|THE HITCHER PRESS CONFERENCE
Interviews with Sophia Bush, Zachary Knighton, Sean Bean, and producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller
posted by Wilson Morales
January 15, 2007
With sequels and remakes coming out every, Michael Bay and his co-producers Andrew Form and Brad Fuller have decided to redo "The Hitcher" which had Rutger Hauer in the original. Along for the new film are One Tree Hill's Sophia Bush and newcomer Zachary Knighton and Sean Bean as The Hitcher. Making his directorial debut Dave Meyers. At a recent press conference in LA, the cast and filmmakers spoke about making the remake thriller film.
QUESTION: FIRST, WERE THERE ANY CHENEY JOKES ON THE SHOTGUN DAY? AND SECOND, YOU DID A GREAT JOB OF MAKING THIS REALISTIC, EXPLAINING THINGS LIKE GETTING RID OF THE CELL PHONES AND MAKING IT BELIEVABLE. AND THEN ZACH SAYS, “I’LL BE BACK IN 15 MINUTES.” I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD JUSTIFY THE ULTIMATE “I’LL BE RIGHT BACK” MOMENT.
ANDREW: Well, you know, I mean, we had to get Zach out of the room. We had to get him out. Because we debated how we’re gonna get Sean in the room. And, you know, if — the response last night was obviously — I mean, it’s — there was some fun to be had there, and we had a great shower scene. And - you know, it was something that we thought would be -
WAS IT FUN FOR YOU.
DAVE: It was fun for Sophia.
SOPHIA: OH YEAH, I GUESS.
DAVE: So, kind of — I don’t know, we just kind of went with it. I mean, I wish I could give you more — a better answer. You have something to add to that?
ANDREW: No, but it’s tricky. Because, how do you get Zach out of that room and get Sean in? Because we had this whole scene constructed where we did want Sean in bed with Sophia. And we had to get Zach out of that hotel room.
DAVE: And you know Sean’s gonna be in the bed. You know he’s gonna be there. So it’s just kind of, you’re waiting for it to happen. And so we kind of ?
SEAN BEAN: There was a scene where I was in bed with Sophia? [LAUGHTER]
ANY CHENEY JOKES ON THE SHOTGUN DAY?
ZACH: It’s gonna be on the DVD. [LAUGHTER]
SEAN, COULD YOU TALK ABOUT HOW TO MAKE THIS CHARACTER? HE’S FROM EVERYWHERE AND NOWHERE. YOU’RE FROM ENGLAND. ARE YOU TRYING TO PLAY AN AMERICAN GUY? AND, THIS CHARACTER’S A REALLY BAD GUY.
SEAN BEAN: I don’t know, there wasn’t a great deal of back history to the guy. There’s not much information about where he came from, which I thought was quite interesting, really. Because it allowed me the freedom to created what I wanted, and to invent him as a person. And I thought it was also more — it was scarier that you don’t know anything about him, or where he comes from. I always find that the less you know about people, the less you should trust them. And I usually like to have something to go on. But for this particular movie, I was pleased that he was like an angel of death. A phantom wandering the freeways, and assumes different identities. And that quite appealed to me. Yeah.
THIS IS FOR THE PRODUCERS. THE FACT THAT WE DON’T KNOW TOO MUCH OF THE HISTORY, EVEN THOUGH IT’S STAYING TRUE TO THE ORIGINAL STORY — IS IT IN HOPES OF MAYBE DOING A PREQUEL, SO WE KNOW WHY HE’S SO DEMENTED?
ANDREW: Can I answer that?
SEAN BEAN: Go ahead.
ANDREW: No. You know, I — we’re not gonna — I don’t see a prequel happening. I mean, we just kind of — as Sean said, kind of give him a blank slate, and let him go and do what he’s gonna do with it. But there was — there’s no thinking of a prequel until you just brought it up, we haven’t thought about it.
SOPHIA, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES TO PLAYING A GIRL LIKE THIS, AND HOW DO YOU AVOID THE CLICHES OF PLAYING THE KIND OF DAMSEL IN DISTRESS, COME SCANTILY CRAWLING IN THE WOODS THAT WE SEE IN THE END?
