Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the world’s most popular cryptids, Bigfoot. Although he still maintains a very busy schedule even after all these years, he was kind enough to give me an exclusive, in-depth interview. I think readers will be surprised at some of his candid responses to my questions. We sat in his living room in Northern California where he resides these days when not off on his annual world-wide tour of wandering the forests of North America. While enjoying a cup of oolong tea, he opened up about his life, his career and even talked about the sex tape incident from a few years ago. Here’s what he had to say:
Me: So… Shall I call you Bigfoot or… Sasquatch?
Bigfoot: Actually you can call me Phil.
Me: Really? Phil?
Bigfoot: Yeah, it’s my birth name. For years I hated it and went with my middle name, Sasquatch, but after my mom passed away a few years ago, I decided to go back to Phil. It’s what she preferred.
Me: So, were you and your mother close?
Bigfoot: Yeah, growing up she was always around. But you know… back then well… that was a different time. Moms stayed home with the kids, they took care of the home and family. These days they’re off conquering corporate America trying to break that glass ceiling.
Me: So you sound like you prefer a more traditional role for women?
Bigfoot: Well no, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with women working. I just wonder how it affects the home life when moms aren’t with kids so much. But hey, dads can fill in there too so… what do I know? (chuckles)
Me: So take us back to your early days, when you first made it big on the scene.
Bigfoot: Yeah wow… that’s going back quite a few years now. Like I said, it was a different time. I got my break in much the same way that people do now, just with different technology.
Me: Oh really? How so?
Bigfoot: Well as you probably know, my fame started because of an amateur video. Back then I was just out of school and was spending a lot of time wandering in the woods trying to “find myself” (holds up fingers to indicate quotations). A lot of us were doing that back then. I mean… it was the 60’s man. So one day I was just sitting around near this old creek bed. I had just eaten some shrooms, ya know… and I heard this noise off to my right.
Me: Patterson and Gimlin?
Bigfoot: Yeah. I didn’t know who they were. I mean, I was trippin’ balls pretty good right about then and I got a bit paranoid and thought maybe it was the cops or something. So I get up nice and slow, acting all casual and stuff… and just started walking away. I didn’t want any trouble. I had no idea they were filming me. I suppose if I had known then what I know now I would have done something more interesting, right? Like… at least wave or flip them off or something. It was kind of a boring little clip, really.
Me: Maybe by todays standards, but back then it made you a star.
Bigfoot: Yeah, and that was decades before Youtube. (laughs)
Me: I can only imagine what it would have been like if that had happened today.
Bigfoot: Well… it might have gone viral… or ya know… who knows? It’s harder to impress kids these days. Back then no one had ever seen a seven and a half foot dude covered in hair. People were freakin’ out.
Me: People still freak out when they see you, even today though, don’t they?
Bigfoot: Yeah, I still get that but I think it’s more because I’m a celebrity now. I mean, I bet Jennifer Lawrence gets the same reaction where ever she goes.
Me: Perhaps but she’s not seven and a half feet tall with a smell that could knock out a skunk.
Bigfoot: Oh yeah, sorry about that. I just finished playing tennis with the Chupacabra. I didn’t have a chance to shower yet.
Me: It’s ok. You’re kind of known for your strong odor. Lots of people report smelling it. And did you just say you were playing tennis with the Chupacabra? How’s he doing? Haven’t seen him much lately in the news.
Bigfoot: He’s been keeping a low profile. He’s actually Mexican, you know and with this whole immigration issue kind of going back and forth he’s just trying to avoid any unwanted attention from certain government agencies.
Me: Like the INS?
Bigfoot: (smiles) Yeah. He had kind of a close call in Arizona a few years ago. They passed that SB 1070 law making it harder for non-residents to get around so he decided to head up to Northern California. He actually crashed here with me for about 6 months.
Me: What about the other cryptids? You guys have your own organization now, don’t you?
Bigfoot: Yeah, that was my cousins idea.
Bigfoot: Sure. You know him by his professional name. The Yeti. He’s actually my second cousin on my dad’s side. Lil Whitey we called him as a kid. Anyway, he was the one that finally decided that we should all… you know, like all of us mythical beasts… we should organize. It was back in the 90’s… ’93 I think. He’s always been a forward thinking kind of guy. He realized that we’ve basically been giving away our fame for free and thought we should start finding a way to generate revenue and even provide some benefits like health insurance and dental. So he formed the MCA.
