Alonzo Marquez interview
Sunday, April 19, 2020 – 1:15 p.m.
Alonzo Marquez was a catch-all crew member and had a small role in Dalton Kimbrough's film.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Alonzo Marquez
Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name, age, address, and occupation.
Alonzo Marquez: Alonzo Marquez, 27. I live at 140 South 11th St. in Oxford. I'm a student at Ole Miss.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Marquez, at the scene, you told us that you found Dalton Kimbrough's body, but that's not true, is it?
Alonzo Marquez: No, sir. In the heat of the moment, I guess I took credit.
Detective Armstrong: Took credit for what?
Alonzo Marquez: For finding him. It wasn't me; it was Gwen who found him. All these different realities just started blending together.
Detective Armstrong: I don't think it was the heat of the moment, and I don't think it was a matter of opposing realities. You were protecting her, weren't you?
Alonzo Marquez: I was protecting everybody. Somebody had to do it.
Detective Armstrong: What were you protecting them from?
Alonzo Marquez: From him.
Detective Armstrong: Dalton Kimbrough?
Alonzo Marquez: That's right.
Detective Murphy: What was it about him? Tell us, Alonzo. I know you can tell me why everyone was staying at that lodge against their will, working with an abusive, incompetent film director?
Alonzo Marquez: He wasn't incompetent.
Detective Murphy: Was he abusive?
Alonzo Marquez: He was… decisive, unyielding. Whatever it took to make it right. But somehow, his right was off-kilter.
Detective Armstrong: Did he hurt them?
Alonzo Marquez: Yes. All of them.
Detective Armstrong: Did he hurt you?
Alonzo Marquez: He couldn't touch me.
Detective Armstrong: Tell me what he did.
Alonzo Marquez: Where do I begin?
Detective Armstrong: When did you first meet Dalton Kimbrough?
Alonzo Marquez: I first saw him at The End of All Music. I walk into the store one day, and there's this guy, who turns out to be Dalton, holding forth about realism in cinema. Talking about how Robert Altman had found the key to getting authentic performances out of his actors — that to achieve a certain reality in a film, a director has to make the actors see that they exist and operate in that reality, and the director can accept nothing less.
Detective Armstrong: Okay. And?
Alonzo Marquez: And it sounded like a cool idea to me, so when I saw Dalton a couple of days later over at Bottletree Bakery, I introduced myself and asked him about Robert Altman. We had coffee, and he told me all about his film project. He let me look at a script, and I really got into it. I told him I couldn't really act, but that I'd help any way I could. I had worked on an action movie and really hated the experience, so I wanted to see what it would be like on the set on an indie flick. I wanted to actually have an effect on the final outcome rather than just fetch hamburgers and take phone messages.
Detective Armstrong: So he hired you?
Alonzo Marquez: He let me come on as the set designer, but really I was like a stage manager. The go-to guy. I'm ashamed to admit this now, but several times he asked me to rough somebody up, and I did it. Of course, nobody got hurt too bad.
Detective Armstrong: Except Kimbrough.
Alonzo Marquez: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: So, who did you rough up?
Alonzo Marquez: Mainly Zeboe and Whistle. Those guys are just punks. And I sort of had to put Kayla in her place every now and then.
Detective Armstrong: How do you mean?
Alonzo Marquez: She'd come storming onto the set crying or throwing food at Dalton, and I'd have to restrain her. Lock her up in the closet. Tie her up.
Detective Armstrong: And what about Gwen Carver? Were you ever asked to rough her up?
Alonzo Marquez: No, and I never would've either. No matter who said.
Detective Murphy: Did you get along with Dalton?
Alonzo Marquez: For the most part. We had our squabbles, but for the most part, yes, we got along. He knew he couldn't do it without me. I'm the one who kept everyone in order. I'm the one who kept food on the table, by going out every morning and hunting wild game.
Detective Murphy: What did you squabble about then?
Alonzo Marquez: I had plenty of good ideas for the film, and still, he wouldn't let me see the product he was putting together. He kept everything locked up in the editing room. He wore the key around his neck, wanted to make sure no one could get in there. That trust, you know. It just wasn't there.
Detective Murphy: Why not?
Alonzo Marquez: The whole time we were out there, he slowly began to hate all of us, and most notably—and this may have been the case from the start—he hated himself and what he'd become in his search for greatness.
Detective Murphy: I sense some resentment.
Alonzo Marquez: It's more like frustration. He could have been a great artist, but he was too full of himself. Too full and sure that he was a genius.
Detective Murphy: But he wasn't?
Alonzo Marquez: I have no idea. He's certainly not now, so what does it matter?
Detective Murphy: Tell us about what happened this morning. Did you hear the gunshots?
Alonzo Marquez: No. Honestly, I didn't. I had a good deal to drink last night, and I was sleeping quite heavily.
Detective Murphy: But you heard Gwen screaming, right?
Alonzo Marquez: Yes. That scream brought me right to life. I just knew he— I didn't know what had happened, you know.
Detective Murphy: What did you think had happened?
Alonzo Marquez: I… I didn't know. All I knew was that I had to get to Gwen, and I figured she was in Dalton's room 'cause that's where she spent most nights.
Detective Armstrong: She slept with him?
Alonzo Marquez: I assume. She would go in there with him at night and come out with him in the morning. I assume they slept together, but I really don't know. If you ask me, he was holding her captive. I don't think she was there of her own will. I… I just don't like the way he handled her. I always knew something wrong was happening there. She didn't want to be there with him.
Detective Armstrong: That's funny. That's not the impression we got. She said she'd fallen in love with him.
