Originally posted at TV Tome --- Interview With Invasion Iowa Cast Member Bill Blank
The following originally appeared at the original TV Tome:
Recently, I had the chance to interview Bill Blank, one of the cast playing a role in the fake film project on Spike TV's upcoming Invasion Iowa. What he has to say will interest you, may shock you and will get you thinking.
Those who have seen The Joe Schmo Show are already looking forward to Invasion Iowa, a new project by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the creatores of Joe Schmo. This new concept finds an entire town pranked as William Shatner and a cast of unbelivable (but hopefully not too unbelievable) actors and actresses comes to Riverside, Iowa, the "birthplace of William Shatner." Once there, they successfully convince the town that William Shatner is there to film a low-budget sci-fi film titled Invasion Iowa.
Recently, I had the opportunity to ask one of the cast members selected from Iowa some questions by e-mail. Comedian Bill Blank was quite candid in his responses and I hope you'll enjoy his humor as much as I did:
Agent0042: What exactly was your role as one of the "cast members" on the fake movie Invasion Iowa?
Bill: I play Street Punk #1 in the movie.
Agent0042: About how much "work" had already been done on the "project" when you were approached about it? Or were approached, or did you volunteer instead after seeing an ad for it or something?
Bill: I am a stand-up comedian and did a show at Murphy's (a local bar, and one of the shooting locations for some of the movie scenes) A couple months prior, I called to see how they enjoyed the show and Jerry, the owner of Murphy's told me about auditions for the movie. I'm from Des Moines, which is about an an hour-and-a-half to two hours away from Riverside, so I drove there for auditions.
Agent0042: If you can say without spoiling anything, did you ever suspect at any time that Invasion Iowa was anything less than a genuine film project?
Bill: All I can say at this time is yes. My role in the show should be rather interesting.
Agent0042: What's your response to some of the reviews from critics that have already come out that portray the show in something less than a positive light?
Bill: I think anyone who was "truly" involved with the show had the time of their lives. I heard someone call soem fo the cast members "whores" for taking the money. I find it funny. Stuff like that always comes from either people with a lot of money, or people with none. It's very easy in retrospect to say "I would have known" when you already know it's a joke before even watching it, or to say "I wouldn't have taken any money from those people; I would have been pissed." I received nothing, but if it was offered to me, I would have taken every dime happily. So would anyone else with a freaking brain and/or a family to feed.
Agent0042: Being all residents of the same small town, did you and the other "cast and crew members" selected for the project get to chat about it amongst yourselves?
Bill: I'm not from Riverside, but I stayed with another cast member while I was shooting. So, yes, we did chat. We pretty much did nothing but talk about what was going on because we all were having so much fun. I can't tell you yet though who I stayed with because it could spoil some things.
Agent0042: Do you still speak regularly with your fellow "cast and crew members" within the town? How about the staff and crew from Spike TV?
Bill: So far, I still speak regularly with the person I stayed with. We became pretty good friends. I e-mail Rhett Rheese a lot and he's way cool! He answers every e-mail I send him and he is always very positive and forthcoming. I also think his ass is a good ass to kiss for the old career --- hey, I'm a "whore," remember?
Agent0042: This show is produced by the network and people who did The Joe Schmo Show. Since this program, have you seen one or both seasons of The Joe Schmo Show? Were you at all aware of it before becoming a part of Invasion Iowa?
Bill: I was aware of the show and its premise, but I've never seen a single episode. Up until now, I have pretty much despised "reality" TV, however, Invasion Iowa and Joe Schmo are two of the best premises I've ever heard.
Agent0042: Can you tell our readers more about your other comedy projects?
Bill: I have been touring the country for a while doing stand-up comedy. I really don't know what else to say. Getting paid to do stand-up comedy is a dream come true. Although I really tell jokes for free, I get paid to drive all over the freaking place. I'm hoping this show can help propel my career in some way. So if any agents are reading... I am William Shatner's favorite comedian.
Agent0042: If you ever had a chance to do something like this again in the future, would you?
Bill: Absolutely!!! I would rather be the one playing the joke next time, though. I think it would have been a blast to be one of the actors. I'm still relatively obscure, you hear that, Ashton? I'm from Iowa, and I would love to punk people! Me, you, and Demi can double date. I'm not as good looking as you... maybe someone like Molly Ringwald is available.
Invasion Iowa premieres on March 29 at P.M. on Spike TV and airs over four days, with a two-hour finale on April Fool's Day. Learn more about Invasion Iowa at http://www.spiketv.com/shows/series/index.jhtml?seriesID=13720&refID=invasi oniowa and learn more about Bill Blank at http://www.billblank.com