Bigfoot: Mythical Creatures Alliance. Kind of a union. We now have professional representation, an annual member meeting held in a different city each year, press releases and licensing. That was really the key there, the licensing. I get a percent of all Bigfoot merchandise sold worldwide and royalties anytime my likeness is used in film.
Me: Speaking of film, after the Patterson film went public, you made your way to Hollywood.
Bigfoot: Yeah and I had NO idea what I was getting into (laughs). I got talked into doing this movie…
Me: Aptly titled Bigfoot.
Bigfoot: (chuckles) Yeah, they really went all out on coming up with a title for that one, didn’t they?
Me: So you do this film and then what?
Bigfoot: Well the film bombed at the box office. After that, no studio wanted to touch me. One minute I’m a star and the next…
Me: You went through kind of a hard time then, didn’t you?
Bigfoot: Well yeah… I mean, I had this newly found fame kind of thrust in my face and here I was, just this small town hominid and… I don’t know… I guess I just didn’t deal with it very well. I mean, I had groupies searching high and low for me out in the woods. Suddenly everybody was a Bigfoot hunter and I become sort of the It Guy.
Me: And isn’t it around this time that the problem with drugs happened?
Bigfoot: I wasn’t… wow, it’s still a little hard to talk about, even now…
Me: Hey, if it’s too much, we can skip it.
Bigfoot: No, no… (sighs) I can’t deny what happened. I mean, I don’t have to go into the details. The newspapers got all of that down pretty good. I’d used drugs before all of this but you know, after I got famous, it seemed like the drugs were everywhere. Have a joint, Squatch. Let’s drop some acid, Squatch. Here’s a ‘lude Squatch. It was just too easy. And then one night I was totally bombed out of my gourd and that’s when they found me wandering near that old cabin. I guess I was terrorizing some lady who called the police and the next thing I know, they’re booking me and taking my mug shot.
Me: Yeah, that picture became almost as famous as the clip from the Patterson film.
Bigfoot: Not my best moment to be sure. I fell hard and I spent six months in jail for that. It was the early 70’s and suddenly I’m yesterday’s news. The public had moved on and found a new mysterious creature to love.
Bigfoot: Yeah, she’d been around long before me but the 70’s really turned out to be her time to shine.
Me: Weren’t you two romantically linked for a bit?
Bigfoot: We had a fling, I suppose. It was over almost from the start. We were from two different worlds and just didn’t have much in common. I’m a biped, she’s got flippers, I’m a mammal, she’s reptilian, I’m a liberal, she’s very conservative… it just wasn’t meant to be.
Me: So what happened after you got out of jail?
Bigfoot: The truth is… not much. I blew through all my movie money so I was flat broke. Hollywood seemed to be over for me and so I did what I had to in order to survive.
Me: That’s when you started doing porn?
Bigfoot: I’m not proud of it, but it kept a roof over my head. Back then ya know… it was cool to be hairy. Just look at Ron Jeremy.
Me: But you weren’t really doing mainstream, were you?
Bigfoot: Back in the 70’s nothing was really mainstream about porn. But I know where you’re going… Most of my work was… what did we call it? Avant garde? We referred to them as art films.
Me: But really it was bestiality…
Bigfoot: Hey, I’m a beast, or so I’ve been told. (laughs loudly) But yeah, it wasn’t pretty. And I did that for about a year or so…
Me: Until Mr. Spock found you and rescued you.
Bigfoot: (laughs) Yeah, good old Spock. But seriously, if not for Leonard Nimoy and that show he hosted… In Search Of, I might have ended up sitting in a cave somewhere just wondering what might have been. He really picked me up and got me back on my feet.
Me: So he believed in you?
Bigfoot: He believed in me more than I did. He’s the one that told me I had that something special that the world needed to see. And later on… like at least a decade later… he was the one that helped me break back into Hollywood.
Me: Right, your big movie break, Harry and the Hendersons.
Bigfoot: John Lithgow once told me I was going to be the biggest movie star the world had ever seen. I never really knew if he was talking about fame or just my size. He was a strange one.
Me: There were rumors the two of you didn’t get along on the set. Is that true?
Bigfoot: Nah, not really. I suppose he and I knew even then we would never be close friends but we got along ok. There was one time though on the set…
Me: The watermelon incident?
Bigfoot: I can’t believe how that little stunt got so blown out of proportion. I even had one executive producer that tried to get me fired for that.
Me: But you didn’t get fired and this time, the movie was a huge hit.
Bigfoot: Maybe it was just the right time. Who can say? It’s nice to think that people can get second chances and you know, pretty much all of the 1970’s were crap for me. The whole 6 Million Dollar Man thing really pissed me off.
