We ran into Brad Moniz on New Year’s Eve. Moniz, a classically trained stage actor and director, has also played roles on the silver screen, including an appearance in Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1995 Sudden Death, in which bad-man Brad is stabbed in the neck by the turkey-bone-wielding martial-arts star. More recently, Moniz has supported himself with a lot of handyman-like projects and construction work.
How was your year, Brad?
It was like the ditch; it had its ups and downs.
Can you elaborate on that?
Well the ups were uh, uh, uh. OK, yes I can. I got a DVD player. The downs were coming to some sort of realization that at a certain point you kind of have to surrender to just doing tasks for other people to make money so that you can have a little bit of spare change and maybe travel once in a while.
You ever watch Sudden Death?
I’ve never sat through the whole thing (laughs). It’s not my cup of tea. I did see it up to where I got killed, which was more than halfway through. And thank you, Universal, for keeping me out of debtors’ prison for the last few years.
Do you get residuals off that?
Until about a year ago, every once in a while, for no apparent reason, on no schedule, a check would show up. Because [at the time of the filming] I lived in Philadelphia, worked in Pittsburgh and the [movie] company was in Los Angeles, I paid California state tax, city of Pittsburgh tax, city of Philadelphia tax and U.S. tax. And I still owed money.
Any chance you’ll be in another feature film?
Of course there is always that chance. My problem is that I’m pushing 50, I’ve got a beautiful wife and three dogs and a garden, and it’s hard to pack your bags every three months and go away. At some point I think I’m going down to the hell-hole known as Los Angeles or go back to New York and stick my nose—what’s left of it—in it again. Because I know I can work; it’s just having to constantly start over.
How’s your health?
Oh man, it’s excellent. You should see me on a ladder.
How do you feel about going into 2004?
I’m a little pessimistic. I’m guilty of reading too much, mostly mainstream media—Synthesis, the Bee, the Enterprise-Record—and the numbers just don’t look good. The environment is on a collision course. I think people our age are lucky. We might get out just in enough time before the apocalypse hits.