Alonzo Marquez: Bull****. He raped her, you know.
Detective Armstrong: Raped her? How do you know?
Alonzo Marquez: I was there. I was filing some stuff away for him in his office—that's one of the few times I was allowed in there—and I heard it. She came into his room to talk to him, and he pretty much told her, "You're gonna have to do better than this if you want to be in my movie." He said, "I don't think you feel the sexuality in your character." Then he shut the door, and there was some loud shuffling around and some whimpering. She piped up and made some noise, and then the music came on real loud. I got pissed and left. Went back to my bunk and went to sleep.
Detective Armstrong: Why didn't you help her?
Alonzo Marquez: I didn't want to be presumptuous. I mean, at the time, I didn't know what the situation was. She may have wanted it for all I knew. I didn't want to bust into the middle of what could have been some psychological sex game. I'm telling you, nothing made sense the whole time I was at the lodge. Nothing.
Detective Armstrong: When you finally came to Gwen's aid this morning after Dalton was killed, what did you see there?
Alonzo Marquez: I arrived at his bedroom, and I remember Gwen was shaking and bawling, standing there in the middle of Dalton's room. The music was up pretty loud. I couldn't get her to say anything. She just pointed toward the bathroom, so I walked in and saw him floating in the tub there.
Detective Armstrong: What did you do then?
Alonzo Marquez: The shower was on, so I turned it off, just trying to cut down on some of the noise. I turned the music off. By that time, Dave and Roy had come around, and I wanted to keep everyone away. I knew the crime scene needed to be protected, so I was trying to keep everyone out and keep Gwen in.
Detective Murphy: Why were you trying to keep her in the room?
Alonzo Marquez: To be honest, I thought she had done it. I was in shock, I don't know. When I finally regained my senses, I called 911.
Detective Murphy: So you told us you'd found the body because you thought Gwen had killed him?
Alonzo Marquez: I don't know. By that time, I figured she couldn't have done it. She was so upset, I didn't see how she could have, but who knows.
Detective Murphy: Why would she have killed Dalton?
Alonzo Marquez: I don't know. Unless his mind games had finally taken their toll on her. He could really be a slimeball with her. He had her upset, broken down. He said it was part of the movie, but nothing in my script suggested that. But then, he was constantly rewriting.
Detective Armstrong: What about Zeboe? Do you think he could have done it?
Alonzo Marquez: No. Zeboe is a joke. He wanted to be Dalton. Why would he kill him?
Detective Armstrong: What about Chuck Mulroney?
Alonzo Marquez: Yeah, he and Dalton got into it pretty good. Dalton wouldn't let him come on the set, and that upset Chuckie. He wanted his money back. I remember he sent emails threatening Dalton, saying he knew some Memphis boys who would fix him. It didn't bother Dalton, though. He laughed at it.
Detective Armstrong: And what about the girl we heard about, Cheyenne Wyoming?
Alonzo Marquez: I don't know. He ran after her like a madman when she showed up trying to audition. It's weird because that was pretty simple, but it was like the straw that broke the camel's back. He just lost it completely.
Detective Armstrong: Did he say anything to you about her?
Alonzo Marquez: Nothing.
Detective Armstrong: Did he say anything to you about Mulroney?
Alonzo Marquez: Just kept telling me what an a****** he was. He told me that he wasn't giving the money back.
Detective Murphy: Anyone else? Did anyone else on or off the set bother him particularly?
Alonzo Marquez: We never talked about personal things like that. He never gave me his opinions on the crew. Whenever he talked about anyone on the set, it was always in the context of the script. If he talked to me about Roy, it was about his character, Bud. If he talked about Johnny, he was talking about Jerry.
Detective Armstrong: Did you play a role?
Alonzo Marquez: Yeah, I played Teak in the opening scene. I'm the hitchhiker who gets tricked into thinking this guy who picked me up shot his passenger and then made me kill him.
Detective Murphy: Did he put you through any rigorous motivational techniques? Any dangerous method acting?
Alonzo Marquez: No, I didn't really go in for that. I guess I was naturally gifted, just fit into the role.
Detective Murphy: Did you know the film shoot would go on as long as it did?
Alonzo Marquez: No, I didn't. If I'd known how it would be, I probably wouldn't have joined. In fact, now that I know how it turned out, I definitely wouldn't have joined.
Detective Murphy: So what made you stay?
Alonzo Marquez: I… I just felt I had to rise above it, you know?
Detective Murphy: No. You're saying it was self-discipline?
Alonzo Marquez: Yeah.
Detective Armstrong: I don't buy it. I've never known people put through this much abuse and humiliation who continue to stick around because it made them a better person.
Alonzo Marquez: You don't know because you weren't there. You couldn't imagine the sense of perseverance you get in the midst of performance like that. You can't just throw down your tools and walk off the set because of a little discomfort and anger.
Detective Armstrong: When people are being abused, they just take it?
Alonzo Marquez: Hell, yes! Don't tell me it's not a prominent theme throughout history. For whatever reason, we wanted to stay and make this film. Because that's what it was about. It was about abuse and mind games. It all made sense, and it made no sense at all. We were all in love with the strangeness and the contradictions. We were performers. We're artists, for ******sakes!
Detective Armstrong: All right, Marquez. If there are any more questions, we'll be looking for you.
Alonzo Marquez: I'll be around. I've got school to prepare for. I missed registration for this semester, so I've gotta get a job of some kind, now that Dalton can't support me.
Detective Armstrong: Well, good luck. See that you stay out of trouble.
Interview ended – 2:04 p.m.