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GRANT: Did you expect that Rad was going to be a cult classic, so to speak?
BILL: You know, I really did. With the caliber of the production team and what was going on there … there really weren't any other movies like it. We expected it to be huge with the kids, and in fact, it did. It was in the top ten video rentals for two years after it's release. And I still get recognized from it. People say, "You remind me of somebody. Didn't you steal my lunch money once?" "I know you! I know you!" They're usually BMX fans who have seen the movie. I've had people recognize me at really odd places and odd times.
GRANT: So how do you feel about your current status as a cult hero? Kind of what Captain Kirk is to Star Trek, what Luke Skywalker is to Star Wars.
BILL: Exactly! It's that unstoppable force like the Brady Bunch … it just won't go away. A lot of time has passed since the filming of that movie, and it's one of those movies that a lot of people saw a lot of times. There's a group of kids who have watched Star Wars 250 times and then there's another group of kids who have watched Rad 250 times.
GRANT: That's probably more than you've sat down to watch it.
BILL: Oh yeah. By a long shot. It's been awhile, but I'm proud of it. It was a good effort, I think. And I got some pretty spectacular stunt riding out of it.
GRANT: Is there any significance to the number 33? Or was that just a random number picked for Cru?
BILL: I'm guessing it was just a random number. The director may have been into numerology, I don't know. There was no hidden meaning but if you want to make up something then I'm all for that.
GRANT: Did you have to do anything to prepare for the role? Like ride a bike for X amount of hours…
BILL: Well, when I do something like that I try to be as proficient at it as I can. Fortunately I did know how to ride a bike. I wasn't an expert by any means, but I had a few weeks before shooting started, and I slept on that bike basically. I wouldn't say I got to be an expert at any tricks, but I was able to get across that I have sat on a bike before.
GRANT: What was the deal with Katie? Cru didn't seem to have his sights set too high with her.
BILL: Oh man! You know, it was one of those local things. He probably knew her all his life…
GRANT: Did Cru keep his promise and take his SATs? And if so, what did he get?
BILL: You know what? He did keep with his promise and scored something like a 1200-1300. He was way up there.
GRANT: There you go. If you had your choice, would it be Foxy or Tiger?
BILL: Wow … I gotta go with Tiger.
GRANT: Just for the outfits alone.
BILL: Yes, quite spectacular costume design.
GRANT: What was the toughest part of working on the film?
BILL: Um … I tried doing as much as the tricks I could, so I guess that was my toughest job. Most of the audience was going to be bike riders themselves so I had to come across like I knew what I was doing. That was my biggest job. The rest was pretty straight-forward acting stuff.
GRANT: It's pretty tough for people like me who ride consistently and still don't look like they know what they're doing!
BILL: It's an actor's trick: get proficient with it and look like you know what you're doing.
GRANT: What was your career like after the movie? What kinds of projects have you worked on?
BILL: I've done two or three features since there. I've collaborated with a good friend of mine, Lou Diamond Phillips. He's an old friend of mine from Texas and I've been in a couple of movies with him. Sioux City, Dangerous Touch … and we also formed a rock band …
GRANT: Get out of here!
BILL: …and toured all over the US and Canada for a couple of years. "The Pipe Fitters."
GRANT: One of my favorite movies with him (Lou Diamond Phillips) was "The Big Hit" with Mark Wahlberg.
BILL: Yeah, he's great. We've been able to collaborate on a bunch of things together. I've done several stage projects out here, I went to Mexico for a few years and did some television shows out there, "Lazarus Man," I don't know if you're familiar with that. "Wishbone," I co-starred with a dog, so that was exciting. In the 90s I started doing some television production. I produced a comedy show for cable. People like Eddie Van Halen and Lou Diamond Phillips were involved in it. I'm writing and producing another comedy video right now. I'm trying to get more behind the camera actually.
GRANT: Do you enjoy that more than acting?
BILL: I enjoy all of it. But with writing and producing you're more hands-on with the piece and involved for a longer period of time. It's a little more fulfilling because it originates with your own ideas and you're on the project a whole lot longer.
GRANT: What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself a few years from now?
BILL: Connecting with all my great BMX fans out there who are wondering what happened to me. Doing more acting and keep doing what I'm doing. More producing. I got married last year. That's been great. Fatherhood down the line, maybe.
GRANT: Rumor has it that you're thinking of doing something again in the BMX world.
BILL: Actually, yes. Strangely enough, there's been two conversations lately about doing a sequel, and another friend of mine is producing a documentary on BMX. He wants to use me and he's going to interview me for that. Yeah, so I'm re-emerging.
GRANT: How about going to races and promoting yourself in that way?
BILL: Yeah, I would love to do that. It's been a long time since I've been to any races and just hanging out with the guys. That whole world is very fascinating to me.
GRANT: One of our biggest pastimes at the bigger national events is to see who can stump who with Rad trivia.
BILL: Are you serious?
GRANT: Yes, I'm serious. It's fun, you know? It's a lot of hard questions.
BILL: Next time you'll just have to call me and verify something.
GRANT: I actually have some questions for you to test your wit.
BILL: Uh, oookay.
Go to page three of this interview and see how Bill does in Rad Trivia.
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