Interview With ‘3 From Hell’s’ Emilio Rivera

In Rob Zombie’s latest, 3 From Hell, there are plenty of new characters to rendezvous with returning favorites. This includes Aquarias, head of the Black Satans. No stranger to bloodshed after playing Marcus Alvarez on both Sons of Anarchy and its spin-off, Mayans MC, Emilio Rivera is the man behind the mask. I was lucky enough to speak to Emilio, and we discussed how he got his part in 3 From Hell, his fondest memory on set, what he has coming up, and, of course, horror movies.

Read or 3 From Hell review – here.

PopHorror: Hi, Emilio! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today. I know you’re super busy.

Emilio Rivera: Hey, Tiffany!

PopHorror: So, what was it about 3 From Hell that made you want to be a part of it?

Emilio Rivera: Well, you know… I’ve always wanted to be a part of a Rob Zombie’s movies, and then, when I got the call that Rob wanted me for his movie, I said, “Whatever else we’re doing, we’re going to do this movie right here, because I want to be a part of that franchise.” I’m so proud to have done it. It was a blast working with Rob. One of the greatest guys I’ve ever worked with. Have you seen the movie yet?

PopHorror: I have, yes.

Emilio Rivera: You have? Okay, well, I can’t say much about what happens, but you know what happens. I hope to work with Rob again though. What a cool, genuine, giving director.

PopHorror: I’ve heard really great things about him. 

Emilio Rivera: It’s all true… it’s all true. If it’s great, it’s true.

PopHorror: I also spoke with both Richard Brake [read our interview here] and Bill Moseley [read our interview here], and they gushed about him. I asked both of them this question, so I want to ask you, too: what was your fondest memory of filming?

Emilio Rivera: All the times I was there were great times, because Rob is a very giving director with what he lets you do. He knows what he wants, and then says, “What do you think?” And lets you do what you want to do. The last scene that you see in the movie, whatever happens there… that was very cool. They really let me go. I don’t know how much they kept in there, but Rob just let me run, man. He let me fucking run. The actors who had wrapped, they didn’t have to be there, but they all stood there for me, man. That was pretty fucking cool. That’s very generous. It was very, very cool. I’ll never forget that. You know, when actors wrap, when they don’t have to be in a shot, they usually go away. But they stood there for my eyeline, and it made me work even harder when I saw them. So it was really cool, man.

PopHorror: That’s awesome! I heard it’s really like a family atmosphere, so I wouldn’t have expected them to leave.

Emilio Rivera: Exactly. You see Rob Zombie on stage and stuff, and you think he’s going to be this loud, crazy guy. You know what? Totally fucking opposite. They’re very Earth people. They’re vegans. They’re that kind of people. It’s really, really cool. I love where their hearts are at.

PopHorror: I’ve heard that about them. 

Emilio Rivera: It’s really weird, because the movies they do are totally the opposite. It’s a trip, you know? It’s a trip.

PopHorror: Right? How did you prepare for your role of Aquarius?

Emilio Rivera: I’ve played that many times on TV, so it’s not hard to get into. I’ve played a lot of revenge, but the only thing different is now, I didn’t know I was going up against a bunch of crazies. That’s the whole thing. You never know who you’re going up against. I’m going up against the worst of the worst, for real, you know what I mean? That just made it pretty fucking cool, man. Because you see my guys, anybody would fear them. Except in 3 From Hell, the fucking Devil’s Rejects. Because they don’t give a shit. 

PopHorror: You’ve had quite an impressive career. I used to watch you on Sons of Anarchy. What is your dream role?

Still from Sons of Anarchy

Emilio Rivera: Thank you. I want to play a mentally challenged person. I’ve been around it, and it’s kind of heartwarming to see innocence that will always stay innocent. It doesn’t matter what age. I’ve seen it up close and personal. It’s sad, but it’s also a blessing. That would be challenging for me, is what I’m trying to say. I’ve played pretty much a lot of different roles already. You get to pour out your heart. I would play that character. It’s been a dream role of mine for years.

PopHorror: Going off of that, if you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

Emilio Rivera: Christopher Walken. 

PopHorror: Heck, yeah!

Emilio Rivera: I love that guy. I want to work with him, and I want to hang out with him in between takes. I want to pick his brain. I just want to hear him talk. I love the way he talks. It’s just great. Fuck yeah, man. Shit. Come on, man. Come on. I’m so intrigued by his work. I can imagine just him in person. That would be the guy.

PopHorror: What are you currently working on?

Emilio Rivera: We’re still doing The Mayans. It comes out every Tuesday night… tonight, actually. I have another show on Netflix, the number one show last year, called On My Block. When I’m done with The Mayans, I’ll go back to do season three. It’s really cool. Really funny show.

PopHorror: I’ll have to check that out. One last question: what is your favorite scary movie?

Emilio Rivera: The one movie that scared the shit out of me was Halloween. I was 17 years-old. When was 12 years-old, Texas Chain Saw Massacre fucked me up. And then, back in the day, back in the 60s, there was one called The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. That movie, I’ll tell you man. Freaked me out for years. For fucking years.

Thanks so much to Emilio Rivera for speaking with us! 3 From Hell will screen for a final time in select theaters on October 14. It will also arrive on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital and On Demand October 15.

About Tiffany Blem

Horror lover, dog mommy, book worm, EIC of PopHorror.

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