SOPHIA BUSH: Right. I think that that — that was a big thing for me and something that we definitely looked into in a lot of moments of filming. Because I don’t want to be that girl, running around whining and irritating. And at the same time, it’s like, I don’t want to come out like Lara Croft with guns blazing, because that’s not quite right either. And I think that something that made it great was — you know, greater for me, rather, was — there’s a lot of — what Zach and I got to do together. Because we spent a week in Texas working on the chemistry of our relationship. And how Jim and Grace behaved and reacted, and the ways that we kind of messed with one another, and the way that — you know, partners in sort of a longstanding relationship do. So what we had, I think that gave me some license to go on the emotional roller coaster, instead of just be one kind of woman or another, was — you know, when Grace wasn’t gonna make it, Jim pulled her up. And when Jim wasn’t gonna make it, Grace pulled him up. And it was a very symbiotic relationship, so it allowed me to show both sides. And it — you know, it allowed me to flip the scales from her being kind of happy-go-lucky, to her being — you know, stripped down, and very animalistic. It let me do that slowly, more in a see-saw than — you know, one quick flip. And I think that that’s — you know, I think that that is a more accurate portrayal of how people change, and how people — you know, tap into their strength.
QUESTION: THIS IS A QUESTION FOR DAVE. DAVE, THIS IS A REALLY LEAN FILM. IS THERE MORE STUFF THAT GOT CUT, TO BRING IT DOWN TO THIS RUNNING TIME? AND WHAT WAS THE MPA EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR YOU GUYS?
DAVE: I had a really great MPAA experience, in that I didn’t focus on violence in the film, even though there is some. Tried to keep everything on thrills and suspense. The — what we cut — we cut most of it out before we actually filmed it, which is sort of how we kept — the budget was extremely low. And we still have huge car action and all that stuff. And so part of the relationship I had with the producers was trying to catch that stuff before we had to film it. And we were just cutting the fat everywhere we could. And I pulled from my commercials and video background, and just keeping things really succinct. So, it’s lean. There’s only one scene that has about five different versions of it, and that hopefully will make it to the DVD.
WHICH SCENE IS THAT?
DAVE: Am I allowed to say?
DAVE: The motel scene. We shot that so many times, I think Sean might be mad at me. [LAUGHTER] He’s like, again?
DAVE, I WAS WONDERING IF YOU COULD TALK ABOUT THE MUSICAL DECISIONS FOR THE FILM. AND I WAS ALSO — I ENJOYED THE SCENE WITH “CLOSER” COMING IN THE BACKGROUND. BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T HEARD THAT SONG IN I DON’T KNOW HOW LONG, EXCEPT FOR, LIKE, MAYBE IF YOU GO TO A RETRO CLUB NOW.
DAVE: I had a play list that I used to inspire me for the characters in the film. And it came from just my exposure to music, and what I loved. And I was distinctly told by the producers that I could never afford any of it. And so I — the film came out, we put it together. It was — and I had all that music in there, as my own personal thing. And then one day Brad called me and said, “Well, guess what?” You know, “The studio likes it. They’re gonna pay for that song.” Because I called Dave Matthews’ people up and got a deal on that song. And then that started it going, and then Trent Reznor signed off on it, and then — yeah, like, two days ago, there — three, four days ago? We — the studio paid for it. And so it’s sort of [LAUGHTER] — we were sort of just hanging onto it, until it was — you know, no, no, no, no, okay.
THIS QUESTION IS FOR SMALL. HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT FILLING RUTGER HAUER’S SHOES? PRETTY ICONIC ROLE. THAT, WHEN I WAS A KID, I REMEMBER SEEING THE ORIGINAL. SO HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO FILL RUTGER HAUER’S SHOES?
