There's a scene in the forthcoming film "Rise" in which a bearded Marilyn Manson's interrogated by Michael Chiklis — who played the Thing in this summer's "Fantastic Four" and portrays Detective Vic Mackey on FX's cop drama "The Shield." In the supernatural vampire thriller ("The movie's more like 'The Hunger' than 'The Lost Boys,' " Manson explained), which also stars Lucy Liu of "Charlie's Angels" and "Kill Bill" fame, Chiklis plays a cop seeking to avenge his daughter's death. Looking for answers, his character seeks out Manson's.
"I hadn't really known too much about [Chiklis] before [the scene], other than he seemed like a real cop and he's really aggressive," Manson said, of the actor who, for a time, played television's affable "Commish." "In the scene, I'm a bartender who sort of sells out the character Lucy Liu is playing to him; he believes she was involved with the murder. And so he starts to rough her up a little bit, and he pulls out a gun and I say, 'Hold on a minute,' and then he points the gun at me."
The scene was shot over and over again — "I believe it was to traumatize me emotionally," the rocker said — and afterward, several members of the cast could tell Manson was shaken a bit by the whole ordeal.
"Everyone kept coming up to me on the set and saying, 'Look! Here's the gun. It's not loaded. Don't worry,' " Manson recalled. But it wasn't the gun that got to him. "I said, 'Listen. I'm not concerned about the gun — that guy [Chiklis] could sever my spine with a soft penis.' He's really intimidating and like so intense. I was scared straight."
Working with Chiklis hasn't turned Manson off to the whole Hollywood scene, though. Manson changed management last month, and he's now being represented by the same dude who manages Nicolas Cage. Plus, "Rise" is one of several projects he has on the horizon — some finished, and others in various stages of completion.
Of course, Manson harbors an obvious fascination with film, and it's inspired him to delve deeper into Hollywood's choppy waters. In addition to acting turns in "Party Monster," "Jawbreaker" and David Lynch's "Lost Highway," Manson will return to theaters in March with the long-delayed film adaptation of J.T. LeRoy's book "The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things" (see "Marilyn Manson A Beer-Swilling Lowlife ... In Film").
Manson's also been tweaking his directorial debut, "Phantasmagoria (The Vision of Lewis Carroll)" (see "Marilyn Manson Likens His New Guitar God To A Naked Woman"); he wrote the film's screenplay and stars with fashion model Lily Cole, who plays Alice from Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland."
"It's about Lewis Carroll and how he became a persona much more bizarre and elaborate than Marilyn Manson," he said of the film, which has been put on hold until the end of the year so he can finish his sixth album. "Charles Dodson was his real name, and he was a person who had a tortured inability to find love and to find happiness in his life, and his story is one of great depression. It's one of a split personality — a person who was deaf in his right ear and left-handed. He was a mathematician and an artist, a deacon in a church who believed in evolution. I relate to him."
Manson also revealed that "Abelcain," a film he'd hoped to work on with Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowski, has been suspended for the time being. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the sequel to Jodorowski's "El Topo" was to star Manson as Cain, who teams up with his long-lost brother, Abel, to battle an enemy adept at technological witchery so that they can overcome the curse that marks their destiny — or something like that.
"There's another film we're supposed to be working on called 'King Shot,' " Manson said of the film also starring Nick Nolte. "I'll be playing a 400-year-old prophet that lives in a hole in the ground and eats skinned ostriches and rapes women and has thorns for teeth that come out of his lips. I'm not exaggerating."
Another film Manson had been secured for, "Living Neon Dreams," has also hit a snag. In that film, Manson was to play the Queen of Hearts in the cinematic re-imagining of — you guessed it — "Alice in Wonderland" (see "Marilyn Manson To Play Queen Of Hearts In 'Alice' Adaptation"). "The schedule kept being delayed to the point where it's been two years now, and I had to pass on it because I just didn't feel like it was going to happen and I feel like I want other things to happen," he explained.
And there are plenty of other things going on in Manson's world.
"I'll be overseeing a three-film project based on the stories of Edgar Allen Poe, and I'm going to be involved in it as much as I'd like," he said. While Manson said he's not quite sure which Poe works he'll use, "My favorite of all time — and this isn't saying these will be the ones I choose — is 'Never Bet the Devil Your Head.' I like 'The Raven,' because it's a poem that has been overlooked as a film, and 'The Black Cat.' "
"I would like to pick three different directors — my favorites, mostly — and make these three films and make them all unique," he continued. His wish list includes Gaspar Noé ("Irréversible") and Chan-wook Park ("Oldboy"). "I'd like to act in one of the three films. Acting in other people's films is very selfless, and I like to be something people use as a tool. I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I'm willing to grow beards, for chrissakes."
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