Who says no to an invite to participate in a conference call with Barry Williams and Danny Bonaduce? Certainly not this guy! Earlier this week I talked to these TV icons about their upcoming Syfy Original Movie Bigfoot. Read on to find out what they had to say about boxing, what is was like coming together to work on this project, their current projects and a lot more. It was a really fun call! Be sure to check out the Bigfoot premiere on Syfy Saturday, June 30th at 9:00 pm! It’s all the campy fun you’ve come to expect in a Syfy Saturday monster movie!
Kyle: Barry, you had done the Mega Piranha movie a few years ago. Could you talk about how this was different, and if you gave Danny any tips?
Barry Williams: You know, the format for working on a movie is working on a movie. Danny has plenty of experience working on television and movies. So no on that. The difference with this and Mega Piranha was I was much more involved in the process.
My role in Mega Piranha largely took place in offices and in cars. So I was kind of away from the cast through most of it.
In this we were out working on location, we’re working with a green screen, we’re working in some pretty challenging circumstances because Seattle enjoyed the worst storm in 100 years through the time we were filming. And so it was very hands on and I had a lot more to do in it. So overall I it was a more satisfying experience if you could say.
Kyle: These creature features can range anywhere from really serious to really campy. How did you determine the right tone to play your characters?
Danny Bonaduce: I do comedy if you will. There are no jokes. I’ve never written a joke in my entire life. But the flavor of my morning show which has been on the air for 25 years and done pretty well by the way.
Barry Williams: Yes.
Danny Bonaduce: Most of the feeling for comedy is where to put your emphasis. And if the movie itself is supposed to be like tongue in cheek then the only way to make it more funny would be to play it as straight as possible. I know for myself and I think I can answer for Barry but since he’s right here I won’t.
For me my answer was to play it as straight as possible. And I played mine like I wanted those trees out of there. Barry and I were at each other’s throats. I played my character like I wanted him dead. I played it as straight as I could play it.
If it’s campy, that will add to the campiness. Plus like I said Barry does much more of this than I do. But the fact of the matter is it’s written. The dialog is pretty serious at some point.
So I thought – I think the premise probably puts the tongue in cheek. But at least on my place I play it as seriously as I can.
Barry Williams: Yeah. That’s – and you’re exactly right. When you cast Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams in the same movie – in a monster movie you know it’s going to have some degree of camp to it. That’s why we’re picked.
And so it’s going to have that certain tone. But the only way to play the movie is to play it for real, for keeps and let the situations and the appearances – of Bigfoot and the circumstances, let them kind of play out. It’s all a little bit larger than life in that sense.
I think this movie will be best enjoyed with a box of popcorn in your lap.
And here’s some of what the other journalists asked:
Could you guys talk about how you became involved with this film and what made you want to do it?
Danny Bonaduce: Fair enough. I, interestingly enough and I hope this doesn’t make anybody look ill prepared because the movie went off like a hitch. It was perfect. Everybody, you know, worked really fast.
But I was doing my radio show two years ago and heard that I was doing a movie about Bigfoot with Barry Williams. I called my agent who also has my name on Google Search and he said I just read that too. I said is there any truth to it? And he said I haven’t heard a word about it.
And two years later we started production. It was really bizarre but it’s neat.
Barry Williams: I have to tell you too, I love doing a monster movie. It’s great fun to do because it’s only scary when you watch it and not so much when you do it. I’m always interested in something where I have a chance to save the world.
Danny Bonaduce: God I’ve got to disagree with Barry vehemently. This is going to be a long phone call. Scary movies are not that scary when you watch them but it was terrifying to make.
I even asked Barry, I said hey man, when that guy says look up here and scream because Bigfoot’s going to eat you and there’s no Bigfoot.
You’re just staring off at a big stick with a piece of tape on it because we’re going to put in by magic – I’m sure there are some initials, that Bigfoot will be there later. Everybody screams. I said Barry, do you like feel really stupid when we do that?
And Barry said no, I’m an actor. When he says Bigfoot’s right there I assume Bigfoot’s right there. And I went wow, I’m bad at acting because I feel really stupid.
Barry Williams: Well see, I paid a lot of money for acting lessons so I tried – I’ve spent my whole life trying to justify them.
Danny Bonaduce: Hey don’t – I swear, I said – I was talking to a reporter. I said Barry Williams, I don’t know if you know this or not, but is a real live actor. I just – to be honest with you and not just flattering to Barry. Honest to goodness, you know, I have another occupation and this came along as a gift.
I didn’t have to audition, I didn’t have to jump through hoops and that’s what a lot of actors have to do and one of the reasons I don’t really do it anymore.
So I was more than pleased to do it. But Barry, God bless him, not only takes it very seriously but made it kind of easier on me to do because he’s really, really good at it.
Barry Williams: Well Danny’s being very modest about his talents and what he brings to the table. But we did work together well. I’d do it again for sure.
Danny Bonaduce: Yeah. Me too. I don’t know what happens to Bigfoot at the end of this but if he dies bring him back. If he has a cousin yeah, it was fun.
Barry Williams: We brought in the Air Force with like nuclear missiles. I think Bigfoot is going to bite the dust in this.
Danny Bonaduce: Well don’t give away the end man.
