FilmFrak Interview Special: The NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE Starring Fred Williamson



FilmFrak Interview Special: The NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE Starring Fred Williamson

Recently we were honored to speak to the badass frakking living legend Fred Williamson, well emailed at least.

Appearing in over 130 feature films and TV Shows, Mr. Williamson is the iconic star of 70’s action classics like BLACK CAESAR, THREE THE HARD WAY, HELL UP IN HARLEM, HAMMER, BUCKTOWN and the original INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. He’s probably most recognizable to modern audiences for his part as Frost in Robert Rodriguez’s, Quentin Tarantino scripted FROM DUSK TILL DAWN.

Promoting his latest film NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE Williamson brings his own brand of take-no-shit ass-kickery to the interview. So enjoy reading this Film Frak moment with a bonafide cult hero.



It’s truly an honor to have you take the time to answer a few questions. Thank you. You’ve had such a vast and varied career spanning decades, it’s so cool you continue to kick-ass and take names. Your latest feature NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE is a throwback of sorts; a DIRTY DOZEN/INGLORIOUS BASTARDS meets ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 mercenary actioner. How did the part, which seems written specifically for you come your way? –Film Frak Adam-

Fred Williamson: I was approached by the director who was a friend. I read the script and saw that he understood the type of characters I play. He knew my rules. You can’t kill me in a movie. I have to win my fights and I get the girl if I want her. I always throw the last one in to give them an out. The first two I demand. So to help him get his film distributed I agreed to help him.

Your famous for many things and doing your own stunts is one of them. Did you do your own stunts in NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE? I ask this of all actors who do their own stunts. What was the worst injury you ever suffered on set? What is the most memorable stunt you ever performed?  – Film Frak Adam-

Fred-Williamson-Nazi-Doomsday-Device-3Fred Williamson: I always do my own stunts because I can and my fans watch very close to if it’s me. After 10 years of pro football and over 40 years of acting no serious injuries. A few bumps and bruises that’s it.

My close call came when I was doing BLACK COBRA in Manilla. We were shooting at night on a roof top 3 stories high. After fighting the bad guys I ran down the roof out of site from the camera. The Italian director forgot to call cut which sometimes they do. So I ran off the roof and dropped three stories down. Luckily I fell on top of a car and smashed the top completely and walked away with only a bruised hand that flopped over and hit the mirror of the car.

The most dangerous was jumping on top of a moving train in INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. It was never a doubt by Enzo the director that I could do it. They never asked, he just said “the next set up you jump from a bridge onto a moving train” and I said “ok”.

At 80 years and 6’3″ you still stay in great shape! What do you do these days to stay fit? – Film Frak Jon-

Fred Williamson: Stay in shape? That’s easy I eat black jelly beans not the colored ones. Only the black and that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

On the acting side, with well over a hundred films and never a slow year in your career, what is it about the film industry that you love so much? After all these years how has your work evolved and what lessons have you learned? –Film Frak Jon-

Fred Williamson: The film industry only satisfies my creative side. I was an architect after football and before the movies. Hollywood is all BS and anyone that takes it seriously becomes lost souls. That’s the lesson I learned as I observed most of the actors

The first time I saw you onscreen was in the original series STAR TREK episode The Cloud Minders. What are your memories of that early role and that time at the beginning of your career? –Film Frak Adam-

Fred-Williamson-Nazi-Doomsday-Device-4Fred Williamson: I was still playing pro football when I happened to be in a restaurant. Someone came over to the table and asked if I was the Hammer. I said “yes” they said “we need someone to beat up Captain Kirk” I said “I’m yo man”. That’s what happened.

The other seminal role that made an impact on me was in M*A*S*H. How did that role come to you? What, if anything did you learn about the industry and filmmaking in general from working with Altman? –Film Frak Adam-

Fred Williamson: M*A*S*H happened the same way. I was working on the JULIA show with Dianne Carroll when I was approached by this man who asked if I was the Hammer. We were shooting on the same 20th century lot. I said “yes”. He said “I’m doing a movie I have a football game in it. Would you direct and cast all the football players” And so I did.

Your Blaxploitation films are an absolute blast, both back then and now. BLACK CEASAR and HELL UP IN HARLEM are iconic roles of yours that for many of us define what your formidable presence onscreen can deliver. At the time how did you approach these starring roles? –Film Frak Adam-

Fred Williamson: No one ever said the Hammer was not smart. I saw what was happening in Hollywood. They were losing money in the huge big budgets and needed to refill their pockets. They decided to jump on the black movie business where they could spend less and still make a big profit. The black actors fell for this sudden interest in making black films so they fell into the trap of making let’s get Whitey films.  When I came aboard my plan was to kill all the bad guys. Black. White. Yellow. Green. Purple. All colors so my films would not be called Blaxploitation. This short run only lasted four years. Other actors of that time have disappeared and I’m still here.

I actually own one of your infamous Blaxploitation films from 1975 on DVD BOSS NIGGER, which even the title alone nowadays would incite riots in the online community. Even being as tongue in cheek as it is, do you think the fact that it would be impossible to get a movie like this made nowadays is a sign of progression or is it just overbearing censorship of today’s ultra-sensitive society that can’t seem to discern context anymore? What do you see as the legacy of these films? –Film Frak Jon-

Fred-Williamson-Nazi-Doomsday-Device-5Fred Williamson: Ignorance can be profitable. I learned how to turn a negative into a positive to race relations but you’re too young and I can’t explain it to you in a text or email.

You were in the original Italian war actioner INGLORIOUS BASTARDS along with the post-apocalyptic hoot 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS among several others. What were the differences in the Italian approach to action cinema on set and off as opposed to American in your experience? –Film Frak Adam-

Fred Williamson: Italians love what they do in life and film making which makes working for them more fun and relaxed.

Was there actually scripted dialogue you were following in the scene where you start to re-enact some sort of old war flashback in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN or was that all just improvised? The dialogue fades out and I’ve always wondered. –Film Frak Jon-

Fred Williamson: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was mostly improvised by me especially the Vietnam scene. I had to keep talking to give my friend time to change into a vampire which he did and I finally threw him through the wall letting the bats in before I changed.

Of all your roles, do you have a favorite character you played and why? –FilmFrak Jon-

Fred Williamson: What’s my fav?  All are fun creating characters and still maintaining who I am. I’m a bad ass with a badge as most of my movies portray me. It’s good fun with excellent pay not as much as football players today but ok.


Watch the trailer for NAZI DOOMSDAY DEVICE

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