Meet Hollywood’s hottest Zombies – NY Post interviews Rob and Sheri Moon
Rob and Sheri Moon Zombie chat to the New York Post about how their married life and working life come together. Sheri has long been Rob’s muse in his music and movie work and has become an integral piece of his filmmaking career, with her bringing to life of such iconic characters as Baby Firefly. Enjoy the interview with the couple.
Meet Hollywood’s hottest Zombies
by LARRY GETLEN
Musician-filmmaker Rob Zombie and his wife, actress Sheri Moon Zombie, are the first couple of modern horror.
His movies — including “House of 1,000 Corpses,” “The Devil’s Rejects” and two “Halloween” sequels — feature some of the goriest scenes of violence and cruelty on film today. Sheri, his love of 20 years, has appeared in all of them, dishing out sadistic entertainment in roles such as the murderous Baby Firefly, who casually utters phrases like, “If someone needs to be killed, you kill ’em.”
But when The Post meets up with the demented, dreadlocked genius and his ravishing scream queen at their publicist’s Midtown office — where they’ve come to discuss their latest film, “The Lords of Salem,” which hits theaters on Friday — there is one unexpected thing about them we can’t help but notice: The King and Queen of Guts and Gore are absolutely adorable.
We ask about the origins of this latest movie, which stars Sheri as Heidi, a DJ in Salem, Mass., who is haunted by spirits from the witch-trial days. As the couple settle into chairs around a large conference table, Rob offers Sheri his coat. “You seem like you’re gonna shiver,” he says.
She repays his kindness by jokingly taking credit for the film. “It was actually my idea,” she says. “I dictated my ideas to Rob, and he wrote ’em down.”
“You talk in your sleep,” he says. “That part’s true. You did the other night — but it didn’t make any sense. Something about shoes.”
The Zombies — that is their real last name; Rob changed it legally from his surname Cummings in 1996 — met 20 years ago at a New Haven, Conn., club called Toad’s Place, back when Rob led the popular heavy-metal band White Zombie. At first, Sheri says she was standoffish toward the man she’d be moving in with one month later.
“I was kinda mean to you the first night we met, right?” she asks, prompting a soft, whispered, “Yes,” from her husband.
While Rob, 48, was always a horror fan, their early years together were focused on his musical life, and Sheri, who had trained to be a DJ, began dancing with the band onstage and appearing in its videos.
Despite the couple’s heavy horror leanings, Sheri, 42, says their courtship was conventional. When asked if he took her to lots of horror films and events, she recoils — “He’s not that much of a nerd!” — saying they went on normal dates: dinners out, walks on the Santa Monica pier.
Nine years later, after planning a big wedding, they made a spur-of-the-moment decision to elope a few weeks early, on what they swear was the completely coincidental date of Halloween.
“It sounds like we’re trying to be all spooky and weird, but that really wasn’t the plan,” says Rob.
“That was kinda by accident. We had our wedding date set for November 9,” says Sheri. “We’d been together for nine years already, and we had the wedding planner and all that stupid stuff, and we were taking a walk in the neighborhood and were like, ‘Let’s just elope.’ It was the best thing we did. I was so happy.”
Since then, their film careers have evolved parallel to their romantic life, as Sheri has appeared in all six of Rob’s directorial efforts.
“Both of our first movies were together,” says Rob. “So it was like, ‘Do you know what you’re doing?’ ‘No.’ “Do you know what you’re doing?’ ‘No.’ ‘Let’s do it anyway!’ ”
While Rob creates the projects in which Sheri acts, the two consider themselves one creative organism. Discussing the real origin of “The Lords of Salem,” Rob recalls his nervousness at showing the script to his prospective star for the first time, an anxiety he’s grown accustomed to over the years.
“I had in mind that she would play the part [of Heidi],” says Rob. “But there’s always that nerve-wracking moment when I give her the script. I go, ‘OK, I’m done. Can you read this?’ And she goes upstairs and reads it and then comes downstairs, with no expression on her face.”
“The Lords of Salem” marks an evolution for both. While Sheri, who chooses to act only in her husband’s films, faced her biggest role to date, Rob toned down his characteristic gore to make a film that is more about haunting atmosphere than blatant shocks.
“The other movies were very violent, in-your-face movies. One person is attacking another, and that person is reacting to it,” he says. “I wanted this movie to be like a surreal nightmare, where at the end you felt like you’ve watched someone’s nightmare being filmed.”
Rob just released a novelization of the new film and has a CD called “Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor” coming out next week. He’ll now embark on a lengthy tour, with Sheri coming along as a dancer. He is also working on the script for his next film, “Broad Street Bullies,” a hockey drama that marks his first non-horror effort, and possibly a larger turning point in their careers.
“I don’t even know if I’ll ever make another horror movie,” he says. “I don’t just love horror movies, I love all movies. I don’t like the idea of being pigeonholed and trapped in things, even if they’re things I love.”
As for Sheri, after brutalizing and being brutalized on-screen for a decade, a straightforward drama might be the most shocking thing her husband can involve her in.
“Our motto before shooting scenes is, ‘Let’s get weird.’ Nothing can shock me,” Sheri says. “But if we shoot a film in Hawaii, on the beach, I’ll be shocked. Happy, but shocked.”
“ ‘The Lords of Barbados,’ ” says Rob, possibly charting a course for the next phase of their collective career.