Barry Williams: Okay. Forget I said that.
Since both of you squared off in the boxing ring years ago, what type of appreciation do you have for each other now, at this age, doing a movie like this?
Danny Bonaduce: To be honest with you I’m not positive what one has to do with the other in a movie. I have the utmost respect for Barry from that particular boxing match because I box. I box regularly and I fight strangers and I go three rounds and see who can make it.
And somebody had backed out of that fight with me and Barry took it at the last second. He’s a little bit bigger than I was so I tried to move around. And then finally he hit me and I thought – I mean he really hit me. It hurt.
And I thought you know what, I am going to get knocked out trying to be polite. And when I looked up and was already in motion and was too late to stop myself Barry looked as surprised that he had hit me in the face as hard as he did. And I hit him so hard my shoulder hurt and he continued to get up.
And I know this may sound a bit neanderthal of me but if you’ve never tried it you have a whole new respect for win, lose, whatever. The guy that keeps getting back up, what’s the biggest scene in Cool Hand Luke? The guy who won’t stay down.
George Kennedy, if I’m not mistaken, is not the star of that scene. It’s Paul Newman because he refuses to stay down. And I know this may sound like an overdramatization of a fight but until you’ve been in one, they’re pretty dramatic, that’s my impression of Barry Williams.
I was yelling at him please stay down. I’m getting exorbitantly tired of this. So I have the utmost respect for Barry in any way, shape or form, not only as just as an actor.
Barry Williams: I agree with you Danny – the boxing was the boxing. Danny and I have had a nice relationship, a respectful relationship for years and years and years. Boxing is boxing. It didn’t mean that we didn’t respect each other.
I did not however know that he was not just a boxer but also a triple black belt. The producers left that part out. And I discovered that pretty much…
Danny Bonaduce: Did they leave it off my resume?
Barry Williams: You know, I missed that. And so…
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, sorry about that man.
Barry Williams: And – yeah, and so I had missed that part and then so doing the movie, you know, we’re coming into it in, you know, a completely way. And, you know, we were, you know, both trying to make the best movie and the most fun, you know, have the most, you know, the best movie we could.
So there was – there’s no like real animosity there except the acting part.
Danny Bonaduce: I hope that answers your question. I added in the Cool Hand Luke reference. That makes me look legitimate.
Barry Williams: Yeah, it does. It really does.
Danny Bonaduce: Yeah. I thought that was cool. I thought that was nice.
Barry Williams: I hope you’re not wrong – as long as you’re not wrong on the George Kennedy thing.
Danny Bonaduce: No. No, I was – I thought that was really exactly what I meant but I couldn’t believe the exact right reference came to mind. That doesn’t happen all the – believe me, I just did a four hour radio talk show. If the exact right reference would have come to me three more times today’s show would have smoked.
Barry Williams: Yeah. I got it. I know.
Do you either of you have any kind of belief in the Bigfoot legends?
Danny Bonaduce: I just moved about eight months ago and I do my new radio show – I guess I should publicize this as long as I have a chance on KZOK 102.5 in Seattle. Seattle, which I didn’t know because it was weird doing a Bigfoot movie that wasn’t about Seattle.
I didn’t know this about Seattle either. Bigfoot is one of the main things about Seattle along with the rain and gray skies. In the airport is the Sasquatch Café. You can get your Bigfoot burgers and Bigfoot’s a thing up here that people talk about all the time.
Now our Bigfoot in our movie is enormous. If there was something hiding that big I believe – and when I say this immediately all of the techno nerds are going to go hey, he’s one of us. It would give up a heat signature and we would find it.
Do I believe that there is something – I don’t know if it’s necessarily out in the woods or under the sea or in the sky but I believe for sure that there is something unlike us that has equal or superior intelligence.
So whether it’s a Bigfoot or you’re using Bigfoot as an umbrella for aliens or not the Loch Ness Monster because that’s really an inlet and the Loch Ness Monster would starve. But do I believe in stuff like that? Yeah. Absolutely.
Barry Williams: Well I certainly believe the Bigfoot in this movie.
Danny Bonaduce: Yeah.
Barry Williams: If there is a real Bigfoot just whatever his size, I hope he’s not as angry as our guy because our guy is not having it. He pretty much is cutting a swath, right…
Danny Bonaduce: And he’s really scary.
Barry Williams: …down the town. Yeah. He is scary. And I’m not sure – he’s as big as King Kong. I mean this thing is fast too. But I’m fascinated with theories and concepts. And like Danny was just saying, in Seattle it’s quite a big deal.
The sitings, the trackings I enjoy kind of observing it. And you have to know that somewhere in there there’s got to be some type of missing link or something that’s bridging the gap through our own evolution.
But it’s hard to imagine with GPS taking it down to inches of where you are that if we really wanted to find it, it would be pretty hard to hide.
You are two of our pop culture icons and there is yet another pop culture icon of ours in this film, Alice Cooper. Can you tell us about working with him?
Danny Bonaduce: I’ll start with this one. I know Alice a little bit. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Alice a few times in the past but never working with him. And he really intimidated me. Not the crazy makeup and I’m so envious of that leather jacket. That leather jacket rules.
