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Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
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Ruben Pla
Horror Interview by The Gravedigger

Q: So, you're a big horror and sci-fi fan?

Yes, I just saw the remake of THE CRAZIES and thought that was good. I love the classic monsters films, like FRANKENSTEIN and THE WOLFMAN--but sometimes a remake comes along that's great, like Zack Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD. It had all the horror and the inventiveness of the original, but also great production values and his strong directing hand was very clear.

Q: And it was the first movie that had the fast zombies.

That's right! I love that. I've had the old, slow zombies coming after me in WRITER'S BLOCK, but in this thing they were chasing after you. Like in 28 WEEKS LATER, those guys can run. In horror, if I can't defend myself from it, I'm scared, like with ghosts or vampires. THE RING scared the heck out of me. How do you fight ghosts? They keep coming back!

Q: So, you are ready to chat with buried.com?

I read some of the stuff on Buried.com. I loved the Ron Perlman interview. I was thinking that maybe I can just give the same answers he gave... Would that work for you?

Q: Ha ha ha...Let's start at the beginning. I was looking at your credits on imdb.com and it it looks like the Soaps were some of your first tv work...

Yes, I did a couple of them. After college I moved back to New York and the only things to do back then were theater and a couple of the soaps that were there. In the 80's there was hardly any TV or film there. I did AMERICA'S MOST WANTED and shows like that. You get your acting chops that way. I also did a lot of NYU senior thesis films. I recommend that highly to any actor starting out, to learn how to deal with cameras and crews and what to do, so when you get to a professional set you know what's required of you. I can't say enough about NYU graduate thesis films.

Q: And it gets you used to crazy directors, too.

Actually, I'm still friends with a couple of those guys. One of them, Ari Taub, ended up doing THE FALLEN, a World War II feature film I played a lead in, and we're still buddies. I just talked to him a few days ago.

Q: So, you are originally from New York City?

I was raised in Manhattan. Up by the George Washington Bridge, Washington Heights.

Q: What prompted you to move out West?

I did ten years of Off-Broadway theater, contract paying shows, and I talked to my wife and said "I've done enough art for now, let's go make some money." And the money was out here, in California, in TV and Film. I came out here not knowing anybody. I plugged away, got an agent and started doing a TV show here, a TV show there. I did HUNTER, CRIME & PUNISHMENT, THE PRACTICE, RAYMOND, JUDGING AMY...

Q: You have a very wide range, from 24 to HANNAH MONTANA...

That HANNAH episode just aired during the Oscars, so no one saw that. But all of my two daughters' friends saw it and told them "Oh My God, your dad was on HANNAH MONTANA!" So it was a big deal here at home, the best gig I could have gotten.

Q: What are your favorite types of roles usually?

I often get cast as a lawyer, as a detective, as a doctor, or a dad. I get that a lot. I'm a character actor so I like to play a wide range of roles. I want to do it all. Whatever comes my way. I love it.

Q: Getting to the genre stuff...you did an episode of ELEVENTH HOUR.

That was great because I'm a Rufus Sewell fan. He was the villain in A KNIGHT'S TALE, he was great in that. The show's not supernatural but a CSI type of thing with science to uncover the mysteries.

Q: That was the clone episode?

Exactly. Very good.

Q: I watched that show.

Unfortunately it didn't go a second season. I watched the whole season and I loved the science stuff. It was a well-written show and interesting.

Q: And then you did DEAD AIR where you play a terrorist. That was a memorable scene...

That was a lot of fun. It wasn't my first zombie film but that was my crazy all-out zombie film. Corbin Bernsen directed that and cast me in it. We shot it in a warehouse down in LA. I'm the terrorist in the opening scene that plants the gas that's going to turn everyone into a zombie. And then I get my head blown off! But I love that. They've put the squibs on me before and exploded my chest or back but this was the first time I had my head explode! That was very apropos to the zombie theme.

Q: The thing with Corbin, since he's an actor who directs, do you find the working situation a bit different?

There's definitely a difference. He obviously knows the set inside-and-out, and when you deal with an actor/director they know tricks and shortcuts to communicating with an actor. He's good and a very pleasant fellow. There were no ego trips going on there.

Q: Have there been any other horror related films you've done? You mentioned another zombie movie?

Yeah, a movie called WRITER'S BLOCK. I was one of the leads in that. It was about two writers writing a screenplay. The two characters they're writing about, of which I was one, break out of the screenplay and live their lives like they're real. And zombies come after us trying to eat us and I'm bitten by a zombie. It was a lot of fun. That was directed by Ari Taub, who directed THE FALLEN, the World War II film I did.

Q: What's in the pipeline now?

James Wan (SAW, DEATH SENTENCE) just cast me in his new film, which I'm very excited about. I also shot a promo with Mike Mendez (THE GRAVEDANCERS) for his new movie, OVERKILL, which is very slasher-like with chainsaws and pig masks. Hank Braxtan (RETURN OF THE GHOSTBUSTERS) has several films coming up and has me in mind for a couple of them. And Jose Prendes (CORPSES ARE FOREVER) wants me involved in a few projects, including a Western that stars Thomas Jane. So things are busy.

Ruben's Reel

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