An interview with, and a look at the films of, Robert Woods
by William Connolly
with research by Michael Ferguson, Tom Betts and Gordon Harmer
Spaghetti Cinema #53, June 1993
Robert Woods: I think I might have dubbed MY NAME IS PECOS, because I did some of them, but I was so busy that I have very little time... You'll find that most of the actors were so busy that they could not dub themselves. You'd have it in your contract; 'cause I always wanted to dub myself - I mean I do voice-overs and things like that, and I thought it was right to do things like that.
I dubbed alot of Brad Harris films, as a matter of fact.
WC: When I saw you in the makeup for Pecos, I wondered if you had had an accident. It looked rather odd.
RW: I liked the look; I liked the idea. You see, the whole thing about becoming an actor is... I like any kind of thing where you can... Okay, maybe I was playing myself with the Pecos makeup, but it was a way out of myself, you know? Acting for me is an escape. I'm not basically a shy person anyway, but I like to do something different. I played Ned in THE THREEPENNY OPERA and I liked it. I liked to be deformed, you know what I mean? I prefer that to being clean and...
WC: Was it a conscious idea in MY NAME IS PECOS to have the Mexican hero be sort-of a representative of the "Third World" getting back at the Ugly Americans?
RW: Of course. The whole thing about the Europeans is that they don't look at Americans as individuals; they look at us as a suppressive country, because we're the country in power. I mean I'm not kidding; we're very hated almost every where. If you learn the language, they respect you and like you more; you can get along with them, and everything works. I have alot of friends because of that. If you don't bother to learn the language, you're a hated individual or a collective society in Europe.
Many times I've sat in an outdoor cafe and heard Ugly Americans come in and say, "What the hell do you mean 30 thousand lira? We won the war."
And you just want to go: "Whoa...", you know? Or "back to Mom" or something. The worst feeling in the world is to watch Americans behave badly in a place that isn't their's, but Americans have this attitude that, "Hey, we won the war; it's our's, and you should bow-down to me. I'm American."
WC: I figured that that was probably why PECOS was so popular in places like Africa.
RW: Sure, that's why it was. Basically, it had a social message. There were a lot of these films that you might laugh and say they're campy and they're this and that, but they said a few things in those films. Not all of them... PECOS happened to one of them.