SEAN BEAN: Well, I’d seen the film when it first came out, about — it must have been like, 20 years ago, wasn’t it? And it made a big impression on me. You know. It was a very well-constructed film, and — Rutger Hauer turned in a very good performance. And I remember being scared by it. And as I said, it made an impact. But I didn’t really want that running around me head and torturing things up, when we were making our version of it. And so — you know, I think we worked with Dave and Zach and Sophia. I think we created quite an interesting new version. And I didn’t really have any reservations or concerns about being compared to another actor. I just wanted to start from scratch, and do it my way. You know.
ZACH AND SOPHIA, YOU GUYS ARE PRETTY MUCH IN THE SAME OUTFITS THE WHOLE MOVIE, GETTING WORSE AND WORSE FOR WEAR. HOW MANY DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF THEM WERE THERE, HOW GROSS DID THEY GET BY THE END?
ZACH: I’ll be back in 15 minutes. [LAUGHTER] It was the same outfit. I wore the same thing every day. And it smelled really bad.
SOPHIA BUSH: Yeah. There — there definitely got to a point where — what did they have? I think they had — you know. For continuity’s sake, they had to keep a couple of pairs of all our clothes.
ZACH: Yeah. Well, there was different stages, when we shot out of sequence.
SOPHIA BUSH: But there was a couple days when we would be in sequence, and we were in the same clothes. And — he looked at me one day and was like, “We smell.” And I was like, “I know.” [LAUGHTER] So, it was interesting. But then again, we were — you know, covered in dirt and blood and filth, so we probably would have smelled anyway. So, I don’t think anyone noticed. Except for us.
SOPHIA, ZACH, AND SEAN. HOW WAS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU GUYS AND SEAN, BEING THAT YOU GUYS HAD TO BE SEPARATE FROM EVERYONE. OR, THE TWO OF YOU HAD TO BE KIND OF LIKE SCARED OF HIM, RATHER THAN ?
SEAN BEAN: It’s quite good, in a way. They’re very scared of me. [LAUGHTER]
ZACH: I’m still afraid. [LAUGHTER]
SEAN BEAN: And — the first thing, I think the first scene we did, in Austin, Texas — it was a night shoot — was the scene in the car where they pick him up at the garage, and we shot the interior of the car. Which is quite a long scene. And it was quite good that we didn’t really know each other by then. It’s [INAUD] whether we liked each other or not.
ZACH: You didn’t talk to us at all. [LAUGHTER]
SEAN BEAN: My usual.
SOPHIA BUSH: It took us a couple of weeks to all get speaking. So, yeah.
SEAN BEAN: Yeah. But it actually worked for the scene, because we weren’t supposed to know each other, were we? So, I’m glad we did that.
SOPHIA BUSH: Our first conversation was about how hard you could push the knife in my face. And I was like, “Hi.” [LAUGHTER] “How are you? Feel free to hit me.”
SPEAKING OF THIS FILM, IT WAS REALLY KIND OF FULL OF THE HEAVY RAINING SEQUENCES. FOR ACTORS, IT MUST HAVE BEEN — NICE SHOWER, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. OR IT’S REALLY COLD. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE BEHIND CAMERA STORY ABOUT THE HEAVY RAIN SCENE, BETWEEN ACTORS AND THE DIRECTOR?
DAVE: I can tell you if you shoot in the rain, you’re gonna have a lot of ADR after the movie. Lot of voice looping, stuff like that.
SEAN BEAN: Yes, if you’ve got lines. [LAUGHTER]
DAVE: I think rain’s really restrictive to working, but it’s also — you know. In our particular case, we had 20 minutes of rain in a car. And it couldn’t have been any more challenging to keep it interesting. So, you know, that was one of my main focuses, shooting a whole bunch of angles. Really trying to capture the nuances of the scenes and stuff, so that the tension could stay alive. And the special effects people, I — every single day, I said, “I want a hundred different tracks of rain. And I want rain for this scene that sounds different than the rain for the next scene.” And it’s a real subtle thing. I don’t know how many people really pick up on it. But. I was just worried that the same type of rain for 20 minutes would put people to sleep. So.
