Following in the footsteps of his legendary family members, Chaz Bono has evolved by going from a musician and documentary film star to film acting and producing, and he says that is enjoying every moment of it.
Currently, Bono is starring in the horror film Bury The Bride where the movie was prominently featured at the Salem (Mass) Horror Film Fest. It was also recently screened at the Panic Fest in Kansas City.
Previously, he contributed to two books discussing the process of coming out and was an ardent activist for LGBTQ rights. While he was swept up in activism to fight social injustices for the LGBTQ community, this part of his life is in the past, and he is nurturing his creative side in movies.
In May 2010, Bono legally changed his gender and name. A documentary on Bono’s experience, Becoming Chaz, was screened at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and later made its television debut on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
The offspring of the legendary performer Cher and the late Sonny Bono, Chaz Bono became widely known in appearances as a child on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour.
Bono’s latest movie, Bury The Bride, features bride-to-be June’s bachelorette getaway that turns deadly when her blood-thirsty fiance and his backwoods friends show up to crash the party.
What follows becomes a living nightmare of unholy proportions as June, her sister Sadie, and their closest friends fight for their lives, and avenge the ones who don’t make it through the night.
In addition to Bono, the film stars Krsy Fox, Scout Taylor-Compton, Dylan Rourke, Lyndsi LaRose, Katie Ryan, Rachel Brunner, Cameron Cowperthwaite, and Adam Marcinowski.
With previous credits in Curb Your Enthusiasm and American Horror Story, Bono has started a new chapter in his life and believes he has found his footing in movies, especially horror movies, and admits that he is happier than ever.
Read on for the twists and turns of Chaz Bono’s career, his penchant for a timely hobby during the pandemic, and the entertainment legend he would like to work with on the big screen.
Monsters and Critics: What attracted you to this movie, Bury the Bride?
Chaz Bono: I have been looking to start producing stuff. My manager has kind of drilled that into my head that you just can’t rely on getting jobs, you have to make opportunities. He introduced Krsy Fox and me, who he also represents. We really hit it off and did a couple of projects together. When they wrote this script, I really liked it and wanted to be a part of it, so decided to produce it, too.
A friend of mine had just made an indie horror movie, so I interviewed the special effects guy and just about every cast member, and I thought it was a great deal of fun. It was a very low-budget movie but a great experience all around.
M&C: So, I have to ask is horror a genre that you grew up with, or as an adult is it something that you enjoy? Have you seen a lot of them?
Chaz Bono: Yes, I watch a lot of horror movies because I enjoy them very much. I really enjoy working in horror. As a character actor, it allows me to just play a myriad of different types of roles. The horror fans are absolutely amazing and it’s just a great community to work in.
M&C: What was happening in any downtime during the movie?
Chaz Bono: We didn’t have a lot of downtime. We made the movie in seven days.
M&C: Where did you shoot this?
Chaz Bono: We shot in Lancaster, California. It’s in the high desert.
M&C: Was there one scene in Bury the Bride that was the most challenging or difficult for you?
Chaz Bono: I think my challenge in this part was I don’t speak for most of the movie. So, I have to really kind of convey a lot without words. I had to act without speaking and kind of try to give hints about my character’s story, which I eventually tell at one point later in the film. There are some roles that you don’t speak about, but generally, it’s not the norm. That was kind of a new and interesting challenge for me, but it was fun.
M&C: Did you do anything to personally prepare yourself? I know that some actors have rituals that they engage in before getting on set.
Chaz Bono: I do have a preparation. As I’m learning my lines, I start to kind of come up with choices for my character, usually there. Then I try to go to set prepared and ready, but not locked into anything because you just don’t know what you’re going to get from whoever you’re working with. You’ve got to be ready to react to that and you can’t be too locked in.
M&C: Do you know your next movie or project?
Chaz: I have a movie coming out later this year, another horror movie called Bell Keeper. Then we are in pre-production with the same team that did Bury the Bride for our next movie that we’re going to film in June. That’s the immediate plan.
M&C: Does that movie have a title yet?
