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Alice Cooper talks snakes, movies and Johnny Depp

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Alice Cooper’s career doesn’t just include music. The singer, whose career spans decades, is also an actor. He tells Yahoo Entertainment about appearing in movies like “Wayne’s World” and starring opposite the late Gene Wilder. Cooper teamed up with Mike Myers and Dana Carvey in the 1992 film, “Wayne’s World.” He remembers arriving on set and Myers handing him six pages of dialogue with only two hours to memorize the script. “I memorized about a quarter of it and just riffed on the rest of it,” he says. “I just started to make things up out of nowhere.” Three years later he made a guest appearance in the 1995 sitcom “Something Wilder” with Gene Wilder. “I was his noisy next door neighbor,” Cooper recalls. The two acted in front of a live studio audience. “When you get to work with Gene Wilder, it doesn’t get better than that,” he says. In 2012, Cooper met Johnny Depp on the set of the movie “Dark Shadows,” where he also had a cameo. They sparked a friendship and the musician reveals if an Alice Cooper biopic were to happen there’s only one actor who could do it. “Johnny would be the best guy to play me,” Cooper says. “He knows me well enough where he could imitate me pretty well.” Check out the video above for more with Alice Cooper.

Video Transcript

LYNDSEY PARKER: Normally, we do these interviews in a studio in person, but obviously we're doing them via Skype because of what's going on in the world. But the plus side is I get to be at home, so I have my pets. It's bring your daughter to work day. I want you to meet my snake.

ALICE COOPER: Oh, she's pretty.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I mean, this--

ALICE COOPER: She is--

LYNDSEY PARKER: [INAUDIBLE] really excited. I'd love to talk some snakes with you because you have-- you've had some famous ones. You've had like Cobra Winfrey and Julius Squeezer.

ALICE COOPER: Eva Marie-- Eva Marie snake. There's so many great stories when-- you know, when you're carrying snakes around, the big boa constrictors. They were so much a part of the band that you just let them roam around. But, I mean, they get loose in hotels. We had one go down a toilet in Knoxville, Tennessee, and came up in Charlie Pride's toilet about two weeks later.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Like the country singer Charlie Pride? How did he react to that?

ALICE COOPER: Well, I don't know if he was shaving or sitting on the toilet at the time, but, I mean, this snake's head was as big as my hand. I mean, Yvonne, she was our biggest snake, and the sweetest. She was the nicest one. But if you're sitting on the toilet and a snake comes up between your legs while you're sitting there, you're going to have some kind of traumatic reaction to that.

[LAUGHTER]

LYNDSEY PARKER: Do you have any snakes at home right now in Arizona where you're at?

ALICE COOPER: No. I don't-- we don't keep any pets here. I had one for years. I mean, when you're on the road, you basically live on the road. The snake basically lived with us on the road. After every tour, we would put in a new snake. They would get retired and go to a petting zoo. And a couple of our sticks ended up in Indiana Jones movies.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Really? Which ones?

ALICE COOPER: Yeah. You know when he falls in the pit and he goes snakes, I hate snakes? Well, two or three of those were ours.

LYNDSEY PARKER: No way! These are full-on Hollywood A-lister snakes. My snake feels a bit intimidating.

ALICE COOPER: Well, they have little sunglasses on, you know.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You've, like, done so much in your career, and I-- you know, now that we've got the snakes out of the way, there's just so many, like, random memories I want to ask you about. And one is something I've talked about with your Hollywood Vampires bandmate before because there were two people that came out of the "Sgt. Pepper" movie smelling like a rose, their careers intact, and they were Aerosmith, who kicked ass, literally kicked ass-- like Steven Tyler got in a fight with Billy Shears Your scene was pretty cool and pretty creepy. I remember it scaring me as a kid.

- Because the world is round. It turns me on.

ALICE COOPER: Well, the thing about it was was they-- I had just gotten out of rehab, and I had a mustache. I had never had a mustache before, but I had this big mustache. I came out of rehab, and they said we're doing "Sgt. Pepper." And I said oh, with The Beatles? That's going to be great. They said, no, with the Bee Gees.

I immediately went this is going to be a disaster because you're talking about The Beatles sacred record of all time. And The Beatles aren't in it, but the Bee Gees are. Now, I love the Bee Gees. I mean, I get along with those guys. I had a great time with them. But the general public are not going to stand for that.

If the movie was "Saturday Night Fever," then yeah, the Bee Gees. All right. But it was one of those movies that ended up being so bad that it was great. You know what I mean? It was consistently horrible to the point where it was great.

And they told me you get to beat up the Bee Gees. There's a fight scene where you actually fight with them, and you get to work with George Martin. Now that was the reason I did the movie because I wanted to work with George Martin. And here we are doing The Beatles' prettiest song. It's the most prettiest thing the Beatles ever did. And somehow at the end of it George Martin says, I can't believe that you could turn the Beatles prettiest song into a threat.

The character is a villain. I said, so of course he's going to be this greasy, you know, because the world is round, you know? He's not going to do it nice. He's going to-- he's going to be this horrific character doing it. And he sent it to John, and John loved it because he thought it was just the opposite of what it was supposed to be.

You know, the great thing about that movie was it really did turn the corner. And now if you look at it, you go, oh, this is so bad it's wonderful.

LYNDSEY PARKER: It's interesting to me that you say that George Martin sent the track to John Lennon and got, you know-- and got his approval or, you know, got some feedback because I have always wondered what The Beatles thought of that movie because, you know, as you mentioned, they were not involved in it. And a lot of their hardcore, you know, purist fans were not down with it.