DAVE, WHAT WAS THE CG TO PRACTICAL RATIO WHEN YOU WERE DOING THE FAKE POLICE CAR CHASE SEQUENCE?
DAVE: It’s about 99.9 real. What — there’s no CG at all, and the only thing that was done is, there’s certain — we put cameras — we gambled correctly and put the camera right in harm’s way. And so we shot each sequence with about ten cameras. So four or five cameras, we see some of the other cameras, and we had to erase them. It’s kind of just the art of invisibility. There was only really one major CG thing, which was the rabbit, you know, which I think is — pretty much off the box right now. But you know, that’s — everything else was the art of trying to not have anything ?
HOW CHALLENGING IS IT FOR YOU TO FIND — I MEAN, THERE’S SO MUCH COMPETITION AMONGST YOUNG ACTRESSES OF YOUR AGE GROUP. AND YOU’RE SLOWLY MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM TV TO FILM. HOW CHALLENGING IS IT FOR YOU TO FIND THE KINDS OF PARTS THAT REALLY CHALLENGE YOU AS AN ACTRESS? AND WHAT CRITERIA DO YOU USE?
SOPHIA BUSH: I think it’s definitely — you know, hard to find films of quality that you want to make. And, you know, particularly even when this script came, it’s like, prior to reading it, did I really know that it was gonna be anything other than a typical movie of a scary genre? And as I was going through it, I realized there was something special here. Because — you know, not only did that tomboy side of me get to completely freak out, in my stunt junkie way, and do all of these amazing things and watch cars get blown up and helicopters fly over our faces, and — you know, run around in the desert with guns. But there was just such an arc, and such a development of a character, and a real sort of slope for this girl to fall down. And I think that that’s it for me, is really choosing things that give me some work to do. And things that I haven’t done before. And - you know, it was just really something very exciting. And the relationship between our characters, I think, is phenomenal and real. And something that kind of gets overdone in our age range a lot. And, you know, to be working with Sean, it was like, yeah, I want to do a movie with Sean Bean. Totally. Scary. [LAUGHTER] You know? And it’s like — and it’s so great. Because — you know, we had an element, in that first sequence, like he said, barely knowing each other, when, you know, we’re fighting. And I’m like, “God, this guy is so strong. He has my face in his hands, and this is great. This is great.” You know, I made some noise that worried him. And you looked at me, and you just said, “Are you all right?” And I was like, “Yeah.” And you were like, “Okay.” And I’m like — oh, we don’t talk in the scene. All right. Great. Good. Beat me up some more. I’m ready.
SEAN BEAN: Yeah, you liked that, didn’t you?
SOPHIA BUSH: Yeah! [LAUGHTER]
SEAN BEAN: I told you that. [LAUGHTER]
THIS QUESTION IS FOR ANDREW AND BRAD. ANY UPDATES ON ‘FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH’, AND WHEN ARE WE GONNA HEAR ABOUT A DIRECTOR OR ACTORS OR SCRIPT OR ANYTHING?
ANDREW: Well, we’re working on a script right now. And I think that next year — it’s not in the first two quarters for us, that movie. Maybe at the end of the year next year. But right now, we’re just working on the screenplay.
ANDREW: No director yet at all. I mean, Jonathan Liebesman’s attached to the movie. The director of ‘Chainsaw’. But it just depends on his — you know. He’s got a lot of things rolling around right now. So if he’s available when we have a script, we’d love to work with him again. I mean, we had a great experience with him.
DAVE, I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT HOW YOU CAME TO THE PROJECT. AND IS THIS SOMETHING THAT YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO REMAKE? AND ZACH, I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU. WE SPOKE A LITTLE BIT LAST NIGHT, AND I WANTED TO KNOW IF YOU COULD TALK ABOUT USING A COCK SOCK.
DAVE: The cock sock lives on, buddy.
ZACH: It really does.
DAVE: Why don’t you go first?
ZACH: You go.
