is pertaining to films. If you are a fan of Horror films, what are some of your favorite Horror films?
Sid Haig – My favorite Horror film was, in 1954, I was in the audience the night that The House of Wax opened. And that scared the hell out of me. (chuckles). Oh, yeah. Because it was one of the first 3D movies, and, you know, Vincent Price, and Charles Bronson and the whole cast was just amazing. That is one of my all-time favorites.