But the director, Bruce at one point we had a real problem with continuity because as Barry said in the opening, we had a snowstorm that Seattle has not seen in at least 50 years if not 100. I mean everybody was flipped out. Snow doesn’t stick to the ground here. That doesn’t happen.
And we are essentially snowed in and then it melted really fast. So we had to shoot things in a very – not quick as in haphazard but quick in as people had to think very quickly. And I’m sorry, what was your basic question again? I started to answer questions about the weather.
Barry Williams: Working with Alice.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, thank you. So we had to change things to match that the snow had melted and we had just shot the original master shot with no snow.
So at this point he just looks at me and he says why don’t you and Alice just riff for a minute which means improv which on the radio is one thing. With people filming you and Alice Cooper standing there and Alice is really clever.
And I said to him – my line was – my one written line and then that’s where we were supposed to riff for almost two full minutes, I had said come on, you have to help me out Alice. We go way back. And he goes go way back? I’ve known you for two hours and I already hate you.
And he hit me with a riding crop. And I thought this is a really – this is an interesting way to delve into the world of improvisation with Alice Cooper who insists on hitting me. But I mean…
Barry Williams: Well I was…
Danny Bonaduce: I mean it’s super neat.
Barry Williams: Absolutely. I was – I knew we needed a pop icon in the role and Alice was not yet cast when we started the movie. And when I found out he was coming out and going to join us I was absolutely beside myself.
I’m a big fan both of him, Kiss and he came in full regalia with all the leathers, the riding crop and a very cool guy. And I was also, you know, hoping because I sing a song in this movie and I was kind of hoping maybe I get some props from the Man and that didn’t happen.
I think he referred to it as – was he – he was asking Danny about whether…
Danny Bonaduce: I just saw the clip.
Barry Williams: …this thing was a hootenanny.
Danny Bonaduce: He looks at you. He looks at you singing and he says, what is this a hootenanny?
Barry Williams: Yeah, a hootenanny. Right. That didn’t – I didn’t quite get that little wish fulfilled. But he’s a very cool guy. He’s nice to have in the movie and a lot of people don’t know this about Alice but he is a scratch golfer. He’s a really good golfer. So there you go.
So was this movie fun, grueling or both to shoot?
Barry Williams: I go crazy when I watch actors and actresses get on television and they go oh, it was so much fun to make. Making a movie is not what you’d call fun. You get good things that come out of it but it’s work.
And we had some extra challenges on this one because most of it was filmed outdoors and the weather was not cooperating. So we had that element to deal with – wind, snow, matching. We worked at night. We didn’t have heaters in a lot of places.
So you just do what you need to do and keep your eye on the ball which is how it’s going to turn out. I wouldn’t say fun but I’m glad that I did it and I’m pleased with what I’ve seen that’s come out.
But grueling, you know, it was a tough shoot. It was a tough shoot.
Danny Bonaduce: I don’t mean to just say ditto because that would make me a poor interview but first of all, I love GeekNation by the way. I’m a big fan. But secondly I don’t do that anymore for two reasons. And Barry has been overly kind but also rather insistent. And I thought that was nice too.
On the set of the movie I would ask Barry’s advice a lot. I’m not shy. I have other talents. Barry’s really good at this so I would ask Barry how should I play this, how should I do that?
But I got very nervous because I gave an interview about this movie and the first thing they said was so, how was it making this movie and I didn’t think about the all encompassing question.
All I thought was knee deep in snow for four days straight and the outfit I had already worn so it was established which was not warm, when you go on the scale of hard I mean we weren’t, you know, soldiers in the deserts carrying an 80 pound rucksack.
I’m a talk show host. I stand in front of a microphone and try to be amusing. That’s my real job. Out there acting beside a skilled actor like Barry Williams in the snow – it really did have its more difficult moments.
But like I said, this was a big deal in my life. I don’t do this kind of stuff anymore. This was just handed to me. Do you want to be in a monster movie. Do you want to be in a monster movie with Barry Williams? And I thought who says no to such things?
I was going to ask the same question about our celebrity boxing match. Somebody asked me why would you do that? And because I like to box I said somebody asked me if I wanted to box Barry Williams.
Who says no to things like – these opportunities do not come along every day. But hey, it was an arduous shoot at the very least.
Barry Williams: Yeah. And in addition to which Danny – we were actually filming around Danny’s radio schedule so he’s getting up at 4:00 in the morning, on the air at 6:00 all the way until 10:00 and then driving up an hour away to the film location and working into the night.
So it was challenging as we say. And regarding the boxing thing I’m glad that I did it but save the tape because that is the last time you will see Barry Williams in a boxing ring.
Danny Bonaduce: Smart call Mr. Williams. I’ve done it about 12 other times and every time you think it’s a good idea that I thought it was a good idea and then eight weeks out I start getting scared and is this going to hurt and by the way, it always does. So you’ve seen the last of me doing the same thing. I’m with you.
Barry Williams: Stuff happens in the boxing ring.
Danny Bonaduce: Yes it does.
Bruce Davison is the director and your characters kind of have an adversarial thing going. Did he give you room to play off each other and come up with your own thing?
Barry Williams: Yes.
Danny Bonaduce: Well he did ,I believe, it will depend on the movie which I have not seen yet. I’ve seen some of the trailers. But Bruce said – he kept looking at me with this really intense face and I think not mocking in a bad sense or maybe I mean parroting, the expression that I had.
