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It takes a lot of people working very hard to make a movie as complex and entertaining as Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.  Often unappreciated are those who work in almost complete anonymity inside of a costume or buried under tons of prosthetic makeup.  We're pleased to go beneath the foam rubber at last to introduce you to one of the classiest actors it has ever been our good fortune to interview!  His graciousness in answering our many questions was genuine and enthusiastic, and we appreciate his effort to share his experiences making Bogus Journey with us.  It is with pride I present our exclusive Q&A with Arturo Gil, one of the actors who helped to bring the Stations to life.


B&TEOA: Did the idea of acting ever occur to you as you were growing up, or did you just eventually veer in that direction?  Do you feel your work as a disc jockey prepared you for acting at all? 

Arturo Gil: The idea of acting never occurred to me while growing up.  I became interested in acting while I was working as a computer operator at a circuit board manufacturer in Anaheim, CA.  Actor friends would ask me if I was available for films.  My boss was cool and would let me off to do some moonlighting as an actor.  I was really enjoying this acting thing and I was ready for a change.  One of my friends at the circuit board manufacturer leaned into me and said, "No Guts, No Glory".  If I quit my job I could always fall back on the computer job if things didn?t work out.  Well I have never looked back!

Yes, I do believe my work as Disc Jockey has helped in my acting career.  Anything in the media is useful as an actor or in the performing arena.
 
B&TEOA: How did you happen to get the part of one of the Stations in
Bogus Journey?  Were you familiar with the original Bill and Ted before then?

A.G.: I landed the part as a replacement.  The original actor that was fitted had to leave unexpected.  I fit the costume to the "T", was hired and history was made.  I found my experience as Alvin of the Chipmunks and other suit jobs helped the performance of Station.  Any suit in which I manipulate or animate usually takes on an animal characteristic.  The movement and feelings are choreographed in my head.

No, I was not familiar with the original Bill and Ted.  But, as soon as I got the role of Station, I rented B&T?s Excellent Adventure.
 
B&TEOA: You were partnered with actor Ed Gale to play the Stations.  The Stations were a kind of symbolic continuation of the Bill and Ted theme . . . two guys who are really one (only of course Station literally became one!).  Alex and Keanu have a special bond working together . . . how did you manage to work in tandem with Ed and create this symbiotic connection through your acting when you were both inside these costumes?

A.G.: Ed Gale and I have dwarfism and relate in many ways.  We have many things in common.  I believe we were matched perfectly and we worked great together.  We had good chemistry and instincts.  Our performance and movement worked well in tandem.
 
B&TEOA: Beside yourself, how many special effects crewmembers did it take to operate one Station?

A.G.: If I recall, it took two to three puppeteers to articulate Station.  Station?s head was loaded with many servos and wires.  At times the servos would be so loud, I couldn?t hear the dialogue going on outside.  We would rehearse with the heads off so that we could see the other actor?s blocking.  Sometimes it was a visual cue rather than a spoken one.  Several times we didn?t hear "CUT" and we would continue to perform.  Someone would have to lean into the suit or tap us on the Station head and yell, "That?s a cut!"
 
B&TEOA: Did you and Ed provide the voices of the Stations as well?

A.G.: I can?t recall right now.  I?d have to watch and listen again.  I know they did some recordings of us while we were in the suits.  
 
B&TEOA: What was a typical day on the set like (how long were you in the costumes each day, how long did the shooting of your part take, etc.?).

A.G.: The typical day on set was like any other set.  We arrive just in time for breakfast and a cup of Java.  Although, I would eat light, as the Station suit would generate a lot heat and I didn?t want to toss my grits in the suit.  We drank lots of water and fluids to remain hydrated.  We?d come out of the suits drenched in sweat.  While working, we would stay in the suits between 4 and 6 hours at a time.  Of course, production would give us breaks between shots.  They made custom seats for us and the creature FX?s crew would remove Station?s head, unzip the back, blow cool air at our backs and have us relax while they set up the next shot.  Kevin Yagher?s FX crew was definitely on top of things and made sure we were as comfortable as can be.
 
B&TEOA: Was the shoot at Vasquez Rocks difficult in any way?  I would think location shooting that involves special effects might get complicated.

A.G.: Yes, shooting at Vasquez Rocks was difficult.  Being outside in full sun was hard and hot.  As far as shooting effects on location, I don?t think it?s any different than shooting on a sound stage.  Sure, you do have the environment to contend with.  Walking on uneven ground as a Station with huge feet can be a task.  "Station down" was screamed out many times and one the FX crew would fly in to stand us back up again.  It was impossible for us to get up once we were down.  We sure got a lot of laughs.

B&TEOA: In one of the original scripts, the Stations were supposed to be seen in Heaven playing a game in which they spin on their heads.  This was changed to charades for the final film.  Was the spinning on the heads thing ever attempted at all?

