Emmy Award winner Bill Oberst Jr. is already a horror icon. He graduated from a masterful character actor into full fledged horror royalty. The dichotomy of the dark roles that he chooses, and the nice, decent, and cultured man he is in real life, make him irresistibly fascinating. He has graced independent cinema by elevating the roles he’s been given with an unforgettable relish that hearkens back to another age when actors completely embodied a role, making it virtually impossible to imagine any else being able to take their place.
There’s only one Bill Oberst Jr., which is a shame. He really is one of the nicest guys ever. I had the privilege of interviewing him in 2012, and he suggested the subject matter: God, the devil, good and evil as the foundations of all horror. It remains the best conversation I’ve ever had on the subject, and I realized then that he gets it. He knew that whether or not anyone believed in anything beyond what they could see, the concept of good and evil was inescapable. Other PopHorror writers have been blessed with the chance to speak with Bill. You can read those interviews here and here.
Bill’s latest project is called Bill Oberst Jr.’s Gothic Goodnight. It’s a smooth evening cocktail of musings and classic verse spoken by Bill himself.
From the press release:
Emmy Award and Lon Chaney Award-winning actor Bill Oberst Jr.’s new podcast is meant to put you to sleep. Bill Oberst Jr.’s Gothic Goodnight features the cult actor, known for roles in over 100 horror films (as well as horror-themed episodes of TV shows like Criminal Minds and Scream Queens), lulling listeners to rest with excerpts from Gothic fiction. Each episode of 30 minutes or less features a reading, Oberst’s musings on the piece, and the actor’s famously unsettling voice whispering a quiet “Goodnight.”
The literary selections, which in the first three episodes of the weekly podcast have included works by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Ray Bradbury and Robert Louis Stevenson, are chosen by Oberst himself, with an emphasis on what he calls “lush language,” atmosphere and a sense of the tragic. The show was inspired, he says, by the sudden change in social habits brought about by the coronavirus. You can even leave him a voice message to let him know what you thought of that week’s podcast.
“This is my little midnight whisper into the vast abyss of loneliness,” said Oberst.
“Dark tales are a balm in times of trouble,” Oberst said. “They help us to accept the night.”
I highly recommend Episode 2, “Speak of the Devil.” After all, you can’t have the dark without the light. Sweet dreams.
Gothic Goodnight Official Site: https://bill-oberst-jr-gothic-goodnight.captivate.fm/
Bill Oberst Jr. Official Site: http://billoberst.com/