And yes Barry Williams and I do have an adversarial relationship but we’re mad at each other. And like I said, Barry’s the trained actor between the two of us. The script says I think – Harley Henderson is my name. Harley’s really made and to the point of violence.
Well all I can do is replicate what I’ve seen in my real life whether it was the way I was raised or whether it was the way I really used to get really angry and fight. But I’d grit my teeth and get ready to do my line and Bruce would say just bring it down Danny.
Just bring it down. He said there is so much more power when you do – and it really – I must tell you I felt like he was mistaken. But he’s the boss. You do what the director says. I remember that much from the Partridge Family and the few shows I’ve done after.
And on the good side see I remember doing the rage thing and then the clip that made it where it’s just – where I just throw it off cuff – I’m going to kill Bigfoot. His take on it was much smarter and he’s absolutely right.
Sometimes replicating real life just the way it actually happens, at least in my head, is not as good as a delivery. And Bruce Davison gave me a lot of direction that was very helpful.
Barry Williams: I want to say and I think everyone at Syfy should know, that the hero of this movie is Bruce Davison.
Danny Bonaduce: For sure. Good call.
Barry Williams: He had to change gears in the middle of the race. We had to edit and cut. We had to make things work because certain locations were not available. There were time constraints. There were all kinds of things that a less flexible director never would have been able to overcome.
And so yes, he was leaning heavily on the actors and – both in being prepared and also making some of the carving out some of the characterizations as adjustments had to be made through the movie. And he never wavered. He was always organized.
He always had good ideas and he would come to us when he wasn’t clear about those ideas. But by the time we got to the set we were ready to go. And he finished that film I think a week early. I don’t know another director that could have done it. And he’s an actor.
So for Danny and for me, you know, the kinds of things that Danny was just talking about in terms of how to produce something to the greatest effect, he knows how to relate that to us and it made it a lot easier for us.
How meaningful to each of you was it that the other one is cast in this movie which is to say would you have been just as satisfied to do it if the other actor had been say, Johnny Whitaker or Barry Livingston?
Danny Bonaduce: Specifically, no. Because you’ve got to remember that Barry and I, we are a part of a club that by the way gets smaller as time passes. But it was a small club to begin with. One of the reporters talked about watching us live when there were no DVRs and things like that.
You know, we are – you have to, you know, I would have been – and the only reason I would have ever said no was if they asked me to do it with Corey Feldman. Shy of that I’d have done it. But doing it with Barry Williams really meant something to me.
I grew up a big fan – it’s funny, I believe the Brady Bunch came on right before the Partridge Family and I was just the right age to be a fan. So like all the inside jokes and all the dialog, the Partridge Family I didn’t really watch when it was on because I kind of knew what happened.
I had spent all week working on it but I was a huge fan of the Brady Bunch. And like I said, on the few things that Barry and I have done together I’ve had nothing but the utmost respect for him. So it was cool for me that it was specifically Barry Williams.
Barry Williams: I can answer this. If it wasn’t Danny Bonaduce there was no movie. Now…
Danny Bonaduce: Wow.
Barry Williams: …first of all, I feel that way. But also Syfy itself told me look, if Danny doesn’t do this Barry, there’s no movie.
Danny Bonaduce: If I had only known I was that important.
Barry Williams: So it was a package deal and that’s the way it came down. And I think they had the right formula.
Did you go to any kind of Bigfoot boot camp with the shooting and the driving and the flying and all that good stuff?
Danny Bonaduce: I would say the way we shot this was Barry really did describe it accurately. I mean we were working – the movie and like you said, mostly Bruce’s being able to direct on the absolute fly was amazing. So I would have to say the entire movie, and it’s really good by the way.
What I’ve seen of it and I’ll see the whole thing at a premier up here in Seattle tomorrow night. But what I’ve seen of it he did an incredible job. But I must say for the intensity and you talk about actors and things like that having resting rooms and had fruit plates and stuff like that.
None of that was going on. This was harsh. It was cold. It was muddy. We had to change the script all the time to accommodate the weather because this was supposed to be an outdoor festival. And all of a sudden snow came out of the sky from nowhere.
So I would say the whole movie was a Bigfoot boot camp.
Barry Williams: No. I didn’t do any particular training for it. I’ve been a hang glider. I handled some guns. I do a little running, a little hiking. That’s well within my, you know, every day parameter. So just enduring the cold.
Did you guys have any good outtakes during shooting, having a hard time keeping it serious?
Danny Bonaduce: I had a hard time because I’m really out of my element, I had a hard time with some things. But you know what? Barry and I – see each other off and on maybe ten times, 15 times throughout the years.
I’m realizing I’m throwing around these accolades and I don’t want you to think we’re best friends. It’s just that I had no problem keeping it serious because Mr. Williams, I just want to – I’m really prefacing this to make sure everybody knows, really keeps it serious.
It’s off – when they say cut then he says Barry Williams, the guy that got there in the morning and the guy that’s going home in the van with me at night, so to speak, or back to the city anyway. But I mean Barry Williams is the consummate actor.