DAVE: I — Brad, Drew, and Michael are big fans of ‘The Hitcher’, and were sort of circling it, and found rights to it. And I was circling their operation of being sort of a home for video commercial guys making that jump to movies. And we just sort of — and then president of the studio happened - a year before, I was gonna do a movie with him. So all these stars just sort of aligned. I studied the film and realized that there — like Sophia said, there’s character arcs in there. There’s something more special than the typical horror film. And so it just all sort of worked. And then to see a guy with a cock sock is something that — [LAUGHTER] I signed up for.
ZACH: Well, I’ve always dreamed of wearing a cock sock. So, it was a perfect marriage of director with an actor.
DAVE: He’d walk around with it all.
SOPHIA, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS OUR FASCINATION WITH THESE TOUGH GIRLS KICKING ASS?
SOPHIA BUSH: Sorry, I’m still laugh — okay.
ZACH: She’s reliving it.
SOPHIA: I’m good, I’m okay. Yeah. You know, I think — I think what’s great about it is, we’ve seen some great heroes in men, and your iconic — you know, Dirty Harry’s and Indiana Jones. And you’ve got that. And we’re at a point where thankfully, you know, in our sociology, we’ve evolved to realize that — you know, women can kick just as much ass. And people want to see it. Because there’s something — there’s something that’s a little less expected about — you know, seeing the girlfriend end up with the shotgun. It’s exciting. And it really gives the guys something to root for, but it gives the girls in the audience something to root for, too. So, you no longer have women being dragged to an action movie by their boyfriend. But — you know, couples are going together, because they’re both really excited about the film. And — you know, it’s something I enjoy, definitely. I really — I really liked that whole end sequence of the movie. We had a good time with that one.
SEAN BEAN: Yeah.
HOW CLOSE TO THE ORIGINAL SCRIPT DID YOU ALL STAY? AND HOW LONG WAS THE ACTUAL SHOOT?
DAVE: Shoot was 44 days. The original script — the remake, or the original script of the original movie?
QUESTION: YOUR ORIGINAL SCRIPT. HOW CLOSE DID YOU ALL STAY TO THAT?
DAVE: The structure of it stayed pretty close. The — pretty much, I would — you know, I don’t know what ?
ANDREW: Come on, Dave.
DAVE: We pretty much improv’ed the whole movie. [LAUGHTER] There was a — there was a green draft, that had a structure, that had certain scenes that are still in the movie. But getting all the way through the movie — and I think one of the biggest things about the scenes in the movie is believability. And so there was a lot of talks, every day we’d show up, and we’re like — we see a block in the scene. We’re like, “Oh, that’s not very real.” You know? And so everyone would go back to their corners, and a lot of times there was — the relationship of our cast, they would find the soul of it. And we’d just sort of help guide it. And it’s why I think there’s an authenticity in the film.
FOLLOWING UP ON THAT WITH THE SCRIPT. ERIC RED GETS CREDITED. IS THAT A WGA THING? OR IS THAT SOMETHING YOU GUYS DECIDED YOU WANTED TO DO? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
BRAD: No, we had two writers write on it, Jake and Eric. And we just submitted both drafts to the WGA, and they came back and Eric Red a credit.
ANDREW: Yeah, we were surprised by that. We had no idea. I mean, that was the last thing we thought would happen, actually.
SEAN, I WAS JUST WONDERING IF YOU’VE HAD ANY FAVORITE VILLAINS OF MOVIES PAST, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, THAT MAYBE YOU TOOK FROM?
SEAN BEAN: Not mine, other people? Other villains?
SEAN BEAN: Oh, sorry.
SOPHIA BUSH: Not ones you play! [LAUGHTER]
SEAN BEAN: I just like the old style ones like James Cagney, and Edward G. Robinson. People like that. It’s quite hard to spring to mind.
SEAN BEAN: I suppose so. Yeah. Yeah. A quite rough... quite rough and ready type. You know, no nonsense to it. You know, I — I tried to play this guy without being too aggressive. So, I don’t know what could really compare with — John Malkovich is someone who I always admire as a villain. And that’s in general. But I think he’s got a very real sort of a languid, seductive quality about him.
