How many liberties did Oliver Stone take with Billy's life and story in writing the screenplay? Why was Billy's prison sentence for smuggling hash so severe? Did he ever return to the place where he was held prisoner? How did Turks feel about the film? After he was no longer a captive, what was sex like? As a free man, did he require more intimacy before sex due to the emotional effects of the harsh imprisonment he'd endured? Was there sex in prison?
We talk about his life before, during and after Midnight Express. If you're in New York City this month, you can see him tell some of the colorful, fascinating story himself. Billy Hayes is still gleeful and giddy over the reviews for his one-man show, Riding the Midnight Express.
It's now onstage at the St. Luke's Theater on West 46th Street.
His current tale is one of responsibility, redemption and return. Hear me out with Billy Hayes on this week's edition of the Bobby Rivers Show podcast, now available on iTunes.
Go to BobbyRiversShow.com.
Next month, in a second part, I talk to Billy about the late Brad Davis. Blessed with good looks, talent and big screen charisma, Midnight Express made Davis a movie star. At a time when actors were afraid to come out or to be outed, Brad Davis was an openly bisexual man who took on some challenging roles that showed his serious acting skills. On the New York stage, he originated the role of the outspoken Ned Weeks in Larry Kramer's AIDS drama, The Normal Heart. A TV adaptation of Kramer's 1985 play premieres on HBO this coming May.
Next month, Billy Hayes tells me more about his dear friend, actor Brad Davis. Davis died of AIDS in 1991 at age 41. The worst thing to happen to Billy Hayes in his young life was the best thing to happen to Brad Davis' movie career. Theirs was quite a friendship.
For information on Billy's one-man show, go here: RidingTheMidnightExpress.com.