I interview people that are like Barry Williams and like me in the sense that they got really famous for something and not that I’m not super grateful for Danny Partridge, I wouldn’t have half the stuff I have had I never been Danny Partridge.
But you’re kind of stuck with it. And Barry’s done a more successful job than most at being able to branch out from that. And I think the reason that is, is because he takes his craft so seriously that when we’re shooting it’s work.
And I remember distinctly he would take a pencil and paper along with the director – he wasn’t, you know, impolite or anything. But he would say things like this doesn’t make sense.
And I’d agree but I’ve got to tell you if we would take an extra five minutes I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Barry was looking out for the quality of this movie all the time.
Barry Williams: What I did want to say about what was cool was, you know, Danny does – four hours of talking every day. And it’s basically him and he’s really entertaining. The amazing thing is that doesn’t stop. He shows up on the set and he takes right off again.
And it’s just as funny. It’s like being entertained between all the takes and the drives and the rides back and forth. So it was really fun because he’s funny. So there we go.
Danny Bonaduce: Well thank you. To some people that sounds funny. Others, that’s my wife, would just say please stop. There are no microphones in our house. To which I just want to get microphones in my house.
I’d like to get back to Bigfoot himself for a minute. Of the reports that we usually hear in the news about Bigfoot, he’s a very elusive creature. So I’m wondering what happened to him to enrage him and make him want to come out and fight man like he is in this movie.
Barry Williams: Harley Henderson.
Danny Bonaduce: Yeah, me. It’s my bad dude. Sorry. What happens is I’m just a shameless – my character is a shameless self promoter and also…
Barry Williams: Imaginative.
Danny Bonaduce: …blind to my own limitations. I’m bringing back – and I forget what bands they are but they’re – I believe Sting is going to – in my mind, Sting is going to reunite the Police for one day just for my show. And I am going to cut down hundreds of old growth trees which are his natural habitat.
And he’s not real pleased. So yeah, it’s me. When you say what happens to make him so mad the answer is me. What tries to appease him of course is Barry.
Barry Williams: Right. So this guy – this Bigfoot is very, very mad. You’ve been desecrating the environment, the trees, all of the property, no regard for it. Noise. You’ve got ATVs going on, all kinds of – and our Bigfoot just is not – he’s fed up. And he wants something that is more environmentally sound.
And he’s willing to bite off heads, break people in two and fling them over his shoulder if they don’t pay attention.
Danny Bonaduce: He recycles them.
Barry Williams: Yes.
What was your favorite scene or activity that you worked on in the film?
Barry Williams: No question about it. Top of Mount Rushmore with Danny’s character taking a fall and he’s dangling over the edge and I’m holding on. And he’s holding onto my arm. That was the highlight of the filming.
Danny Bonaduce: [There was this actor,] I was driving with him. I’m on the back of a very high powered ATV and we’re going to ride out about the distance of two football teams, turn right and then come around and head straight for the camera.
So it’s about a, 500 yard dash. And right before we’re about to do it Bruce the director says you just settle more of the camera.
You just find the camera for us. Now finding the camera is an acting expression. Say I’m talking to Barry Williams and I’m at 6:00 and he’s at 12:00 and the camera is also behind him at 12:00. I’ve got to lean over. I’ve got to find the sunlight. It is another expression, find the camera.
So he says you’ve got to help this guy find the camera. So I’m doing it but I can’t figure out why I’m doing it because he’s in the front of the ATV driving really fast. He can see everything I can see. So I’m going a little more to the right, a little bit more to the left.
Okay, now straight ahead, gun it. And we start going really fast and I cannot for the life of me, figure it out and I go put on the brakes. And I’m petrified. And he puts on the brakes. It turns out this man is stone blind without his glasses.
And I’m not helping him find the camera as an acting expression. He can’t see it. And we’re going really fast on an ATV with empty but big guns. It was as a matter of fact it wasn’t my favorite. Out of those things your favorite scene is when they’re over.
As it was happening and they said hey, do you want to do that one again? And I said no. I think we’re good with that.
Barry Williams: Yeah.
What was your favorite monster movie growing up?
Danny Bonaduce: I don’t know if you want to consider it a monster movie but this is with your, you know, as a disc jockey or a talk show host I’ve moved into half a dozen cities or more and there are some things that you can just count on. And one of them is so what’s the scariest movie that’s ever been made and your phone lines light up. Now I usually have a fight between the Exorcist and Jaws. And in my world Jaws wins out because it’s now been 35 years, something like that but I dive.
And I will tell you there is not a time that I dive that at some point I don’t hear that (da da, da da) from Jaws. Jaws continues to scare me especially on night dives. So if you consider – and I don’t think there’s ever been a Great White shark that big ever caught so I’ll still make it a monster.
My favorite monster movie therefore is Jaws.
Barry Williams: Growing up Frankenstein – the green one with the things coming out of his neck.
Danny Bonaduce: The bolts. Yeah.
Barry Williams: That was the one it would just stay with me after the movie was over and I’d be looking under the bed kind of thing.
After Debbie Gibson and Tiffany did Mega Piranha vs Gatoroid they went on tour together. Any chance you guys might do something?
Danny Bonaduce: Wow. It’s a great question and probably a wonderful tour. It’s very funny. I know both of those young ladies rather well. The year I got into radio was the years they were the hottest. Now Deborah as she prefers to be called now, did you know she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records?