Me: I almost forgot about that. You were supposed to be on that show, weren’t you?
Bigfoot: Yeah and then at the last minute they fired me and bring in this big French wrestler that I’d never heard of before.
Me: Andre the Giant.
Bigfoot: Well I wasn’t a big wresting fan at that time. I’d never heard of him and I was mad that they were going to have him playing me when… well I was supposed to play me.
Me: The fans seemed to like him.
Bigfoot: There was mixed reactions. I thought it was one of the worst acting jobs I’d seen, but hey… it’s not like I’m impartial, right?
Me: So after that and before Harry and the Hendersons, what did you do?
Bigfoot: Well I went back to what I know and do best. Wander around in forests and pop up here and there and give people a glimpse of me so that they have a story to tell the local news and all the amateur crypto-hunters that inevitably show up later.
Me: If you don’t mind me asking, does that pay well?
Bigfoot: Well it didn’t use to but now because of the MCA I get royalties and such so yeah, now I do all right. Back then I was making enough to survive but they were tough times, to be sure.
Me: The media certainly hasn’t been on your side all the time, has it?
Bigfoot: No. Between dodging the paparazzi and all the lies the gossip papers publish, it can be rough sometimes.
Me: Didn’t you bring a lawsuit against one of those papers?
Bigfoot: Weekly World News. They were always the worst, printing just… God, just garbage stuff about me. I let it go most of the time but they did this story saying I kept some guy, they called him a lumberjack, but it turns out he was an insurance salesman… imagine that… but they said I kept him captive as a love slave. It made me sound like some kind of sexual predator. And back then, you just didn’t want even the perception that you were gay.
Me: You’re straight?
Bigfoot: Yeah, and I totally support the LGBT community, but in the 80’s being gay was the kiss of death in entertainment so yeah… I filed a lawsuit against the paper and I won.
Me: So moving forward… It seems like you’re everywhere these days. How do you do it.
Bigfoot: Well, some of that just isn’t real. If you’re talking about all the sightings and Youtube videos and stuff… yeah, that’s all crap. These days any idiot with a camera and image editing software can doctor a pic or a video and make it look pretty real. But almost all the stuff on the internet today isn’t me.
Me: Have you considered suing for damages?
Bigfoot: Why bother? The publicity works for me, keeps me booked solid for my actual gigs. Besides, it’s nearly impossible to bring lawsuits for things like fraud these days. Piracy is everywhere.
Me: So this video clip we brought today… that’s not you?
Bigfoot: Let me take a look. (watches clip) Nope, not me. Pretty good impersonation thought. Give that guy a prize!
Me: Well ok then… I actually thought we had gotten some authentic footage.
Bigfoot: Don’t feel bad. Like I said, the fake stuff is everywhere. If you want actual photos or video clips, you can visit my website. We sell it all there.
Me: I talked with your manager before the interview… when we were setting this all up… and he told me I could ask you about the sex tape, but didn’t know if you’d talk about it or not.
Bigfoot: Ah, I’m ok with that. I mean, it’s not like I’m embarrassed about being seen naked. I’m always naked. I just wanted to protect the privacy of the one I was with.
Me: Ok, but it’s not like this was the first time Kim Kardashian had a sex tape leaked to the internet.
Bigfoot: No, but I still wanted to protect her privacy, although watching her these days I realize privacy is definitely not something she wants. What an attention whore.
Me: So did you find that tape harmed your image at all?
Bigfoot: Not at all. These days it seems to actually help. Hell, even Octomom is doing porn now.
Me: And you’re still doing those Jack Link’s beef jerky commercials?
Bigfoot: We haven’t done any for about six months now but I’m contractually obligated to them.
Me: I love those.
Bigfoot: Yeah, I do too. I even had a chance to direct one. It was a lot of fun.
Me: Are you interested in directing?
Bigfoot: I think it’s a natural progression for artists to want to step into the director’s chair at some point. I’d like to try a feature film maybe… but not right now. I just don’t have the time. And speaking of time… I’m sorry, but I think we’ll have to end this here. I have a meeting with some of the History Channel producers in about a half an hour. They keep asking me to make an appearance on their show Finding Bigfoot. Until now I’ve said no but I may reconsider. I told them they’d have to get rid of that Bobo character. Guys an idiot.
Me: Well good luck with that. And thanks again for taking time for this interview. I think my readers will love it.
Bigfoot: It’s my pleasure. I’m a big fan of your blog.