THERE’S RECENT TALK THAT THEY MIGHT BE DOING A PREQUEL OF ‘THE HOBBIT’, AND THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT DOING IT WITHOUT PETER JACKSON, MAYBE. AND IT MIGHT INCLUDE SOME OF THE CHARACTERS FROM THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY. WOULD YOU CONSIDER COMING BACK IF PETER JACKSON IS NOT INVOLVED?
SEAN BEAN: For ‘The Hobbit’?
WELL, ‘THE HOBBIT’ AND A PREQUEL. THERE WERE A COUPLE MORE FILMS.
SEAN BEAN: I don’t know I would — is Bob (?) here?
THERE’S ‘THE HOBBIT’, AND THERE’S ALSO A PREQUEL, A FOLLOW UP TO THE FILM. THERE’S TWO FILMS THAT THEY’RE TALKING ABOUT.
SEAN BEAN: Yeah? [LAUGHTER] I don’t know. I mean, this is very much the creation of Pete Jackson’s, so it’s difficult — I mean, it’s difficult for you to answer that question, because I haven’t really heard anything about it. But — you know. It would really depend on many, many circumstances. The director, the writing, the — the whole idea behind it, and what they’re trying to achieve.
NO ONE SMOKED, NO ONE DRANK. THERE’S NO DRUG USE IN THE FILM WHATSOEVER IF I RECALL. WAS THAT CONSCIOUS, OR WAS THAT JUST ?
DAVE: Well, it wasn’t the story of these characters, really. I mean, there wasn’t any need for it. And there wasn’t — I mean, he talks about drinking beers in one of the scenes, you know? But it’s not meant to be conservative. It just — we were focused on other things.
CAN YOU GUYS TALK ABOUT WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT FOR YOU? AND WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO PRODUCE. I KNOW YOU’RE WORKING ON THE ‘FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH’ MOVIE. WHAT’S IMMEDIATELY NEXT ON YOUR AGENDA, AS WELL AS ON THE AGENDAS OF DAVE AND THE ACTORS?
ANDREW: You want us to start? You want us to go down the line?
BRAD: We — we’re right now trying to put together another movie for Rogue, something called ‘Alone’, that we’re trying to get together.
IT’S AN ORIGINAL SCRIPT?
ANDREW: It’s an original script.
BRAD: Yeah, can you believe it? [LAUGHTER] We’ll give you the remakes after that.
ANDREW: And we start production on a movie in three weeks called ‘Horsemen’.
BRAD: It’s a ?
ANDREW: It’s a thriller in the vein of ‘Seven’, with Dennis Quaid and Xang Xi (?).
BRAD: And then — you know, we’ve talked about ‘The Birds’. That’s out there. There’s another movie that we might do for Rogue. We might do ‘Near Dark’ for Rogue, which we’re very interested in. We love the Eric Red works. And so. [LAUGHTER]
THOSE ARE STILL LIKELY TO HAPPEN?
ANDREW: I mean, you know, they’re — in the next two weeks or the next week or so, I think they’ll announce it. Because they’re starting to talk about a new writer to come on and write that. So. That definitely feels like there’s momentum. And is there anything else, buddy?
BRAD: And ‘Friday the Thirteenth’, we’re working on the screenplay. Yeah.
SEAN BEAN: I — I’m not really doing anything at the moment. I ?
ANDREW: Which one of ours would you like to do? [LAUGHTER]
SEAN BEAN: I just finished this film, I was just up in Yangtse (?) doing a film called ‘True North’ with Michelle Yao, which is also about three characters, but slightly different from this sort of combination. So, I was up there for a while. And then — flying around a little bit. And so, I’m - probably take a bit of time off, and just looking at a few things now. So, nothing definite at the moment.
SOPHIA BUSH: Just finishing with the fourth season of ‘One Tree Hill’.
THE HIATUS IS A COUPLE OR A FEW MONTHS?
SOPHIA BUSH: Yeah. It’s — you know, we start on hiatus halfway through April. So, it’s sort of in these next few weeks that we pull all the things that have started coming together and all the things that will be being put together, and figure out what pool we feel like diving in for the summer.