Barry Williams: For what?
Danny Bonaduce: For the youngest person to ever write, produce and perform a million selling album. She wrote all the words, wrote all the music. Yeah, she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. I saw her on Broadway. She’s just a really, really talented girl. Tiffany is a wonderful girl too.
I’m not sure what I would do on a tour with Barry Williams because I’ve done stand up comedy for David Cassidy a couple of times when he’s been in the towns where I’m working. And Barry is a consummate performer. He’s got a song and dance show that he takes on the road.
But comedy is so frightening. It’s hundreds of people daring you to laugh plus they’re usually – if Barry and I were to go and do something together they would want funny reflections from the Partridge Family. Well, it was a very long day and I was ten years old.
I have a couple of funny stories but I don’t have a half an hour’s worth so I don’t know what I would do. But Barry’s got a show he takes on the road.
Barry Williams: Well I will travel but I’m stationed and living in Branson, Missouri where I’m doing – it’s called Lunch with the Brady Bunch. And so it’s a standing show here. I do it four days a week and it opened this year.
And it will be here for the foreseeable future. And it’s a nostalgic ride in a very kind of on the nose way for people that watch – I watch 50 year old women become teenagers in the show because they’re back to 12, 11 years old when they were watching the Brady Bunch and it’s a lot of fun.
So I do take that out as well. We don’t have plans to go out on the road everybody’s got a busy schedule. I’m in Branson. He’s in Seattle. He’s doing a radio show. I’m performing a show here. And you never know. The right thing could come along.
We’ll get to spend some time together with all of you and maybe someone will come up with something that makes sense for us and we’ll show up and do it.
Danny Bonaduce: Can I ask a question, what is – because I’ve seen your stage act. What is Lunch with the Brady Bunch?
Barry Williams: That’s the show that I’m doing.
Danny Bonaduce: Are there other Bradys there?
Barry Williams: I have the new Brady Bunch kids with me. So they are all…
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, very smart.
Barry Williams: So I’ve got them in costume, original choreography. We’re doing all the music. It’s multimedia. It’s, you know, I’m using support clips and graphics and photos and stories.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, that sounds fun. I would totally come see that.
Barry Williams: It’s the whole ride. In fact at one point, there are a couple of things but one of the songs, I talk about how the Bradys became a concert – or recording act because I had gone to the producer and I said look, there are all of these families that are making records.
And some of them are selling millions of records, why not the Brady Bunch kids? I mean look at the Jackson 5, look at the Osmond Brothers, the Archies and of course the Partridge Family. And then the Greg character that I – is in my show he comes out and sings with everybody, I Think I Love You.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, that’s hysterical.
Barry Williams: And a little bit of One Bad Apple and ABC and Sugar Sugar and like that.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, that sounds like a great show.
Barry Williams: It’s a fun show. It is a fun show.
Syfy as a network has really sort of owned the campy monster movie genre which kind of harkens back to the ’50s monster movie that were sort of unintentionally campy. What do you think the appeal is now for people? Why do people want to stay home on a Saturday night and watch these campy monster movies?
Danny Bonaduce: One thing I think is the appeal is you’ve got to remember like shows like take American Idol for example their final nights are the biggest rating nights on network TV.
And if they can get 23 million viewers they pop open the champagne and they absolutely flip out. Well both the Brady Bunch and the Partridge Family had 40 million viewers every single Friday night. There wasn’t that much – it’s not that we were that great although I thought they were great shows.
But the fact is there were three to five channels back then, not 300 to 500 channels. And your options were limited. So I think one of the things is to go back to something you remember and secondly, something from your youth and something that was good.
And the juxtaposition of Greg Brady and Danny Partridge in the same, they’re almost the yin and yang if you will. You grew up with one and in a way, and I’ve heard this over the years, you kind of rooted for one or liked one better than the other.
But I think, if I hadn’t played Danny Partridge I’d stay home on a Saturday night and make sure to watch this. This seems like a can’t miss formula for – at least for the foreseeable future.
But the guy that had the guts to say it in a meeting hey listen, I’ve got a great idea and we should do this for the foreseeable future – how about Debbie Gibson and Tiffany fight monsters and then have it work for them. I think the real strength came on pitching the idea.
Once the idea came to fruition I think it’s an almost no brainer. I would absolutely watch Greg Brady and Danny Partridge fight it out over Bigfoot or anything else for that matter. As a matter of fact, I think they should do a whole series.
Greg Brady and I should team up on hunting down monsters in the wild. I hear there’s – oh no, that was Piranhaconda. They did that last week. There’s a giant animal in Australia that needs capturing and only Greg and Danny can save the day.
Barry Williams: I also wanted to add something. Yeah, there’s no shortage of monsters to harness.
Danny Bonaduce: No, because the Tasmanian tiger dog – we could go get that.
Barry Williams: I wanted to add also partly from this question and the one just before it in terms of the campiness of it and approach to making the movie. If you play the movie to be campy – if you play it then it just becomes corny. And that’s not really enjoyable to me.
That’s not the kind of movie I would want to see. I do think it’s a way to be nicely entertained with a lot of action. There’s stuff going on from the get go. This is not the kind of a movie that waits until the last three minutes to show the monster.