A.G.: No way!  That stunt would?ve killed us.  With the weight of the suit alone would be impossible. 
 
B&TEOA: What was it like working with the actors on the shoot, particular Alex, Keanu and Bill Sadler?  You got to share some wonderful scenes with Bill in particular, was it fun working with him?

A.G.: I must say, everyone was wonderful to work for.  Alex and I worked on another film together . . . Freaked in which I played the farting clown.  I haven?t seen Alex in many years.  He sure was great to work with.  Bill Sadler was fantastic!  He would always lean in while we were in the Stations suits and ask if we were ok.  I really enjoyed watching him perform on Bill and Ted?s and recent films as well.  I must say I admire Keanu?s work.  I?ve seen him blossom into a fine actor.  He too was nice on set and it sure was a honor to work with him as well.

B&TEOA: This was Peter Hewitt's feature film directorial debut.  What was it like working with him on Bogus Journey?

A.G.: As far as I can recall, he seemed like a great guy and always concerned with our well being inside those hot suits.  I read he?s currently directing Garfield.
   
B&TEOA: Are there any instances or stories from the set of
Bogus Journey you could share with us?

A.G.: Gosh, I know we sure had a blast and it sure was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget.  We would do some crazy moves in the suits and we?d get the crew busting up laughing.  Use your imagination.
  
B&TEOA: Your appearance in
Freaked as the clown who farts the weight of the Freekland attendees was hilariously tasteless.  Did your work on Bogus Journey make Alex think of you for the part or was it a connection through the special creature effects house?  Or was it just a happy casting coincidence?

A.G.: Thanks for the compliment!  It sure was hard pushing out the last couple of farts.  Originally, Alex called me directly and asked if I would be interested in doing Eye and Eye created by Screaming Mad George FX house.  As it turned out I was too short to fit the eye and Alex suggested that I do the Farting Clown.  Well, of course, I said yes.

B&TEOA: There's another Bill and Ted connection in that you also worked on Mom and Dad Save the World, which was penned by B&T writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson.  Again, a happy coincidence or did one job lead to the other?

A.G.: No connection on this one.  A happy coincidence.
   
B&TEOA: You're currently appearing on Comedy Central's The Man Show and have had some notable television and movie roles (Ally McBeal and Men in Black for instance).  What stands out for you as being an exceptional acting job in which you were really able to challenge yourself and felt the most proud of the final results?

A.G.: I?m very proud of my role in Ally McBeal as Douglas McGrath.  It sure was a rewarding experience for me.  I learned so much on this role about acting and it opened my eyes.  Every experience is a learning opportunity for me but this role really taught me a lot.  I was not real excited about the outcome of the trial in Ally, but it sure was great working along side veterans like Calista Flockhart and Robert Downey Jr. 

David E. Kelly loves to push the envelop and I appreciate him taking chances on his show by making people think and experience life in its many facets and complexities.
 
B&TEOA: Any upcoming projects you'd like to tell us about?

A.G.: Yes, I have several projects coming up.  I just finished working on Wasabi Tuna, an independent film due to be released around the fall.  I?ve done a couple of appearances on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show as different characters.  I played Jarod?s (the Subway guy) fat in a reunion piece.  I also played a mini Hitler in another comedy skit recently.  I?m doing a spec show and hopefully will be picked up by Comedy Central.  I?m keeping my finger's crossed on this one.
 
B&TEOA: I can't help but notice the James Wood quote you have on your website from
Hercules ("We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we carry on, we go home happy . . . whattaya say, C'mon."), one of my all-time favorite Disney films.  Any particular reason for using that quote?

A.G.: I enjoy James Woods? performances and I totally dig that line in the movie.  That quote reminds a lot of what goes on in Hollywood?s background during negotiations and signing deals.  We pitch, we dine and schmooze, we promote, we sign on the dotted line and everyone goes home with lots of money! 
 
B&TEOA: What would you like the world to know about Arturo Gil?  What makes you happiest?

A.G.: I?m a person with human qualities just like everyone else.  I enjoy life to the fullest and I refuse to grow up.  Even though I may be encased in a small shell, my thinking is big!  Don?t give me a label . . . just call me Arturo.  Like I say on my official web site, "Arturo, who stands 3' 6", encourages "Hollywood" to use actors with dwarfism, disabilities and ethnic backgrounds in films and TV, to create a more realistic reflection of our world."

Things that make me happy are spending time with my family, boating, camping, fishing, meeting new friends, and being a working actor makes me very, very happy.  I?ve been blessed!  THINK BIG!


Babes and Dudes, check out Arturo Gil's official website!  There's even a great production still from Bogus Journey in the photo gallery, and you can learn a whole lot more about this terrific actor!

Thanks again, Arturo, for answering our questions!!  Party On!