HOW LONG DO YOU THINK ‘ONE TREE HILL’ WILL GO FOR? I MEAN, DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE LIFE SPAN IS FOR THAT?
SOPHIA BUSH: No. You know, we never really do. And I think it’s hard to say. It depends on how long kids keep watching it, I guess. [LAUGHTER] How long they keep the teenagers entertained. We’ll see.
ZACH: I’m about to start a job as Sean Bean’s new personal assistant. [LAUGHTER]
THAT WILL BE TOP DOLLAR. [LAUGHTER]
ZACH: A lot of football. No, I’m — I’m currently sort of in the mix for some things, and I’m hoping that something works out. And you know, basically just hanging out on the West side and surfing.
DAVE: I’m just waiting for the movie to come out. And then I think — a lot of times with a first-time filmmaker, they wait to see the film before they decide what they want to offer you. And a lot of what I’ve been offered up ‘til now is sort of clones of ‘The Hitcher’, and I don’t really want to do that. And I’m developing a movie called ‘Witch Hunter’ (?) with Donald and New Regency. And that would be the A-plan, if that actually is green-lit. It’s an extremely expensive film, though, and I don’t know where it stands. But it’s being red. And if that happens, that would be the immediate plan. Otherwise, I’ve got to wait.
SPEAKING OF THE NOTES HERE, IT TALKS ABOUT THE CASTING PROCESS BEING UNORTHODOX. DO YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN ABOUT EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED ON THIS? BECAUSE I KNOW ZACH HAD TO COME BACK, LIKE, SIX TIMES.
DAVE: I’ll hand that one to Brad.
BRAD: Okay. Well, why don’t — which character? You want me to talk about Zach specifically? Because there’s stories for all of them. But, is Zach the one you’re interested in?
ZACH AND SOPHIA BOTH.
BRAD: Well, Sophia, it was very simple. With Sophia, she was an actress who we had heard about. And for Drew and myself, we seem to get a lot more from sitting down with an actor or actress than actually auditioning them. And that’s how we found Jessica Beale for ‘Chainsaw’, and that’s how we found Jordana Brewster, for the other ‘Chainsaw’. And we had heard wonderful things about Sophia, and she came in and we just kind of fell in love with her. And we just kind of said, you know, “We’re working on this thing, ‘The Hitcher’. It was early on. And when this script was being developed, she was always the person who we had in mind. And we kind of kept her up to speed on what was happening with it. So, it was always Sophia’s movie. I mean, that was kind of by design. She fit the bill for us. And we thought that she was likable, and at the same time, you know, she can carry that gun and blow his head off at the end. So, that worked out. As far as Zach, Zach had a much more torturous process to getting this role. And Zach was a guy who we really wanted to be in the ‘Chainsaw’ movie that we had just finished. And for whatever reason, it came down to Zach and this other guy, and the other guy got the role. And we loved him. And you know, it’s — you gotta choose an actor — I mean, Sophia’s really hot. And you gotta choose a guy who’s — you believe is such a cool guy, that he can get — you know, because she can get any guy she wants. But you gotta get a guy who’s like, a real guy’s guy. And when you’re casting actors, that was always a hard thing for us to find. A guy who you believe is gonna drive a four-four-two, and who can land Sophia, and who can be in those situations. And — it was like, Zach kept coming back. And we didn’t want to cut him, and we kept on seeing other actors. For lack of a better term, bigger names, or other people who are more well-known. Because Zach, to his credit, doesn’t have very many credits. He’s got — he did one show, and that was pretty much it. But he just kept coming back. And every time he came back, he was better and better. And by the end of it, you can’t think of the role any other way. He was the only guy who nailed it six times. I think you actually did come back six times.
ZACH: I think sixty-six. [LAUGHTER]
BRAD: And then — after the sixth time, it’s like, how do you not give the guy the role? He kept coming back. I mean, no one else had that longevity.
ANDREW: Tell him what else you did.