That guy is out and stepping on people like in the first 30 seconds. And then you’ve got helicopters and you’ve got hang gliders and you’ve got the Air Force and you have big guns and you have fights going on and you’ve got it’s just nonstop with action.
So there’s something always going on to hold and pique your interest. While it doesn’t require a lot of over thinking. You’re on the ride and you go, like a roller coaster.
Syfy is known for its crazy creatures in its films. So how do you think Bigfoot stands apart?
Danny Bonaduce: For me I think if we’re going to take that legitimately I think our Bigfoot could beat up their Piranhaconda. I’m serious. I think the casting was really smart and really clever. And the script was really good and the direction’s really good.
But if you’re talking about just bad ass monsters, I’ve seen the other ones and I think our Bigfoot could kick their snakes’ and their sharks’ but.
Barry Williams: Well he’s flicking away bullets like someone’s throwing soft peas at him. And as Danny pointed out, this – I didn’t even realize. I guess I’m glad I was looking in the right place but this – he must be 40 feet – at least 40 feet tall.
Danny Bonaduce: Easy. Easy.
Barry Williams: It – I mean this thing is – he is big and bad and mad.
What other projects do you guys have coming up?
Barry Williams: Other projects? I’m living in Branson, Missouri. I opened a show at a theater here doing – it’s called Lunch with the Brady Bunch and it’s a musical variety show and a nostalgic ride of all of – it’s like the best of the Brady Bunch on stage.
It’s the best of the elements. Best of the clips. Best of the stories, all of that stuff on stage. And that is what I do now. That’s, you know, that’s four days a week. And I’ve moved here to Branson to build it and to do it and to stay here with it.
And then other projects will come in during the January and March. In part I’ll be taking this on the road like Danny talked – mentioned. And then other things come up as they come up.
This movie happened to be slotted right in that break between January and March when I’m available to do other things. And so we’ll see what happens this year.
Danny Bonaduce: I’m really blessed – morning talk show host is a very nice job. I just moved to Seattle this year. And I do a cable comedy show called, the World’s Dumbest and it’s on TruTV I think Thursday nights at 9:30 but they re-run the heck out of it.
So they accommodate me but I just fly out of here at 10:00 am on a Friday and I’m down in LA one Friday a month and I film four episodes of the World’s Dumbest. And that’s just been wonderful to me. I used to call it my alimony show.
But one of these days she’ll go away. Yeah, Bigfoot come to think about it isn’t my only monster movie. There is the alimony. But…
Barry Williams: I’ve just got to say I’m…
Danny Bonaduce: …yeah, so I’ve been doing…
Barry Williams: I was just going to say I’m glad that my book Growing Up Brady was successful because that paid for my first divorce.
Danny Bonaduce: Dude, don’t you know it? You’d think of all of the things we have seen we’d learn something. I cannot believe how long this World’s Dumbest has been on. I’ve done 130 episodes so far and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. It’s one of TruTV’s most popular television shows.
And by the way, you can podcast my radio show.
Barry Williams: Cool. I’ll do that.
You both talked about working with Alice Cooper but I was wondering what it was like to work with some of the actors because there are some pretty big names in this movie like Howard Hessman and Sherilyn Fenn.
Danny Bonaduce: Oh, I had a wonderful time. At one point or another because I’ve been a talk show host for 25 years now. I’ve interviewed all of them at least once. But it’s a revolving door of what we are promoting now.
I don’t expect them to have great memories of me. But I have a Bruce Davison memory that really didn’t even involve him. This will give you the idea of I call everybody on the radio a disc jockey whether they’re a talk show host or not.
When they remade Willard II, at the grand premier of that I got in a glass coffin as a promotional thing for I guess somebody had made some money, either my radio station or the movie company, one of the two. I got in a glass coffin with 2000 rats.
And I really held that against Bruce because that was one of my favorite movies and they wouldn’t have remade it had he not done such a good job and I wouldn’t have been in a glass box with 2000 rats.
Barry Williams: I want to talk about Howard Hessman for just a minute. He is a consummate actor, so much so that you almost wonder if he’s doing anything because it’s just so believable. He is a great example Danny by the way, of less is more.
He’s so comfortable in what he does and so real in what he does. And it was very interesting for me and I would watch him and learn things from him. I also got to spend time with him. We visited downtown Seattle and spent a day together.
And he has stories, oh my gosh, that go back since before I was acting and I’ve been acting for 46 years. So I really, really appreciated and was very happy that Howard was a part of our show even if he didn’t have as much to do in it as I might have liked.
Danny Bonaduce: I wouldn’t have thought that but when you said that, the only way sometimes I knew – except he was getting every single laugh he was supposed to…
Barry Williams: Oh yeah.
Danny Bonaduce: …he was – Barry’s right. He’d play them so light but he often – because we were really playing from the seat of our pants – he would often ad lib and that’s how I know okay, he’s taking this seriously. And every ad lib was funnier than the next.
That guy is very, very talented. And it’s funny. If you don’t make sure to watch it Barry’s absolutely right because it’s hard to tell what that guy’s doing until you realize he’s getting a bigger laugh this time than last time. He’s really good. I really enjoyed working with him.
