Sadler reaping success from 'Bogus Journey'
Character actor William Sadler used his imagination to help land the scene-stealing role of the Grim Reaper in "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey." He showed up at auditions with white pancake make-up on his face, a quirky Czech accent on his lips, and a crazed, wacky attitude about the infamous symbol of death.
"I went after this role hard, and I played the heck out of it," Sadler says, "because I wanted to let people see me do comedy."
The Buffalo-born actor started in stand-up comedy, but didn't achieve much success until he turned to drama, first in a community theater production of "The Subject Was Roses" and then in a series of films, usually as the villain.
"In my first movie, 'Project X,' I killed a few chimps," Sadler says. "In 'Hard to Kill,' I killed a few people. In 'Die Hard II,' I killed hundreds of people. And now, as the Grim Reaper, I kill everybody who EVER died! I guess I'm making progress.
"And I've finally made a film that my little daughter can go see," he adds.
Sadler may not be recognizable under heavy makeup, and in the Reaper's trademark robes, but he certainly is discernable in a secondary cameo as part of a family of three depicted briefly in a kitchen scene.
"I asked the movie producer for some sort of scene without the make-up. Let's face it, I'm vain.
"Besides, I wanted film students at NYU to have something to write about 20 years from now."