ALICE COOPER: No. They-- first of all, John and I were pretty good friends. He was an original Hollywood Vampire, so he was in the drinking club. When he heard that song, you know, he kind of expected-- he said, Alice is doing it? Yeah. Oh. You know, he knew it wasn't going to be their version of it, even though the Bee Gees did a great version. All the beautiful background, you know, all those voices, that was all the Bee Gees.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Nice.

ALICE COOPER: And they treated it really well. And George Martin produced it well so that the horrific kind of greasy horrific voice really popped out. You know, I mean, it really was playing against the prettiness of it. And yeah, I know John, you know, said, ah. Yeah, I would expect that from Alice.

- (SINGING) And that's enough for a working man. What I am is what I am. I'll tell you baby, you're just enough for me.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I know you did TV. You did, like, "The Muppet Show."

ALICE COOPER: I never had so much fun in my life as doing "The Muppet Show" for-- you rehearse for a week in London. And after a while, these Muppets were people. You were talking to them. All right, what are you going to have for lunch today? Oh, I don't know. I was thinking about going down-- and you're literally talking to them. You know, and you catch yourself talking to this piece of felt like it's--

[LAUGHTER]

--like it's real because they would react exactly the way a person would react. Miss Piggy would say, well, do you want a Diet Coke? because I know that you're not drinking now. And I went, yeah.

LYNDSEY PARKER: So they never broke character?

ALICE COOPER: No, they never broke character.

LYNDSEY PARKER: They never just hung them up on the wall and, you know, shattered your world or whatever?

ALICE COOPER: They would come into your dressing room. You know, hey, want some lunch? Yeah, Kermit, I'll be right there. I got--

LYNDSEY PARKER: Do you have any other memories of appearing in that-- on those kind of things?

ALICE COOPER: I did a show with Gene Wilder where it was a comedy where it was live in front of an audience like a play. I was his noisy next-door neighbor. And he ends up going to this party, coming home, and he's got my eye makeup on. He can't get it off. And it was a good 10 minutes of just Gene Wilder and I doing shtick, but I had to know timing. I had to know where I was going, where he was going because there was a live audience there. They couldn't redo it. They couldn't reshoot it.

And I'm telling you, when you get to work with Gene Wilder--

LYNDSEY PARKER: Wow.

ALICE COOPER: --it doesn't get better than that. I did do a lot of stuff, you know, the "Wayne's World" things and stuff like that later on, but I never wanted to be in a show where I had to totally lose the Alice character and become something else. You know, I don't mind doing guest shots, you know.

The way I met Johnny Depp was "Dark Shadows." They were going back to 1972, and they said, well, Alice-- you know, let's have Alice at this party. That's how I met Johnny, and that's how the Hollywood Vampires got started right there. But that was fun to do a major movie with Tim Burton.

- Do you come to Milwaukee often?

- Well, I'm a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late 1600s to trade with the Native Americans.

LYNDSEY PARKER: You mentioned "Wayne's World." What was the subject that you were lecturing about?

ALICE COOPER: It was Milwaukee. It was like, you know, oh, the governors and the mayors of Milwaukee were socialists, and actually it was, you know, all the fur traders are coming down from Canada. And I was sounding like I was on "Jeopardy!" And the funny thing was was the fact that the band, you know, were just as educated as I were, and that was the juxtaposition of the two guys sitting there going, I wasn't expecting that, you know?

Here was the deal. I got there. We were supposed to do "Feed My Frankenstein," right? That was the big deal. They were going to go see Alice backstage, and that's all that was going to be was hi, guys, blah, blah, blah.

As soon as I got there, Mike Myers says you're an actor. He says, here's six pages of dialogue. And I said, when are we shooting? And he goes, about two hours from now. So I memorized about a quarter of it and then just riffed on the rest of it.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Like made it up?

ALICE COOPER: I was just starting to make things up out of nowhere, you know? What you didn't see on camera was you had Mike and Dana doing everything they could to make me laugh. They wanted to-- and I picked a spot between them and delivered all the lines in between them. But if you would have heard the outtakes on the "we're not worthy," it went on for about seven or eight minutes, and it got vile. It just got vile.

LYNDSEY PARKER: Where are these outtakes? Are they on a DVD or anything like that?

ALICE COOPER: I guarantee you Mike or Lorne has them. But if that ever gets out, I'm not in trouble, that they are.

LYNDSEY PARKER: It seems like every artist is now having a biopic made. And so, like, when's the Alice Cooper one happening?

ALICE COOPER: I--

LYNDSEY PARKER: There's got to be one.

ALICE COOPER: I hope it's not one of those ones where you have to die first, you know?

LYNDSEY PARKER: Well, Elton John has one out that's great, and he's very much alive and kicking. So--

ALICE COOPER: Usually it's going to happen with bands that were extremely commercially successful, whereas Alice was successful and we sold a lot of records, but I did not appeal to everybody. I was-- you know, I was definitely on the darker side.

And I think that it would make a great movie, you know, myself. And if Johnny Depp were just better looking, he could play me, you know?

LYNDSEY PARKER: He would be so good for it though. He obviously knows the subject so well. He's a great actor. Yeah, he could do it. Is that who you'd pick?

ALICE COOPER: Yeah. Johnny would be the best guy to play me, yeah, because he really likes to take those characters that nobody else wants to play, you know? And he loves prosthetics. I mean, he would get my nose in there, you know, and the whole thing like that. He knows me well enough now where he could imitate me pretty well, I'm pretty sure.

LYNDSEY PARKER: I have had such a good time talking you. So has Whitesnake. She says thank you.

ALICE COOPER: Oh, thank you.

LYNDSEY PARKER: This was a real treat for her. She feels like a rock star now. Thank you. Take care. Have a great day.

ALICE COOPER: Bye-bye.