Barry Williams: Yeah. He’s got a really interesting character too, playing the mayor. He’s kind of like the mayor in your movie Jaws. He’ll do anything to make a buck, to skim the city, to sell it out. Whatever he needs to do.
Danny Bonaduce: Right. Yeah, that’s true.
If you were pitching a movie, another movie and not a sequel to Bigfoot, to Syfy what would you pitch for a movie of the week?
Danny Bonaduce: I’ve actually given this some serious thought. I have this great idea.
I have an idea for a vampire film or a vampire movie of the week but it’s played by a working band. A band. A rock and roll band or a goth kind of band that you would recognize. A goth band with records out.
But if you think about it, a rock and roll band’s job besides performing is to sleep all day and be out all night so these vampires would never be in hiding. Plus we’re talking about Alice Cooper who I saw at the Hollywood Bowl in 1977 cuts his head off in a guillotine.
So these guys would bite their victims live on stage and everybody would think it was just part of the show. So my first pitch to Syfy would be a rock and roll vampire movie.
Barry Williams: I like outer space and I think it would be fun to first of all, casting would have to be the same. It would have to be, you know, Danny and Barry at each other trying to save the world for different reasons. But I’d like to start in some kind of a spaceship that hits a different planet.
And it’s a hostile planet and it’s jeopardizing Earth because it’s important to save the world and somebody has to do it. So to get in and infiltrate it and come at it from different directions and with cross purposes and have that kind of conflict going on.
But ultimately get to the root of the problem and the monsters, whoever they are, the bad guys and we should not be in human form of any kind and then – and hopefully at the end of the day save the world.
Is it sort of a curse or is it a privilege to be sort of remembered first and foremost for an iconic role from when you were younger?
Danny Bonaduce: It’s an absolute privilege. I can’t imagine that Barry feels too differently. But, you know, he’s got a show in Branson right now called Lunch with the Brady Bunch.
Barry Williams: Lunch with the Brady Bunch.
Danny Bonaduce: So I imagine he does embrace it. But here are the facts as far as I am concerned. That almost all of the good things that have come to me in my adult life have something to do with the fact that I was on the Partridge Family.
I would not be – as Barry and I were both saying, it had to be Greg Brady versus Danny Partridge in this movie or there was going to be no movie. It’s funny, when I do interviews for things and I do a lot of them, people almost seem afraid to ask the question.
How can you possibly interview me without bringing up the Partridge Family? I can see because of some of the interviews that I’ve done with people who are mostly famous for one thing they did a long time ago and they really resent it. I’m not one of them.
I could not be more grateful for the Partridge Family and know the blessings that it has brought me.
Barry Williams: Well I’m going to echo that. Type casting works against you if it prevents you from getting jobs that you really want to do. I’m sure there are things that I’m not considered for because I’m known as kind of the good guy Greg from the Brady Bunch.
But I’ve had a varied career that has included Broadway. I’ve been a DJ. I’ve written a book. I’ve produced movies. I’ve done every play I’ve wanted to do. I’ve got a great show that’s about the Brady Bunch. And I echo your sentiment Danny.
There’s a tremendous amount of privilege that comes with people both being familiar with you but in a kind way and a way that makes them feel good.
Or as I was talking about earlier, sometimes takes them back into their own childhood when the whole world felt safer and more fun for them. So with anything there are there are two sides to everything.
But overall, grateful would be the word I think that I would attach to my association with the Brady Bunch.
Danny Bonaduce: I’m with you.
What do you think you guys would be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now in the entertainment industry?
Danny Bonaduce: Let’s see. With my skills and reputation I’m fairly confident I’d be dead. It’s funny and I don’t mean to make fun of the poor girl. She’s a darling young lady. But we did the 40th anniversary of the first episode of the Partridge Family on the Today Show.
And Matt Lauer asked that exact same question but in my opinion at a very unfortunate moment. He’s going down the line asking questions and then he gets to Suzanne Crough, the girl who played Tracy.
And he says, so what do you do now? And she said I’m the Assistant Manager at Office Max. And then he says so what do you think you’d be doing if you hadn’t been in the Partridge Family? And there was this really big giant silence and I said she’d be working at Staples man.
So the Partridge Family – I have no idea but my family is a very talented group of people. I would love to think that I would be doing something very interesting.
But by just some of the things I have done even with the blessings that I have been given and how hard I’ve tried to waste them, I can’t imagine that I would be living the very happily married, very structured home owning, go to work every morning kind of life that I get to lead.
Barry Williams: I have never considered another option than the one I’m doing and continue to pursue and reinvent. I wanted to be an actor/singer from the time I was four years old. I started when I was 11 and I have never looked back. I’ve never had a backup. I’ve never taken another job.
Everything I’ve done has been on – in front of the camera or behind it and that’s what I’m doing now. The show that I’ve developed – this show has taken 2-1/2 years to get Lunch with the Brady Bunch to where it is now. And there are some really cool elements.
It’s not a corny show at all. It’s a legitimately entertaining, nostalgic ride through things that multi generations of people are familiar with. And I love it. I don’t even set my alarm to get up in the morning. I can’t wait to get going.
I’m here. I’m loving it. And I can’t think of anything else I could be doing that would bring me more satisfaction.