Chaz Bono: It does, but I don’t know if I should say it yet. What I can tell you is it’s going to be really different than Bury the Bride. It’s not a big ensemble cast, it’s much more of an intimate portrait about – there’s kind of this theme of parenthood to it.
M&C: Are you still doing advocacy work?
Chaz: No, I don’t do any kind of big advocacy work anymore. I’m really just focused on my career as an actor and a producer.
M&C: Do you see music in your future?
Chaz Bono: Oh, Lord, no, absolutely not. I really didn’t enjoy my time in the music industry. So, no, absolutely not. Never. That one I can say for sure.
M&C: Everybody seems to have a guilty pleasure these days. Some streaming show or some kind of movie. Is there something if I gave you the weekend off that you would want to see?
Chaz Bono: There are so many good things right now on TV and streaming. We’ve been waiting for the new season of Ted Lasso to completely finish before we start watching it, so that’s one we love. There are so many good shows.
M&C: If you had to give one or two pieces of advice to a young person who’s just come up against a lot of difficulties, what would you tell them to help them get through it?
Chaz Bono: I think just perseverance and not giving up is probably the most important thing. I was just speaking with a filmmaker yesterday at a festival that we were at. I think especially in my industry too many people give up before the miracle actually happens. I think I would give people the advice to just stick to stuff, don’t give up. If that’s what you really want to do go for it; find a way to make it happen.
M&C: Is there somebody specifically – actors, directors, producers – that you want to work with, either in the horror or non-horror genre?
Chaz Bono: I’d love to work with horror director Jordan Peele, I did some small part in a Rob Zombie film, but it would be really fun to do something a little bigger and work with him. There are a ton of actors I’d like to work with. Also, I’m somebody who’s really open, and I’m happy on every set I go on.
M&C: Would you ever want to work with your legendary mom in the future?
Chaz Bono: Yes, if it was the right project, absolutely. I would love to see my mom acting again. That would be amazing.
M&C: Has anybody over the years given you specific acting advice or life advice? Did it help?
Chaz Bono: I studied extensively, so I don’t know if that’s advice. There are very few people that can just get up and act. It’s something that you really need the training and the time to invest in learning your craft.
M&C: A lot of people that I’ve interviewed lately don’t like to watch themselves after they have made a movie or a TV series. They’re very nitpicky, I could have done this better, this differently, or whatever. Are you like that?
Chaz Bono: No, I’m not usually like that. I usually try to do work that I will hopefully be happy with. So far there’s only been one thing, a very small cable thing that I did that I was just like I was off on that. Generally, I enjoy watching myself. It took me a really long time to get to finally be doing what I want to do with my life, so I just really enjoy that.
M&C: How did you feel about the documentary Becoming Chaz? Was that a good experience for you?
Chaz Bono: Yes, it was. It just feels like it’s so long ago. It’s like my life just doesn’t resemble that anymore. But, yeah, at the time it was a really good experience.
M&C: Do you feel that the impact of COVID-19 and the pandemic lockdown took away so many of our opportunities that it impacted your current choices?
Chaz Bono: It definitely impacted me. In my business it was, like everything else, it shut down. I didn’t work for two years. That was really, really hard. Then, of course, it was just a scary time. I think, like a lot of people reemerging also had its challenges. Comfy lockdown that then it’s like now we can go out again. That’s an adjustment.
M&C: Did you have any hobbies to engage in as a pastime?
Chaz Bono: I learned to build watches, actually. That was a hobby that I picked up from YouTube. I haven’t built one in a while, but I do. I can. I’ve made lots of watches for people and had a great deal of fun.
M&C: What are a few reasons that you want my readers to see this movie?
Chaz Bono: I think for horror fans it’s just a fun movie, it’s a fun ride. I’m always going to describe the film as – to me, it feels like a roller coaster. The beginning of the film really is kind of laying down the story and the relationships. But you know something bad is coming. To me, it’s kind of like the beginning of the film is going up that hill in the roller coaster before you go down and start. That’s really the rest of the film.
When the groom and his buddies come in, things get really dark really fast. Their energy just doesn’t let up; it’s just kind of relentless. I think that horror fans are going to love this film. We just premiered it at Panic Fest and we had an extremely positive response there.
Bury The Bride is available on Tubi.