Interview:2005/04 Bother From Another Planet

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Bother From Another Planet
2005-04 SPIN cover.jpg
Interview with Marilyn Manson
Date April, 2005
Source SPIN Magazine
Interviewer John Sellers


As the irritable extraterrestrial of Area 51, Marilyn Manson wants to get under your skin.


The idea of Marilyn Manson playing a disgruntled, opinionated space alien is so perfect that it's hard to believe it hasn't happened until now. So give credit to Midway Games for casting The Golden Age of Grotesque's gothic rocker as the ornery narrator of Area 51, a conspiracy-laden shooter based on the arcade classic. In the PS2 and Xbox update, Manson supplies the voice of Edgar the Gray Alien, who guides the game's hero (The X-Files' David Duchovny) through the infamous government research facility in Roswell, New Mexico — one that's now teeming with angry ETs. From planet Earth, we probed Manson about his alien encounter.

Your character in Area 51 is called Edgar the Gray Alien. Couldn't you come up with a more frightening name? I'm a fan of Poe, so I like the name, actually. He's supposed to be the narrator and a helping hand, but he does it in a real nasty way. He's very condescending to the players and talks about them as if they were monkeys.

Now that sounds like you. He was easy to get into because we share common feelings about mankind. He's a misanthrope. Obviously, living the life of an alien myself, it's a good character for me. He's an antihero — you like him, but you're not supposed to. He's somewhere between the Grinch and Hunter S. Thompson. Ridiculous in a scary way, like if Phyllis Diller were a vampire.

Do you believe that Area 51 is real? It's easy for me to believe in government cover-ups of anything, particularly after Columbine and all the unanswered questions in Littleton. There was a kind of unspoken weirdness — you never saw the two killers' parents, and their autopsies weren't released, and stuff like that.

Have you ever been mistaken for an alien? I do remember the best alien-related comment anyone ever made about me — aside from being called Michael Jackson when I was coming out of a movie theater once. Someone said, "If the ancient Egyptians and the Nazis created a rock star in outer space and sent him back in time to destroy the world, it would be Marilyn Manson." I thought that was quite amusing.

Wait — someone once mistook you for Michael Jackson? Yeah, I had on a black fedora and was in a hurry to get out of the theater, and a large black woman exclaimed, "That's Michael Jackson!"

Did you just get the hell out of there? Yeah. I figured it's not going to work out good no matter what. I didn't want to wait to find out.

If you were ever to meet an alien, what do you think it would look like? Well, I've never seen E.T., but I wouldn't be happy if it looked like that. I'm more into the Earth Girls Are Easy kind of alien.

Do you think there's intelligent life elsewhere in the universe? I'm still not convinced there's intelligent life on Earth. Something like the Bible or Jesus or angels probably have some correlation to aliens. The Ascension and the flying with the wings? There's gotta be aliens involved. Or it's a gay musical.


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