BRAD: Oh, yeah. And there was — well, I’ll let you tell them.
DAVE: You tell us that.
ZACH: Well, I also — you know, was — happened to be in the habit of drinking beers at the time. And I had to drop a few pounds. So I actually lost, like — I think it was, like, 13 pounds in five days.
DAVE: Yeah, it was crazy.
SOPHIA BUSH: Did you stop drinking beer?
ZACH: Yeah. [LAUGHTER]
BRAD: He stopped everything, actually.
ZACH: No, I didn’t — you know, I just — I tried — I realized that I’m not the pretty-boy type, and the type that you usually see in this sort of film. And I just thought that — oh, thank you.
SOPHIA BUSH: But you’re not the pretty-boy type.
ZACH: I just thought, you know, I’d try to improve myself physically and mentally, type of a thing.
ANDREW: For Sean, too? Does anybody — I mean, cause for Sean it was very simple. It was like — for ‘The Hitcher’, we were looking for a Sean Bean type. You know, we never thought we could get Sean Bean. Right, you know? Kind of like, this great elegant actors who’s gonna play this role, who’s gonna play this role. And we had checked on Sean and his days weren’t working, and it wasn’t good. And Sean had just worked with our partner, Michael Bey, on ‘The Island’. And I think Drew and I went to Michael and said, “Come on, let’s get Sean. Let’s try and figure it out.” We moved some dates around, and then his dates opened up, and we just got lucky. I mean, that was fortuitous.
THERE WAS A RUMOR ON-LINE A FEW MONTHS AGO ABOUT NAOMI WATTS BEING UP FOR ‘THE BIRDS’. ANY TRUTH TO THAT?
BRAD: Well, you can’t — no actress or actor’s gonna commit to something without a script. I think concept — you know, we’ve sat down with her, and conceptually I think we all want to make the same movie. But until we have a script and a director, I think it’s a little premature. You know. But we’re all talking — she’s who we’d like to have as the lead. Right?
BRAD: Thank you. [LAUGHTER]
ANDREW: Very well said.
BACK TO DAVE. COMING FROM A MUSIC VIDEO WORLD, AND NOW DOING YOUR FIRST FEATURE, WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST?
DAVE: I love movies. No. Videos is a — well, I mean, I guess the technical description, you’re marketing the product. And that always keeps you sort of removed from the pleasure of the — I mean, there’s MTV Awards and stuff like that that sort of fill the void. You know, but movies, you are creating the product, and you are the product. And you’re creating something that is then marketed. And that allows you to have a much more possessory relationship with it. And — you know, it’s more true to the directing craft.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR THE DVD?
DAVE: I don’t know. Whatever Brad and Drew let me put on there. You know? There’s a lot of material that we can play with.
THE HOTEL SCENE, I GUESS.
DAVE: I would like it ?
ANDREW: All five of them.
DAVE: I think that would be fun to have that. Just to see — we actually have five complete scenes that are, how we address the motel, each with their own flaw.
BRAD: And a couple endings, too. We have a couple endings.
ANDREW: Yeah, we have alternate endings.
DAVE: We have two endings.
DAVE: Sean dies in both. But. [LAUGHTER]
BRAD: It’s just how he dies.
DAVE: It’s just how he dies.
ANDREW: It’ll be fun.
SEAN BEAN: What a surprise. [LAUGHTER]
SEAN, DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS TO GO BACK TO THE ‘SHARPE’ SERIES AT SOME POINT?
SEAN BEAN: I don’t know. We did one in India last year. We did a sort of one-off, called ‘Sharpe’s Challenge’, which was a lot of fun. And it would be good to maybe resurrect it one day. It’s just - you know, so long as there’s something to talk about. So long as they’re not just going on for the sake of it, because it was popular and it was successful. But, you know, I’d like to think that there is life in it. As long as it’s meaningful, and we’re not just — you know, repeating what we’ve done already. It’s a particularly — obviously, a favorite of mine.
THE HITCHER OPENS NATIONWIDE ON JANUARY 19TH
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